Is an Electric Car Right For You?

(Image Source: Flickr)

An increasing number of drivers now opt for an electric vehicle when replacing their current car. Electric cars do have a number of things to recommend them, not least the fact that they are a lot more environmentally friendly than either petrol or diesel vehicles.


Until recently there were only a limited number of manufacturers producing an electrically powered car. However, electric cars are gaining in popularity, with around 50,000 drivers opting for the change last year. In response to this, more manufacturers are now working on electric vehicles. BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan, Renault, and now Peugeot, offer electric vehicles, with the e-Golf from Volkswagen a popular choice.

Ecologically Friendly

The biggest draw of the electric car is low carbon emissions compared to petrol and diesel driven vehicles. Emissions only begin after the vehicle has travelled seventy miles, for a category one vehicle, while categories two and three are from one to 69 miles, and then 20 miles, respectively. If you are thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle, the following are issues you would need to consider.


Because electric vehicles are still recent additions to the car market, the choice is between a new or nearly new vehicle, which makes these cars expensive. There is a government grant for people that opt for an electric vehicle; up to £5,000 for those with the least CO2 emissions, and £2,500 for vehicles designated class two and three. Higher end vehicles can cost in excess of £60,000 new, and these are not eligible for the grant, but even at the cheaper or nearly new end, you’re looking at a considerable outlay.

Off Street Parking

If you have an electric vehicle and you live on a street where there is no charging point, then you will have to wait and see whether the Government intend installing one there. At the moment, if you are not near a charging point or don’t have off street parking, then charging is difficult, as most people won’t want trailing electric cables across the pavement. There are options; if a number of people near where you live want an electric charging point on the street, you can petition for this.


An electric car may not be right for you if you regularly travel more than a hundred miles a day. The number of charging points across the country has increased, and, at present, will continue to do so with government funding until 2018. If you are driving to out of the way places, it could be a problem if you need to do so on a regular basis. At the moment, the people who will probably benefit most from having an electric vehicle are the retired, and those who don’t drive long distances for a living. While the last two issues might be a problem in the short term, it’s possible that as the technology evolves and there are more charging points, these should not be an issue. The cost of electric cars, however, may be an issue for some time to come.