5 Reasons Not To Buy An Electric Vehicle (or are they??)
Recent surveys have identified Range, Performance, lack of Choice, Cost and Charging difficulties as the 5 main reasons fossil fuel car owners have quoted to justify avoiding buying an electric vehicle.
What these owners do not realise is they are sleep walking towards the biggest change in vehicle ownership since the invention of the internal combustion engine.
I say this from the position of owning an Electric Vehicle and watching the developments of the disruptive technology.
Let me discuss these issues one by one.
Electric Vehicle Range
I own a Nissan Leaf. It is a 30kw model with a real life range of about 120 miles. In the 6 months of ownership the longest single journey I have had to make is 74 miles. Most journeys are under 30 miles. Motoring surveys show that the average distance travelled daily is less than 30 miles.
However non EV owners perceive they need a long range. Again surveys show non EV drivers would consider an EV if it could travel 200 miles between charges.
200 miles is a major milestone as most people will stop after three or four hours of driving and take a break naturally. At this break charging an EV would not be an inconvenience.
At the time of writing there are two manufacturers who can deliver a real world range of over 200 miles and these are Tesla EV’s and the Chevrolet Bolt (not available in UK) Tesla have just released a 200 mile range model 3 with a $35000 price tag in the USA.
Affordable mass market EV’s here at the time of writing are the Nissan Leaf, BMW I3 and Renault ZOE. Currently all sub 200 mile range.
However if we consider how quickly they have increased thier range you can see how technology is advancing fast.
The Nissan Leaf for example was introduced in 2011 with a 24kw battery and a real range of 80 miles.
2016 saw the introduction of the 30kw Leaf with a range of 120 miles.
2018 will see the new generation Nissan Leaf 40kw with a 150+ mile range and 2019 will see the Nissan Leaf gain a 60kw battery with 200+ miles.
2019 will see many other manufacturer such as Jaguar, Volvo, VW, Mercedes and others releasing 200+ mile range EV’s
By 2019 range as a perception will be removed as a barrier.
Electric Vehicle Performance
Fossil Fuel vehicle drivers do not understand the drive train of an Electric Vehicle.
The acceleration is instant.
At the top end the Tesla range of cars are exceptionally fast whilst in the mass market my Leaf has mid range acceleration compared to other modern hatchbacks (0-60 in 10.4 seconds)
If you want to see just how fast the Tesla range is watch this Youtube video
In future all modern supercars will be electric.
Porsche and Aston Martin to name just two manufacturers who have announced they will be changing over to electric for all models after 2025.
However the average motorist will not be buying a Tesla Model X or an Aston martin. EV’s for the mass market will accelerate quicker but will not need supercar performance.
Electric Vehicle Choice
In researching buying my Leaf I had very little choice in 2017.
It was the Leaf, BMW I3, Renault Zoe as the main contenders.
There were others, the VW Golf but that was a petrol car conversion to an EV, Citreon C-Zero and Peugeot iOn but these were too small and impracticable.
In 2019 all major motor manufacturers will have a number of pure Electric Vehicles in their range.
As of 2019 choice will no longer be a barrier to EV ownership whether for a car, SUV,4X4 or small van.
Electric vehicle Cost
My Nissan Leaf cost just over the £20,000 new in 2017.
The largest part of this cost is the battery. Technology is moving so fast in the battery world that prices are tumbling fast.
UBS Investment research has produced a report with many surprise findings. They state that EV price parity with and internal combustion engine will be achieved in 2018. You can get a copy of the article in PDF format by clicking the link below.
They say that the total life costs of an EV are on a par now with the internal combustion engine vehicle.
They say soon the total life cost of an EV will be way below that of an ICE (internal Combustion Engine Vehicle).
If you consider an EV has only a fraction of the moving parts of an ICE (The electric engine has only 3 moving parts compared to hundreds in an ICE), no exhaust, no catalytic converter, no oil and filters etc etc etc.
My Leaf has a two year service plan with an annual service costing £99.
Very soon cost will be a factor to buy an EV.
Electric Vehicle Charging
This is perhaps the most fascinating cultural change for any Fossil Fuel driver.
Filling up is seen as a two minute experience to go from empty to full at a petrol station once you have exhausted your tank of fuel.
For an EV driver the opposite is true.
Every opportunity is taken to “top up” the charge. This is because it is not possible to pump that much electricity into a battery at that speed. When the average journey is 30 miles a top up after can be quick and simple.
There needs to be mind shift to frequent charging opportunities.
Research by charging providers shows a complete shift from the petrol fill up model. EV users today have a radically different profile.
- Home Charging 60%
- Workplace Charging 30%
- Destination Charging 7%
- En Route Charging 3%
In my case I have never used a motorway or En Route charging facility in over 2500 miles of motoring. The above statistics show we need a huge improvement in charging infrastructure, but it is coming.
Hounslow Council in London are installing charging points in street lamps for its residents.
Supermarkets are installing charging points for customers.
Nissan have charging points free to use at all its dealerships.
Halford Auto Centres have teamed up with a charging company.
Many hotel chains are installing chargers.
Soon, and I mean soon there will be a network of charging points to meet the need of the growing numbers of EV owners.
I now find myself looking at hotels and discounting them if they have not installed a charging point.
Dwell time will be the catch phrase for future charging companies.
If you are only stopping on a motorway for coffee you want a thirty minute rapid charge. If however you are going shopping and will be in store an hour and a half then a fast charger will be fine. If you are charging at home you only need a slower charging capacity.
The one thing that will start to drive up EV ownership that is not being reported yet is peer group pressure.
It will not be long before driving a polluting diesel is considered on a par with smoking in public. When a ban on smoking was first muted it was dismissed out of hand but look where we are today.
There has been much debate about our Government banning diesel and petrol car car production by 2040.
I think it is academic as we will have ditched fossil fuel cars long before then. When leasing companies look at the cost of fossil fuel compared to electric and residual costs become dearer the mass market will lurch into Electric Vehicles.
And I have not even touched on the benefits of linking domestic solar panels to EV ownership. On a good day my PV system can generate 30 KW.
I am regularly topping up the Leaf with Free Electricity.
Soon (2018 Nissan Leaf) with Vehicle 2 Grid Technology your EV can earn you money by storing Electricity to sell back to the grid at peak times (This will answer the critics who believe mass EV ownership will crash the National Grid).
The Eagle eyed amongst you will spot I have not mentioned hybrids once.
I do not see the point of lugging a petrol engine around just to top up a battery.
Below you will find a round up of interesting news articles – just click any link to read the original below
Did You Know…
Demand for diesel cars fell steeply, down 21.7pc in September and 13.7pc for the year so far compared to a 1.2pc fall in petrol vehicles. Sales of alternatively fuelled cars jumped 41pc to 22,600, giving them a 5.3pc share of the market.
General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s head of product development, at a media event on Monday where the company announced plans to release two new electric vehicle models in the next 18 months—and a total of 20 by 2023.
And for all those Naysayers out there who worry where all this electric energy will come from just take some moments to view this video.
We are an island nation and should make use of it.
5 Reasons Not To Buy An Electric Vehicle
The above are just a small sample of current news stories – we are at the dawn of a new disruptive technology.