Dick Lovett

Should I buy an electric car?

Posted 18th November 2022

Is a new car on your shopping list in the near future? If you’ve started looking around to find models that fit into your budget and tick all your car-buying boxes, the chances are you’ve asked yourself the following question: ‘Should I buy an electric car?’

A few years ago, you either didn’t even think of buying an electric car or bike, or quickly dismissed the idea. A limited choice in terms of available models, concerns over how far you could drive in the car – range anxiety is still a factor today but far, far less of an issue than back then – and a lack of widely available charging points probably meant you said ‘no’ reasonably quickly.

It’s a different scenario now. Sales of electric cars are booming. EVs are flying off the forecourts as brands make electric car production and development a priority. According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), there were more than 38,000 sales of EVs in September 2022  – more than triple the number of diesel vehicles sold (10,300). Not only that, to the end of September, there were 175,614 electric cars sold to date in 2022 – an increase of 40% compared to the first nine months of 2021.

Clearly, electric cars are becoming more popular, though petrol models are still the most ordered type of cars in the UK. So, let’s try to answer that question again. Should I buy an electric car?

Benefits of Buying Electric Cars

When we talk about the benefits of buying electric cars, it’s inevitable that the main focus is on the environment and the driving efficiency – it’s essentially why electric cars were originally conceived. As concerns over climate change and the consequences for the planet grow ever more acute, it’s increasingly crucial that vehicle emissions are kept to a minimum. With zero tailpipe emissions from electric cars, the impact on the environment is much less.

Porsche Taycan Charging

Driving efficiency is another plus. Though rising electricity prices need to be taken into consideration, you’re still likely to spend less money charging your car up than filling a tank full of petrol or diesel. Before making the decision to buy an electric car, spend some time calculating your weekly usage, charging times and electricity cost vs. filling at the pumps. The availability of electric vehicle charging points  is expanding all the time, and the UK government is continuing to invest in charging schemes.

In any case, when looking at the pros and cons of electric cars, our advice is not to only consider running costs but the experience of driving one. Electric cars are a joy to drive. The acceleration is close to instant, and with no gears to change the transmission is smooth and seamless. While some drivers might miss the guttural roar of an engine, many may prefer the calm and quiet purr of the electric motor.

Possible Issues of Buying Electric Cars?

Did we say pros and cons of electric cars? We did, and there are potential cons to think about, too. For new adopters of electric cars, there are usually two main areas that may be reasons why there’s hesitation in switching to buying, owning and driving an EV – longer refuelling time and a shorter range than a petrol or diesel car.

Range Rover Charging

Both are valid, but not significantly major issues. In comparison to a car with a combustion engine, an electric car does take longer to refuel. With a petrol or diesel car, you simply pull into a fuelling station, fill up, pay and drive off. It takes no longer than ten minutes, maximum.

With an electric car, it takes longer to charge; there’s no debate about that. But, you might be surprised at how much range you can achieve after a relatively short charging period – the MINI Electric can cover around 105 miles after just 30 minutes of charging, using fast charging. Rapid charging with a BMW i4 puts on 62 miles in just 18 minutes – quicker than it takes to order and drink a cup of coffee during a journey rest stop.

It may mean you need to plan ahead when it comes to charging an electric car. This could be charging overnight from your home – which is faster if you have a wallbox charger installed – or using charging stations if they’re available at your place of work. Many businesses have charging points installed in their car parks, which employees can utilise during the working day. There are several charging options available for EV owners.

Electric Charge Range

When it comes to range, it’s true that some have reservations on how far electric cars can travel on a single charge. However, driving ranges of electric cars are improving all the time, with some models capable of 300 to 400 miles quite comfortably – the BMW iX has a range of 380 miles, for example. Compare these figures with many petrol and diesel models and you might find that there’s not a significant difference between how many miles you can drive on a single charge, and a full tank of fuel.

Consumer confidence in the range of electric cars is growing. EVs are better equipped now for longer journeys and adventurous road trips, with charging stations located along many popular driving routes around the UK. Brands, such as BMW are also investing, or partnering with organisations to improve EV access.

Should I Buy A New or Used Electric Car?

New or used electric car? It’s ultimately your decision and, just like buying a new or used combustion engine car, typically comes down to your budget. With a new electric car, you’ll benefit from a brand new battery and the very latest technology but, of course, you’ll pay more. Buying a used electric car means you’ll save on the initial price, and there are lots of great deals around.

There are some factors to consider if you’re opting for a used electric car. Older used models might have batteries that can only deliver smaller driving ranges, so make sure you check on that before buying. However, even used models of a few years old should have driving ranges that are more than sufficient for many motorists. 

Porsche Taycan Approved Used

And, batteries can degrade over time. But only marginally, and with many manufacturers providing battery warranties of eight or even ten years, it’s not really anything to be overly concerned about.

You can read more about electric cars in our news section. To explore our range of electric cars, visit our dedicated BMW, MINI, Porsche, Land Rover and Jaguar pages, or view all available models here.

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