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April 22

Why EVs are worth the switch

header image showing an electric vehicle and petrol diesel car

So, you're thinking of getting a new car but aren’t convinced how driving electric will benefit you, or how easy it will be to make the switch. Well, think again. 

Buying a new car can be an exciting but slightly overwhelming prospect. Sometimes it's as easy as upgrading to the latest model - other times, it can take weeks of researching and haggling. But with over 267,000 EVs purchased in the UK in 2022, (representing a 40% increase from 2021), it's clear the benefits are making EVs a far more attractive and greener choice compared to their petrol/diesel counterparts. Three cheers to that. 

So, what are these impressive benefits? And why do they make EVs worth the switch?

Let’s get plugged in…

No Road Tax for Zero-Emission Vehicles

Road tax (or Vehicle Excise Duty) is a rate calculated on a vehicle's CO2 tailpipe emissions, the year it was registered, and its list price. 

The great news is that zero-emission vehicles are exempt from road tax for the first year and all succeeding years (winner!). visual of zapman celebratingHowever, if you own - or are looking to buy or lease - a PHEV, there are a few things you'll need to consider: 

As a hybrid, PHEVs emit CO2 so are not exempt from road tax - depending on the amount of CO2 emitted, road tax for PHEVs can cost up to £105 for the first year, followed by a flat rate of £145 for all succeeding years. And if your PHEV costs over £40,000, you'll need to pay an additional premium rate for the first five years that your vehicle is on the road (applicable from the second tax year).

Let's take a look at the BMW X3 PHEV as an example: 

Priced over £50,000 and emitting between 45 - 54 g/km of CO2, its first year of road tax will only cost £10. But with the flat rate of £145, and the premium rate of £335, incurring between the second and sixth tax year, the total annual payments increase to £480.  

To learn more, read our blog: A guide to tax on electric vehicles


Cosmic Fact!

Even if your EV is exempt from road tax, you still need to tax it to make sure it's licensed. Driving an EV without road tax can get you a fine of up to £1000.

Not sure your EV is taxed? Check here.

Cheaper Running Costs

visual of zapman holding bag of money

EV servicing, maintenance, parking and charging fees work out cheaper than the petrol/diesel equivalent! 

On average, the annual cost of running a petrol or diesel car in the UK is £2,205 - this includes refuelling, car insurance, repairs, MOT, servicing, parking fees, cleaning supplies etc. Comparatively, the average annual cost of running an EV is £1,742. This could mean savings of around £500 per year!

To understand why EVs are cheaper to run than a petrol/diesel vehicle, we're going to take you through the mechanics of an EV, and how fewer parts mean less expense:

Powered solely by lithium-ion batteries, the general maintenance of an EV is far less than a petrol or diesel car. Built without a combustion engine; oil changes and costly replacements are a thing of the past. And with the addition of regenerative braking, brake wear - and the replacement of brake pads - is substantially reduced. So, what happens in the unlikely scenario that an EV battery stops working? 

Fortunately, as car manufacturers are so confident in the durability and reliability of an EV battery, the average EV now comes with an eight-year guarantee (but most batteries are outlasting these guarantees!). So should your battery capacity dramatically deplete (or stop working altogether), the warranty will cover any repairs or replacements.   


Cosmic Fact!

EV battery warranties vary from vehicle to vehicle, so remember to check these details with your local dealer before buying. 

When it comes to charging your EV, the price comparison to refuelling a petrol or diesel car is amazingly stark. In 2022, for someone driving an MG ZS Electric, the average cost of charging (via Electroverse and home charging) was £22.64 per month. For someone driving an MG ZS, the average fuel cost goes up to £103 per month. That's up to a £964 annual difference - need we say more? 

Depending on how you charge (i.e. the speed, tariff), price rates can vary, but this won't lead to a premium with Electroverse. We're an honest bunch and merely pass on rates that the networks charge us - sometimes with a discount! Learn more about charging rates and tariffs here.

Expansive Charging Network

Not too long ago, EV owners had to worry about running out of charge when away from home. Today, it's now a case of picking your favourite location from which to charge.

With around 50,000 electric charging points in the UK, the public charging network is vast (with more chargers added every day). If you want to see where your local public chargers are, take a look at our Electroverse map - you can filter by operators that belong to the Electroverse network or look at them all! Fair warning - there are quite a few.  

The best thing about EV charging? You can charge from the comfort of your home. Gone are the days of rushing off early to top up at the petrol station; EV home charging gives you the flexibility to charge when it suits (e.g. overnight, just before dinner, or while taking a bath - you couldn't do that at the local petrol station).

visual of zap man holding a charging cable and the electric juice card

Better to Drive

visual of zapman in car

When it comes to the driving experience, electric vehicles outperform their petrol and diesel siblings by a mile. With faster acceleration, less noise and better handling, there are plenty of benefits to driving an EV:

Though you may think you need to burn fuel to accelerate faster, this is not the case. On the whole, EVs are better accelerators than petrol or diesel cars as they can reach full torque instantly. This is far more efficient than a combustion engine, which only reaches full torque when the engine is heavily revving (i.e. using more fuel). 

And through instant torque comes other advantages, like gearbox removal and more space in the car to stretch your legs. Because EVs can produce full power without 'warming up', there is no need to change gears. Ergo, goodbye gearbox, hello single-gear drive. 

Essentially, single-gear drive means a slicker driving experience, as you don't have the break in acceleration you would when changing gears. Of course, nothing great comes without compromise, but in this case, compromise comes in the form of an average top speed of 113 mph. So unless you're planning on entering the F1 Grand Prix, a slightly reduced top speed isn't worth mentioning. 

Finally, EVs are quieter than petrol or diesel. Much quieter. Typically, the noise associated with a car comes from the combustion engine; so unless an EV encounters wind resistance or takes a tight corner too quickly, you should be able to enjoy your drive without much noise at all. 


Cosmic Fact!

By law, EVs must come equipped with an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) to warn pedestrians of their presence. In practice, this means an EV will produce an artificial 'car noise' when travelling at slower speeds to aid pedestrian safety. 

To learn more about single-gear drive, check out our blog: How do EVs work

Helps the Environment (and your health)

Electric vehicles are better for the environment than petrol or diesel. That is a fact. Although the production of an electric vehicle can be more carbon-intensive than that of a combustion engine, lifetime emissions are around 70% less. That's the CO2 equivalent of spending 236 hours in a plane! 


Cosmic Fact!

It's important to remember that, despite its quick advancements, EV production is still in its infancy - while combustion engines have 134 years of production experience, mass production of electric vehicles only began in 1997. 

With international research into the recycling of lithium-ion batteries currently underway, it shouldn't be too long before the EV manufacturing process has an eco-facelift.  

In 2021, the UK government published the Transport and Environment Statistics 2021 Annual Report, which found that transport produced a third of the UK's total CO2 emissions. Shockingly, 91% of this came from road vehicles and tailpipe emissions. As it stands, poor air quality (or air pollution) is the greatest environmental threat to people living in the UK, with 28,000 - 36,000 deaths a year attributed to long-term exposure. So, how can EVs help fix this problem?

To put it simply, they don't produce any CO2 tailpipe emissions when driving. A huge benefit to the environment and air quality!

visual of earth looking happy

And while the grid becomes more sustainable, your EV can help stabilise it during peak times. Using vehicle-to-grid technology, you can transform your EV into a battery pack, transferring stored energy back into the grid when it needs it most. Learn more about vehicle-to-grid charging here.

Discounts in London

London is expensive, but driving in London doesn't need to be. If you own an EV and either work or live in London, there are certain perks that you can benefit from: 

  1. No congestion charge. We repeat, no congestion charge. What would previously cost you £15 a day to enter (on top of parking) is now free for vehicles that emit less than 75g/km of CO2.  

  2. EVs are also eligible to drive through the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for free - covering the north-to-south circular. If you were to enter the ULEZ in a vehicle that doesn't meet the emissions standards, you would need to pay a daily fee of £12.50 or risk a penalty of £80 - £160. 

  3. As London boroughs set their own rules, the fees for EV parking vary from one area to the next. Most boroughs offer heavily subsidised parking for EVs - with some offering it for free. For instance, if you were to use Soho's pay-to-park bays, you would only need to pay ten minutes to park for the maximum period - in this case, four hours would cost just £0.85.  


Cosmic Fact!

If you don't live in London, there are still lots of perks to be had - for instance, Brighton and Hove's councils offer a 50% discount on resident permits for EVs. 

Check with your local council to see which EV perks they offer.

UK Government EV Grants and Schemes

visual of a home charger

As mentioned in our blog: The EV Toolkit (Guide Before You Buy), there are two government schemes that can help with the initial vehicle payment and costs associated with installing a home point charger:

The plug-in grant can knock off (up to) £1500 on eligible vehicles. Want to know the best bit? You don't need to do a thing. The plug-in grant is paid directly to dealerships and manufacturers, who deduct the grant amount from the price tag. 

But before you race over to your local dealership, it's important to note that the plug-in grant does not apply to electric cars. Only vehicles approved by the government (i.e. motorcycles, mopeds, vans etc.) will be eligible. To find out more - and see which vehicles made the grade - visit the plug-in grant web page

The UK government also offers an Electric vehicle chargepoint grant for renters or flat owners, which can save you £350 or 75% off the cost to buy and install a socket, whichever amount is lower.

To qualify, you need to own or be leasing an eligible EV and either be a homeowner who lives in a flat, or a tenant in rented accommodation (flats and single-use properties).

As is the case with most schemes, you'll need to check the finer details before applying, so we suggest going straight to the source (EVCP: Guidance for Customers).


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