Pros & Cons Of Electric Vehicles: What Are The Benefits Of Getting An EV
Have you got your sights set on a family hybrid — or maybe your company cars need an update? Electric cars are more widely used than ever before, but are they as revolutionary as the Tesla’s of this world make them sound?
EVs come in a variety of forms from full electric to plug-in hybrids, as such the pros and cons differ from model to model. In this article, we outline the core benefits and explore the nuances of owning different types of electric vehicles.
Pros of getting an electric vehicle and the models available
As technologies improve and world governments take on the responsibility of hitting net-zero targets, the prospect of replacing our old cars (and the motoring stories that come with them) with an electric vehicle gets more appealing by the day, both for business and personal use.
Here are the most common upsides of getting an electric-powered vehicle:
- Businesses receive significant tax benefits on company cars
- EVs are cheaper than petrol/diesel cars
- They replace fossil fuels in favour of a greener future
However, these benefits can fluctuate depending on what model of electric vehicle you’re looking at. Here are the different types available:
Fully electric cars, as the name suggests, are completely reliant on electrical power and devoid on any engine assistance. They function by taking electricity from the grid using a change point, which then powers its electric motor.
Standard hybrid cars use both an electric motor and a diesel/petrol engine to move. Overall you consume less fuel, but the motor is secondary to the combustion engine.
A plugin hybrid (or PHEV) differs from a normal hybrid because it can be plugged into an outlet and doesn’t solely rely on the engine. The result? It has a far greater electric powered range before the combustion engine kicks in to give it a helping hand.
Mild hybrids are the most modest form of an electric vehicle, pairing a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor. They have a slightly bigger battery than your average petrol/diesel vehicle, which supplements engine power under acceleration.
Now you know more about the different models available, read on as we explore the pros a little further and highlight what they could mean for your EV of choice.
Cheaper to run than petrol/diesel cars
Electric vehicles are far more cost-efficient to run compared to their gas-powered cousins. Where petrol and diesel cars are exposed to fluctuating fuel prices, fully electric vehicles, to lesser degree hybrids, bypass such a blocker.
Furthermore, petrol/diesel cars fall victim to several UK restrictions like the London congestion charge, whereas EVs are exempt from the bill. You can also expect similar restrictions to crop up around the country, with planned green zones being talked about across major cities like Bristol (shown here).
Not only are electric vehicles cheaper to run, but they’re also more flexible to own and can travel places gas-powered cars either can’t enter or face a fine to go.
Significant tax benefits for businesses
With the government committing to a 2030 ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars, significant tax benefits have been introduced to encourage your business to make the transition to EVs.
Electric vehicles fall under the ULEV category, meaning they emit less than 75g of carbon dioxide (CO2) — and therefore qualify owners for a variety of tax incentives (according to this factsheet). For instance, Full electric vehicles pay zero tax on Benefit in Kind. This means if your business offers its employees a company to commute to work then this counts as a work perk and automatically incurs company car tax.
BIK can be expensive, especially if you opt for a diesel, which on average produces 127.0g of carbon dioxide, thereby incurring 28% of the cars total worth in tax. But through the 2020/21 business plan, electric vehicles are exempt from BIK and the percentage falls to zero, though it’s expected to rise by 2% in the coming years — a nominal fee compared to the gas-guzzling alternative.
As the maximum benefit only applies to fully electric vehicles (which produce no CO2 at all) you can expect to pay slightly higher fees if you own a hybrid vehicle, for example, mild hybrids no longer qualify for tax exemption because they aren’t considered full hybrids.
Better for the environment than fossil fuels
Many people are sold on the idea of electric cars because of the environmental benefits. If your eco-conscience is tugging on your heartstrings too then rest easy because all EVs emit cleaner air and fewer greenhouse gasses than the petrol/diesel vehicle you might currently own.
After all, electricity can be a renewable resource fueled by solar, wind and water, something gasoline can never be. Plus you can even have solar panels installed in your house if you’re worried about where your electricity is coming from.
However, not all EVs are built the same and hybrids, though not terrible for the environment, do a worse job than if you opted to go fully electric. Why is this the case? Here is the key difference between running these two types of electric vehicles:
Standard hybrids have a very small battery, which comes into action in short stints and mainly in high congested areas like city centres. Apart from these times, it’ll likely be running on its engine. The upside to this is its battery is self-replenishing, but you will be emitting CO2 for large stints of your journey.
Fully electric vehicles are certainly the transport of the future but you have to also consider practical factors in the here and now. Yes fully realised EVs don’t use fossil fuels and the main financial incentives, but varying hybrids let you experience the same benefits to a lesser degree without having to scramble to a charging station.
Article Written by: Stevie Nicks
Stevie is a Digital Editor at Just Another Magazine — a website that covers the topics their readers care about. You’ll find articles about lifestyle, travel, and trends each of which is written in their unique style.