We all know by now that Electric Vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) are here to stay. In 2018 they started to become a familiar sight on the UK’s roads, with more than 132,000 EV and PHEV sold in the UK alone*, and this trend looks set to continue into 2019.
Anyone looking at purchasing a new car in 2019 should give an alternatively fuelled vehicle serious consideration for a host of reasons. We’ve picked out a few of the key ones.
2019 will see more and more of the major car manufacturers enter the EV market with alternatively fuelled versions of their ranges. Lots of the big names are set to add to their line-ups over the course of the next twelve months, offering a wider range of choice for consumers.
Also, with more competition in the market, there could be a drive from manufacturers to grab the attention of this emerging market by offering more competitive pricing and customer incentives.
With the increasing numbers of EV/PHEV on the road there needs to be a dramatic overhaul in the number of charging locations available in the UK. And the news is good for anyone with ‘range anxiety’ as major companies are throwing their weight behind installing the devices on their premises.
Tesco has announced that it is planning to install more than 2,400 free charging points at 600 of its stores across the UK, working with Volkswagen to set up and operate the points. In addition pub giant Marstons is set to install 400 rapid charging points across its network of UK pubs, meaning cars can be charged whilst customers are on the premises.
All this means that there will be thousands more publically available charging points added to the 17,000 already in operation across the UK, helping to further ensure EV drivers shouldn’t be caught with a flat battery.
We are all familiar with leaving the house in the morning with a fully charged mobile phone, only to be scrabbling around for a charger by lunchtime, especially when the phone is coming towards the end of its life.
However, this isn’t the case for the batteries in EV and PHEV, with evidence showing that after clocking 100,000 miles that most have at least 75% of their original capacity remaining. There are also plenty of tips on offer on how to maintain battery health and some manufacturers are even offering a battery replacement scheme if they drop below a certain level of performance.
Insurance rates for EV and PHEV do tend to be slightly higher than those of cars with the traditional internal combustion engine. Thanks to the cost of the batteries powering the vehicle. However the difference in cost shouldn’t be significant enough to deter buyers. There are savings and exemptions to be had from using an EV that outweigh paying a little more for insurance.
The most obvious benefit is that EV and PHEV are exempt from paying road tax, which could save motorists hundreds of pounds each year. In addition, vehicles costing less than £40,000, don’t incur Vehicle Excess Duty, with only a supplement to be paid for cars costing more than £40,000.
With all these developments coming together, the UK could be gearing up for 2019 to be the Year of the EV; as we move towards a more sustainable, cleaner and electrically powered road network.
* Figure sourced from https://www.smmt.co.uk/vehicle-data/evs-and-afvs-registrations/