What are the advantages of electric cars?
Sales of electric cars are booming with electric car sales more than doubling in 2021 to 6.6 million and more than tripling their market share from two years earlier.
Electric vehicles are a greener alternative to petrol and diesel cars, but did you know there are many other benefits of electric cars too? Lower running costs, better performance and zero congestion charges, to only name a few!
Do EVs have an impact on the environment?
EVs are well-known to have a lower environmental impact than petrol and diesel cars and there are many factors that make EVs a greener alternative:
1. Reduces air pollution
Electric cars don’t emit any soot or exhaust gases. This means there’s much less harmful air pollution, particularly in big and busy cities. To put this into perspective, one EV on a road for just over a year can save 1.5 million grams of CO2 through their exhausts alone (the same as 4 return flights from London to Barcelona!).
2. Uses a cleaner energy source
While it’s true that EVs rely on more electricity being generated, power stations are still generally greener than petrol or diesel engines in terms of carbon efficiency. Some have argued that electric cars merely transfer the pollution back to the power stations that need to generate more electricity, but this is not true. The European Union Agency found that in an EVs lifetime, even with the electricity generation needed, CO2 emissions alone are around 17-30% lower than driving a petrol or diesel equivalent.
Power stations also have the capacity to use much greener renewable energy sources from wind, solar and tidal power. So, as we continue to move to more environmentally friendly power generation overall, electric vehicles naturally become the more eco-friendly, sustainable option.
When you’re using EV-specific tariffs from Octopus Energy you can trust the source to always be powered by 100% renewable energy.
3. More energy efficient
Electric cars use less energy to travel the same distance than their petrol or diesel counterparts, meaning less energy is required per car and less energy needs to be produced overall. This is because an EV will directly convert electricity into movement, while petrol or diesel equivalents have to burn fuel first to generate heat and then convert that heat into movement, wasting over 50% of its energy in its fuel in the process.
4. Noise pollution
Electric vehicles are incredibly quiet and reduce noise pollution. Perhaps not an obvious environmental issue, but noise pollution has been linked to health problems for people and wildlife. It can cause hearing loss, stress and high blood pressure, and interfere with wildlife breeding cycles.
EVs are so quiet that many of them have Acoustic Vehicle Alert Systems (AVAS) fitted to emit a ‘whirring’ noise for safety reasons. Since people are used to cars making noises, this helps people to hear when an EV is accelerating or coming round a corner.
No congestion charge for electric cars
Electric cars have zero emissions, which means EV drivers do not have to pay Congestion Charges in Low Emission Zones or Clean Air Zones. With more and more Clean Air Zones being introduced across the country it’s a definite benefit to going electric, find all the current and future zones here.
It’s well known that in big cities like London and Birmingham there are various Congestion Charges, Low Emission Zones, or Clean Air Zones. Essentially, you have to pay a fee to drive through these areas, in the hope that it’ll put you off using your car and contribute to local air pollution.
Cheaper electric vehicle charging
Recharging your electric car battery is much cheaper than the cost of refilling a petrol or diesel tank. Depending on the price of your electricity at home, home charging will cost you 2-10p per mile, compared to the fuel for a petrol or diesel car costs at 12-20p per mile.
With a renewable EV tariff you can go green and make even greater cost savings, with energy tariffs like Intelligent Octopus. With our personal contract hire package Intelligent Octopus comes as standard together with a smart home charger, services and repairs included, and a choice of 65 different EV models.
It’s worth remembering that ongoing maintenance costs are likely to be much cheaper too: servicing an electric car can be as much as 50% less. Even better, through our personal contract hire all this is included! Servicing, maintenance, repairs, spare tyres every 20,000 miles and AA breakdown assistance.
Most electric cars use regenerative braking, meaning there’s less wear and tear on the brakes. There are also fewer mechanical parts so there’s less that can go wrong, or that needs to be repaired or replaced over time. With tech advances, the cost of car parts is also likely to become much cheaper, meaning potential repairs should also be less costly in future.
As well as low maintenance costs, electric vehicles also pay very low or no vehicle tax.
Better electric vehicle performance
Overall, electric vehicles perform much better when accelerating, handling and power than their combustion engine counterparts.
- Better handling: The electric car’s low centre of gravity and heavy battery in the chassis improves handling, making for a more comfortable and safe driving experience.
- Quicker acceleration: Electric vehicles have more responsive acceleration and use regenerative braking so that the energy used to slow the car is put back into the battery.
- More power: Electric cars can be incredibly powerful and fast too. Take the Audi e-Tron GT that can go 0-62mph in a snappy 3.3 seconds.
Electric car schemes
One big factor that puts people off buying an electric car is the upfront cost. There’s no denying that electric vehicles are currently more expensive to buy than petrol or diesel cars. With advances in technology, the cost of electric car batteries is falling year on year, and soon electric cars will be on par price-wise with petrol and diesel cars.
But don’t let the current upfront costs stop you from making the switch. With our EV salary sacrifice scheme, you can drive electric by simply sacrificing a small portion of your salary each month with no upfront cost. Tax benefits of electric cars make buying an EV up to 40% cheaper than it would be normally, and spreading the cost makes it a much more affordable option. On top of that you get everything in a neat package; car, charger, energy, insurance, servicing, maintenance, breakdown and tyres. The lot.