Here is DriveElectric’s definitive list of why you should be driving an electric vehicle.
Compared to traditional cars, electric vehicles (EVs) have only really been widely available since the late-noughties. It’s understandable then, that the full benefits of driving an EV are still unknown by the general motorist. Until now, that is.
EVs over ICEs
Oft-overlooked in favour of WLTP ranges and tax incentives, the simple joy of driving an EV is rarely spoken about.
Take the (lack of) gearbox for example. There’s currently a premium price-tag on traditional automatics due to their ease of use, allowing the driver to concentrate on driving rather than gear-selection. EVs are the same. You’re either in Drive, Park or Reverse. Technically, EVs aren’t actually automatic as there are no gears to cycle through, it’s essentially just ‘Go’. This makes the driving experience even smoother as revs aren’t constantly oscillating between gearshifts like they are in traditional cars.
Thanks to the instantaneous way power is delivered via an EV’s electric motors, even the most meek of family cars can have surprisingly good performance. Take the incredibly popular Kia E-Niro 2 for example. With the 64kWh battery, it does 0-62mph in 7.5s. That’s the same as the very thirsty Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0L.
The cabins are also generally a very nice place to be. With modern tech everywhere you look; easy-to-use infotainment systems, heated seats and digital dials, it makes saving the planet a pleasurable experience.
The Futuristic Technology
“Beam me up Scotty!”
Sitting in the driver’s seat of an electric vehicle is perhaps akin to the captain’s chair of the Starship Enterprise.
A heads-up-display casts the speed onto the windscreen ahead as sensors check whether you’re drifting from your lane. Ultra-bright LED headlights shine onto the road ahead. The crystal-clear DAB radio plays gently through the sound system, as the heated steering wheel warms the fingers. There’s no lag or drama when the accelerator is pressed, it simply goes.
What’s even more impressive is where the power comes from. Sure, there are cars with all of the features listed above. But traditional cars rely on pre-historic fuel. Electric vehicles run their impressive futuristic-tech from the humble battery.
Futuristic tech doesn’t just come in the shape of fancy cabin gizmos and twinkly LEDs, though. There are plenty of features unique to an electric vehicle that make them safer for both occupants and pedestrians.
Take the battery placement for example. EVs are designed with their batteries spread evenly across the bottom of the car, creating an incredibly low centre of gravity with weight equally distributed across both axles. In a Tesla, you can even set charging limits for those batteries. The result is a far better handling car which means less potential for spins, crashes and slides.
As for pedestrian safety, EVs have a trick up their sleeve there too. Ever noticed the whine of an electric car as it parks up? That is actually an artificially produced sound. Since 1st July 2019, it has been a legal requirement for new EVs to be fitted with noise-making devices behind the bumpers. The audible whine imitates the frequency of a traditional internal combustion engine, and adapts to how fast the vehicle is travelling.
Finally, we have regenerative braking. This tech recaptures energy otherwise lost through normal braking to top up the battery. As you take your foot off the accelerator pedal, the car will begin to brake – the intensity of which is set manually by the driver via paddles on the back of the steering wheel. The clever tech could give drivers a few precious milliseconds of extra braking in the event of an emergency stop.
No tank means money in the bank
All of that planet-saving comes with financial benefits too. The RAC Foundation reports it currently costs – on average – around £80 to fill up a vehicle with petrol or diesel (based on a 55 litre fuel tank). An EV with a 50kWh battery? £7 worth of electricity.
It’s more expensive to fill up with petrol once, than it is to charge an electric car eight times.
For perspective, that’s 1,280 miles of travel for a fraction of what it would cost in a traditionally powered car (based on an EV with a 160 mile range).
The Government offers both direct, and indirect, incentives too. Road tax for example is completely nil if you drive an EV. They also offer a grant of up to £1,500 off the list price of electric vehicles as well, automatically lowering the price-tag you see on showroom floors.
Low emission zones are where the real savings are to be had though – especially for businesses operating within the ULEZ in London, as the daily £12.50 ULEZ charge can really add up. If multiplied further by a fleet of vehicles and coupled with the additional £15 congestion charge for each of them – business owners can really begin to see their profits squeezed. Having a fleet of EVs completely avoids all of these charges. Changing the daily cost of driving an LCV into London from £22.50 to £0.
And more zones are coming.
Birmingham, Bath, Manchester and Glasgow are just a few of the cities introducing clean air zones in the near future. If you’re a business owner, there’s never been a better time to switch over to an EV.
Keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’
All of that space-age tech makes electric vehicles reliable, too. Dreading an upcoming MoT will soon become a thing of the past. Nursing a worn-out clutch before payday isn’t something to worry about in an EV – they don’t have one.
The basic principle is that there are fewer moving parts, which means less to go wrong. In a traditional internal combustion engine there’s a vast amount of small pieces all having to work completely in sync, with the correct amount of lubrication, at the correct temperature. If one of those fail, that’s when problems occur.
Those parts are usually under a great deal of stress and high levels of friction, causing them to wear. In an EV, it’s simply circuitry and wires communicating with the car’s electric motors. From there, the only moving parts are in relation to the road: steering, suspension and wheels.
Save the Planet
Mother Nature would drive a Taycan
The most well-known perk of driving an EV is a tale as old as time. If your main concern is the planet, then an electric vehicle is a no-brainer. Compared to petrol and diesel vehicles, the environmental difference is night and day. Apples to oranges. Batteries to ICEs.
The luxurious Polestar 2 has a 0-60 time of less than 5 seconds. That rapid blast of acceleration produces a grand total of 0g/km CO2 emissions. A similar performance saloon car with a sub-5 second 0-60 time emits CO2 in the region of 225g/km.
It doesn’t just stop at emissions though. Interiors are often produced with vegan leather, reducing their carbon footprint right from the point of manufacture. Speaking of Polestar, they were awarded a Compassionate Business Award from PETA in recognition of their animal-friendly efforts.
Pick a car, any car
Long-gone are the days where the term ‘electric vehicle’ was synonymous with the Nissan Leaf. Of course, without the Leaf there may have been no Tesla, and the Leaf has become a very competent and popular EV. But there’s now an extensive choice of body shape, power and trim levels. Nearly all car manufacturers have EVs in their model line-up, and those who don’t are going to have to very soon.
In the market for a supercar? Have a look at our Porsche Taycan, madam. Premium SUV, sir? Of course, the Mercedes EQC AMG Line is right this way. A large electric van to swerve the ULEZ charge? A Citroën e-Dispatch should do the trick. Whatever your business needs, family size or personal preference – there’s an EV to suit.
The future is now
The chip-shortage has made it difficult to buy any vehicle; electric or otherwise. However, with DriveElectric’s long established partnerships with manufacturers, we have a wide range of electric vehicles available right now.
Switching over to an EV has never been easier, and the cost of doing so is probably far cheaper – and more beneficial – than you think.