What are the new benefits of owning an electric car?

2016 could be the year that electric vehicles (EVs) really start to take on the market. With a whole host of eagerly anticipated models set to hit the market, plus a whole set of government initiatives designed to instil confidence in consumers and breed co-operation from local authorities, this is a truly exciting time for EVs.

And, with the government having recently unveiled the winning recipients of £40m from their Ultra Go Low scheme, we wanted to update you on the latest factors that might just change your mind about owning an electric car.

What is Ultra Go Low?

The Ultra Go Low scheme is a government initiative designed to get more electric and hybrid vehicles onto UK roads. Local councils submitted proposals for schemes that would encourage buyers to switch to cleaner electric car models.

£40m of investment funds will now be split between the winning cities: London, Nottingham, Bristol and Milton Keynes. In return, the cities are required to offer perks for EV drivers, including free parking, free charging and unrestricted access to bus lanes. Runners up Dundee, Oxford, York and the North East will also receive a share of £5m to fund low emissions schemes.

This will help to get more EVs on the road, and increase co-operation with local councils, who are responsible for implementing much of the required electric car infrastructure.

Here’s how the prize fund has been allocated:

London

London will receive £13m dedicated to create ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’. This includes comprehensive charging infrastructure for more than a dozen streets in Hackney, plus a ‘Low Emission Zone’ in Harrow that offers parking and traffic priority to EVs.

Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes has been pledged £9m for the development of an Electric Vehicle Experience Centre, which will provide consumer advice and short-term EV loans. The city also promised to give EVs free parking across the city’s 20,000 spaces and re-brand bus lanes as ‘Low Emission Lanes’ to be shared with EVs.

Bristol

Bristol is set to use its £7m to provide free residential parking for EVs, over 80 rapid chargers and a four-week EV lease scheme.

Nottinghamshire and Derby

Nottinghamshire and Derby will have £6m to fund 230 new charge points, discounted parking and access to 13 miles of bus lanes. The fund will also be used to set up a business support programme for businesses to try out an EV fleet before committing to purchase.

Benefits of electric vehicles

Fuel costs

Never needing the petrol station could save you a packet. The average household spends well over £1,000 per year on petrol each year. And, while there’s still a bill for electricity, this is likely to be around one-third of the price of petrol for the same usage. Also, it means you can fill up from home.

Tax Credits

While EVs do tend to be more expensive at the point of sale, this is far outweighed by savings elsewhere. One sweetener to get you off the mark: the government will give you back 35% off the cost of a car (up to a maximum of £5,000) or 20% off the cost of a van (up to a maximum of £8,000).

Maintenance

EVs have made cars more simplistic with development. There’s no more exhaust pipe to worry about, no more oil changes required and brake pads will last longer. The only major maintenance required is occasionally changing tyres.

Engine noise

You take off without so much as a whir from the engine. It can be disconcerting at first, but long-term it’s a peaceful and contemporary solution. Torque is improved massively in EVs, enabling you to zoom off from a standing start.

And, worth more than money to many EV drivers is the knowledge that they’re no longer adding to ozone-damaging gases when motoring.

Top selling electric vehicles

Here’s a list of the top 10 electric car models sold in the UK from 2010 – 2015:

Car Manufacturer/Model Units sold
  1. Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV
14,099
  1. Nissan Leaf
10,441
  1. BMW i3
2,943
  1. Renault Zoe
2,401
  1. Toyota Prius PHV
1,501
  1. Tesla Model S
1,346
  1. Vauxhall Ampera
1,279
  1. Audi A3 e-tron
1,033
  1. Volkswagen Golf GTE
1,025
  1. BMW i8
964

And, here’s the world’s 10 best performers in terms of sales globally:

1. Nissan Leaf
2. Renault ZOE
3. Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV
4. Chevrolet Volt
5. Toyota Prius
6. Tesla Model S
7. Ford Focus EV
8. BYD Qin
9. BMW i3
10. Ford Fusion Energy

So, with manufacturers committing to EV technology as the future of their business, popularity soaring and public opinion seeing the electric car as the ‘future of motoring’, 2016 is looking rosy for the EV market. And, with so many savings on offer, as well as that warm glow from knowing you’ve reduced your emissions, isn’t it time you took another look at buying an electric car?

If you’re looking for more expert advice on the best EVs on the market, or any of our other new cars, why not call on your local Perrys dealership today?