The future of driving is electric. However, many of us are hesitant about making the switch. Worried perhaps that the environmental benefits might not outweigh the behavioural changes electric driving requires.
It’s time to reconsider. Electric cars have improved exponentially over the last few years and Jaguar’s electric innovation is a shining example of how far things have come.
Here, we debunk some of the myths about electric-powered motoring, using the impressive credentials of the Jaguar I-PACE to demonstrate.
First, the big one. Limited range
Pardon the pun, but the range of electric vehicles has come a long way. Today’s batteries last longer and help you drive faster and further. They may not match combustion engines just yet, but the technology is improving day by day.
Take the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE. One full charge gives it a range of just shy of 300 miles on the WLTP cycle* (292 miles to be precise). That would take you from Bristol to Manchester and home again without needing to recharge, or from London to Newcastle with a recharge before the return journey.
So, if your average return commute to work is less than 60 miles, you could do the whole five-day week without having to plug in.
Yes, the initial cost of an electric car can be high, partly down to lower production runs. As demand grows, costs should come down. In the meantime, the Government offers a grant to encourage people to make the switch to a low emission car like the all-electric I-PACE. The price of a brand-new vehicle with CO2 emissions under 50g/km and a range over 70 miles automatically includes a 35% discount, up to a maximum of £3,500.
You can also apply for a Government grant towards the cost of installing a charging point in your home, reducing the cost as well as your carbon footprint even further.
Second-hand electric vehicles are also starting to find their way onto the market and can offer excellent value. Take a look at the used Jaguar I-PACE we currently have in stock. And don’t forget, the cost of running an electric car is much lower than a petrol or diesel car.
Park your preconceptions of electric cars performing poorly compared to the combustion engine powered cousins. It simply isn’t true. The latest brushless electric motors deliver unfettered power instantly and efficiently. The result? Electric cars are now amongst the fastest cars in the world.
The Jaguar I-PACE for example, is powered by two electric motors with a combined power of 396bhp. It takes just 4.8 seconds to get from a standing start to 62mph and just 3.7 seconds from 30 to 70mph. Not many cars of any persuasion can match it for acceleration on to a fast road or overtaking.
Once upon a time, electric batteries took up a lot of space, but that was then, and this is now.
Batteries are getting smaller and today's car designers have found ingenious ways to provide plenty of space for passengers and luggage. The I-PACE doesn’t compromise on comfort or leg room. It has five full seats, cleverly designed storage and a capacious rear load space of up to 656 litres, rising to 1,453 litres with the rear seats folded down.
And finally, the other big one. Recharging woes
You could say recharging an electric car is inconvenient, but let's face it; so is having to stop to fill up. When you combine the much-improved range of modern electric cars and the amount of charging points popping up everywhere, recharging is not the burden it once was.
Take the new Shell Superchargers (150kW), which can give an 80% charge in just 10 minutes, while you have a quick coffee or stretch your legs. There are various apps such as Zap App, which can tell you where the nearest charger is.
If there’s no Supercharger within range when you need one, the app will point you to a 'rapid' charger instead (43-120kW). These can be found most motorway services and can provide up to 80% charge in 20-40 minutes. More than enough time for a meal and a rest. You’ll also find charging points in supermarket car parks and shopping centres. A 7kW point will recharge an electric vehicle (EV) in 3-5 hours, and a 22kW point can typically do it in 1-2 hours.
Recharging overnight at home takes 6-12 hours using a slow charger (up to 3kW). Think of it as a good night’s sleep for your car.
Take a better look at the I-PACE
*WLTP (Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure) is the new process introduced from 2017, which measures fuel, energy consumption, range and emissions in passenger vehicles in Europe. It's designed to provide figures closer to real-world driving behaviour. It tests vehicles with optional equipment and with a more demanding test procedure and driving profile.