Is now a good time to buy an electric vehicle?
Charging your electric vehicle (EV)
As battery technology continues to advance and the number of charging stations grows, more drivers are choosing to change to electric.
Rapid charging is here
Recent UK Government research revealed that a driver is never more than 25 miles away from a rapid charging station along England’s motorways and major A roads. This included an average of two rapid charging points at motorway service areas.
In addition, Government forecasts predict that:
- By 2023, England aims to have at least six high - powered, open - access charging points at each motorway service station, with some bigger locations having as many as 12.
- By 2030, EV drivers in Wales should have access to a nationwide charging network of 30,000 to 50,000 fast chargers, and 2,000 to 3,500 rapid / ultra - rapid chargers.
EV drivers in Scotland already have access to one of Europe’s most comprehensive EV charging networks, according to figures published by the Scottish Government. The average distance from any given location to the nearest public charging point is 2.78 miles, with over 200 being rapid chargers. With planned further investment of £15 million, the Government expects to add another 1,500 stations in homes, businesses and local authority land.
Weigh up your charging needs and solutions
Many EV owners charge their cars at home, while at work, or on the public charging network. There are also plenty of options if you can’t charge your EV at home.
A number of providers and councils are installing kerbside charging points to help drivers who don’t have off - street parking. In some locations, lampposts have even been converted into charging points.
Are super batteries on the horizon?
As recently as 2021, most EVs were powered by lithium - ion batteries, but battery development is advancing so quickly that more efficient, smaller and cheaper batteries are already coming to the market.
In recent years, many different types of battery have been developed and tested, but experts predict that solid state batteries will become the EV power source of choice. Lithium - ion batteries use a liquid electrolyte, whereas the next generation batteries will use a solid one. Solid state batteries are said to charge faster and last longer on each charge.
The range of today’s batteries should already be more than enough for most UK drivers’ needs. And when you do take a longer trip, you can always recharge your own energy levels while you give your EV’s battery a boost. The Highway Code recommends at least a 15 - minute break after every two hours of driving, so it’s a great opportunity to stretch your legs and grab a coffee for the next stage of your journey.
Running an EV
New EVs can cost more to buy than traditional petrol and diesel cars, but they don’t have the same fuel and tax costs. You may find some manufacturers and dealers offering incentives for trading in a petrol or diesel car for an EV.
When working out the overall cost of a new EV, bear in mind that the cost of some home charging units needs to be added to the price.