Are electric vehicles worth it?

The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is gaining momentum, yet it often finds itself under scrutiny by sections of the media, which raise concerns about EVs being too heavy, too expensive, environmentally detrimental, or simply too inconvenient. However, a closer look at the facts reveals a more positive and encouraging picture for those curious about the viability of electric vehicles. Here's an expanded summary of our thoughts on common EV misconceptions:

1. The Cost of Electric Vehicles

It's true that, for now, electric vehicles tend to have a higher purchase price compared to traditional petrol or diesel cars. However, it's important to consider the bigger financial picture. The cost of owning an EV is significantly lower over time, thanks to reduced maintenance needs and the lower price per mile of electricity compared to fuel. Furthermore, EV owners benefit from zero road tax and exemption from Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) fees. As battery technology advances and production scales up, the initial purchase prices are also gradually decreasing, making EVs an increasingly economical choice.

2. Range Anxiety

Range anxiety is often cited as a major concern for potential EV owners. Yet, with the average electric vehicle offering a range of 100 to 300 miles on a single charge and the typical UK car journey being less than 25 miles, this concern is largely unfounded for daily use. For longer trips, some planning may be necessary, but this usually aligns with the need for regular rest stops, making charging a convenient part of the journey rather than a hindrance.

3. Battery Life

The lifespan of EV batteries is a topic of much discussion. Most manufacturers now offer warranties of 8 to 10 years, or up to 100,000 miles, alleviating concerns about premature battery replacement. With some brands even considering lifetime warranties, it's clear that the industry expects these batteries to last. Additionally, adopting smart charging habits can further extend battery life, much like with smartphone batteries.

4. Charging Infrastructure

While the availability of charging points has been a concern, the UK now boasts over 50,000 public charging points, with hundreds more being added every month. Government initiatives and funding are rapidly expanding this infrastructure, making it easier than ever to find a charging station near you.

5. Charging Time

Charging an EV is more flexible and convenient than you might think. Home charging units allow for overnight charging, ensuring your vehicle is ready to go each morning. For those needing a quick top-up while out and about, rapid chargers can replenish a battery in as little as 20 minutes—just enough time for a coffee break.

6. Environmental Impact

There's ongoing debate about the environmental footprint of electric vehicles. However, as the grid becomes increasingly powered by renewable sources, the environmental advantages of EVs over fossil fuel vehicles become even more pronounced. EVs offer a cleaner, more sustainable mode of transportation that will only improve as green energy sources continue to grow.

While the transition to electric vehicles may seem daunting due to misconceptions and media skepticism, the reality is much brighter. EVs present a viable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly option for the future of transportation, aligning with the needs and values of modern drivers.

Funding Boost for EV Charging

Good news today as the UK government gives 'Boost for drivers as millions delivered for EV charge points across the country'.

Charging electric vehicles (EVs) is set to get even easier £381 million of funding is made available for local authorities, homeowners and renters.

The money is from the Local Electric Vehicle (LEVI) fund for councils, who can choose where best to install charge points in their local area. 

44 councils across England will benefit from the funding to boost the rollout of EV charge points.

The EV charge point grant is being expanded to help those without a driveway as part of the government’s Plan for Drivers.

This news comes as over 56,000 public charge points have now been installed across the UK – up 47% from this time last year.

Minister for Affordability and Skills Amanda Solloway said:

"This funding will make it easier for people to switch to electric vehicles. By bolstering our public charging network, we are not only making electric vehicles more accessible, but also driving the transition towards a cleaner, greener future."

No change to VAT for public charging

The Chancellor has opted not to cut VAT on public electric vehicle (EV) charging but continue the freeze on fuel duty which has prompted dissatisfaction amongst the UK's EV community.

Quentin Willson, Founder of FairCharge said: "FairCharge is staggered that the Chancellor is prepared to spend £5 billion on a fuel duty freeze and continuation of the 5p cut, yet won’t spend 125th of that – circa £40 million – on cutting the VAT on public EV charging."

James Court, Chief Executive of EVA England, said: "Without targeted schemes to make EVs more affordable for the average consumer, all of our immense progress so far risks failing to hit the mark of our rightly ambitious net-zero targets. Highly successful social leasing and targeted grant schemes are being implemented elsewhere, incentivising yet more drivers to make the switch, and this Government has failed to keep up with this momentum".

Mike Hawes, CEO of Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)said it was a "missed opportunity to deliver fairer tax for a fair transition. Reducing VAT on new EVs, revising vehicle taxation to promote rather than punish going electric, and an end to the VAT ‘pavement penalty’ on public charging would have energised the market."

Driving Sustainable Hospitality.

If you are a hotel manager you don't need us to tell you that positive guest experience and satisfaction is your number one objective. With over 1,000,000 electric vehicles (EVs) now on UK roads, the hospitality industry has a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of a more sustainable future.

As you consider ways to improve your guest experience, the installation of electric vehicle (EV) chargers in your hotel car parks will also help drive business growth and set you apart from the competition. Here are three simple reasons why you should consider EV charging provision in your car parks.

  1. Environmental credibility: Today's travellers are increasingly mindful of their environmental footprint, and their accommodation choices reflect this stance. By offering EV charging facilities, your hotel can attract a growing segment of guests who prioritise sustainability. Installing EV chargers sends a powerful message that your hotel is committed to environmental responsibility, positioning it as a preferred choice among environmentally aware travellers.
  2. Your customer's evolving needs: By providing EV charging stations, you also enhance the convenience and comfort of your guests, elevating their overall experience. EV drivers can charge their cars conveniently during their stay, eliminating the anxiety of finding charging stations elsewhere. This added convenience will foster loyalty and repeat business, as guests appreciate hotels that cater to their evolving needs.
  3. Corporate Social Responsibility: As stewards of both business and community, hotel chains have a responsibility to embrace sustainable practices. By investing in EV chargers, you demonstrate corporate social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Not only does this contribute to reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable transportation, but it also enhances the reputation of your business as a socially conscious organisation committed to making a positive impact.

With easy-to-use payment terminals and management software, you can be ahead of the game in providing a better guest experience. The installation of EV chargers in hotel car parks offers a myriad of benefits and investing in EV charging infrastructure now positions your chain as a leader in sustainable hospitality and sets the stage for long-term success.

The Benefits of an Electric Vehicle (EV).

The electric vehicle (EV) is no longer a futuristic dream. Last year 314,687 EVs were registered in the UK which is a 17.8% increase on 2022 (statistics from SMMT).

Barely a week goes by without a major car manufacturer announcing new developments to their range of electric vehicles and petrol or diesel models are being phased out, with fines for companies that do not transition quick enough.

It’s no longer just the environmentally aware customers that are switching to EVs, as analysts Zapmap say there are now more than 975,000 fully electric cars on UK roads, but what are the benefits of switching to electric?

The first and most obvious benefit is the improvement that it will have on our environment. Electric cars do not emit any exhaust gases from burning fossil fuels like the traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). This helps reduce local air pollution and can make a big difference in densely populated towns and cities.

Just one EV on the road for a year has a similar carbon footprint as flying from the UK to Spain or Italy and back four times.

The second benefit of switching to an electric vehicle is running and maintaining one cost-effectively. The comparative costs of fuel to electricity, and driving an EV are much better for your bank account, and EVs also benefit from zero road tax. With an average of 200 parts the electric vehicle is easier to service and maintain, and because of the technology involved in an electric vehicle, some EV manufacturers can even remotely diagnose an issue without needing to see the car.

Following on from that, the third benefit of driving a EV is the exemption from city congestion charges. London has had a congestion charge zone since 2003 and that zone has already expanded. The current charge is £15 per day, 364 days a year.

London also has an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge of £12.50 per day within the M25.

Bath, Birmingham, Portsmouth and Oxford also have a ULEZ charge, and other cities are set to follow their lead.

If you are a regular commuter into an area with a congestion charge, the savings will quickly add up, and possibly even cover the cost of your monthly car payments. You could end up with a free car!

Fourthly, with energy companies offering off-peak tariffs and even buy-back schemes, charging an EV is much cheaper than filling a car with petrol or diesel and renewable energy options make it even better for the environment.

Finally, with the ability to install a charge point at both commercial and residential locations, EVs can be kept charged at your convenience.

Electric vehicles are definitely about helping to protect our future, but they are no longer a dream of what might happen in the future.

The revolution in EV charging in 2023

In the fast-evolving world of electric vehicles (EVs), 2023 was a year of remarkable growth, the standout feature being an impressive surge in ultra-rapid chargers and high-power charging hubs across the UK.

At the heart of this growth lies a story of innovation, progress, and the electrifying future of transportation. Data from analysts Zapmap tells this story with numbers that speak volumes.

Picture this: A staggering 45% year-on-year increase in the total number of new public chargers installed in the UK.

That's a substantial leap from the 31% growth witnessed between 2021 and 2022. The journey hit a significant milestone in October when the UK celebrated the installation of over 50,000 public charging points. Just months prior, in February 2023, we'd crossed the 40,000 mark - a testament to the rapid acceleration of our charging infrastructure.

But there's more to this story—2023 saw a surge in the rate of new charger installations. Nearly 1,400 devices added each month, up from 730 per month in 2022. That's an astounding 89% growth rate, underscoring our commitment to delivering convenient and accessible charging solutions.

This tale is part of a larger narrative; the launch of the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate last week and record-breaking sales of new pure-electric cars in the UK, totaling nearly 315,000 units. This represents a 51% increase in the number of EVs on our roads compared to the end of 2022.

And what about high-powered chargers? Their numbers surged by 52% in 2023, reaching nearly 10,500 devices across 5,000 locations by year-end. The majority of this growth came from ultra-rapid chargers, capable of adding approximately 100 miles of range in just 15 minutes. These chargers comprised 46% of high-powered devices nationwide, a significant rise from 20% at the end of 2020.

But here's the twist: The growth isn't just about numbers, it's about the impact, mainly a significant increase in the number of UK charging hubs, featuring more than six rapid or ultra-rapid devices. The count surged by an impressive 145%, rising from 108 at the close of 2022 to 264 by the end of 2023.

These charging hubs aren't just dots on a map; they are strategically positioned near major road networks, offering convenience to EV drivers on their journeys. They can be found in various locations, from retail parks and car parks to service stations and dedicated charging zones, ensuring that wherever your journey takes you, a charging solution is nearby.

But the story must not end there. We need to ensure that everyone has access to EV charging.

In 2023, we witnessed a remarkable 72% increase in low-powered on-street chargers, supporting those without home charging options. While progress varies across regions, the government's £450 million Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) scheme played a significant role, with more exciting developments anticipated in 2024.

This is the continuing story of the EV revolution that is unfolding with each new charge point and every EV on the road.

Understanding range anxiety for non-EV drivers.

When it comes to reasons why UK drivers hesitate to embrace the electric vehicle (EVs) revolution, 'range anxiety' frequently tops the list. Range anxiety is essentially the concern that an EV battery's capacity for a long journey is too small, and the availability of public charging infrastructure is too limited.

While range anxiety is a concern, data suggests that the 'fear, uncertainty and doubt' (FUD) caused by perception may be overcome.

The average daily mileage for most households is well within the range of today's EVs. Government data reveals that 99% of car journeys are under 100 miles. Many EVs offer ranges of over 200 miles, and overnight charging, when electricity prices are sometimes lower, can alleviate any worries about typical daily use.

The growth of public charging infrastructure is also alleviating the FUD as there are now over 10,000 rapid and ultra-rapid charge points available and over 43,000 fast and slow charge points at approximately 31,000 locations which means you are never far from a charging facility.

There are of course challenges as this is still a new technology and a behaviour change. Individuals without access to off-street parking may find charging less convenient, especially when nearby public chargers are occupied. In some cities, a more extensive public charger network is still needed to address the concerns of EV owners.

During peak periods like holidays, the availability of rapid chargers on long journeys can be an issue. Efforts to increase the number of ultra-rapid chargers are underway, but issues with the electricity grid can hinder progress.

Range anxiety is not entirely due to FUD, but it is becoming less of an issue as EVs evolve and charging infrastructure expands. For most people, occasional journeys of over 200 miles should not pose a problem, however, governments and stakeholders must continue investing in charging infrastructure to ensure that range anxiety remains a rarity and not a reality for EV drivers.

EV Charging Report Published

ChargeUK has published a new report setting out proposals for how to accelerate the installation of public electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

The 'Accelerating the Rollout of Public Charging Infrastructure' report puts forward 13 solutions for its members to boost charging under four broad areas:

1. Speeding up grid connections

2. Accelerating public funding and procurement

3. Accelerating planning, permits and resident consultation

4. Improving the economics and commercial viability of sites

Ian Johnston, chair of ChargeUK said: "Our members are already putting charge points in the ground at record pace and will spend £6 billion before 2030 on ensuring the UK has the right charging solutions in the right place.

"But we want to go further and faster to make the UK the best place in the world to drive and charge an EV.

"We welcome steps the government has already committed to including pledges to improve connectivity and streamline planning.

"We firmly believe that ‘Accelerating the Rollout of Public Charging Infrastructure’ provides a framework for all stakeholders to work together to achieve our common goal – giving drivers the confidence they need to go electric and put the UK at the forefront of this exciting transition."

For a link to the report visit: ChargeUK.org

Range anxiety falls as charge points increase.

Long-distance trips are no longer the anxiety-inducing journies they used to be. With over 80,000 connectors in the UK and updated figures due next week, charging on the road is becoming easier and less of a worry.

New research from ev.energy has found 58% of electric vehicle (EV) drivers are confident in planning long-distance trips.

The survey also revealed 77% of respondents have never, rarely or occasionally experienced concerns about their vehicle’s range.

27% of drivers are now opting solely for home charging, but 52% of EV drivers still don’t feel there are enough public EV charge points in convenient locations across the UK with only 6% saying there are plenty of nearby locations.

William Goldsmith, Head of Grid and Data Services at ev.energy, said: 'This data shows us EV drivers are confident in their at-home charging options. However, it's vital to invest more in supporting the public charging infrastructure and allowing for more affordable public charging. This will ensure drivers feel confident in making the switch from petrol to electric and allow those that don’t have access to a driveway to reap the cost and sustainability benefits of an EV.'

Investment in more public EV charging needs to accelerate if the public is to have confidence they won't be left powerless, especially those who won't have access to home charging facilities.

The EVC Connect Charge Point Management System

When you have a workplace or public charge point installation with us you have access to our EVC Connect management system.

With EVC Connect you get:

Control driver access

Keep chargers private and restrict access to employees, or open to the public at set times. Configure who can access your chargers, and when.

Manage multiple tariffs

Set different rates for different driver groups, at different times of the day. Allow pay as you go, pay via the app, pay via RFID or subscriptions.

Optimise availability

Overstay fees, push notifications and charger bookings ensure chargers are ready when drivers need them.

Maximise uptime

Remote click to fix maintenance, plus driver and charger support, ensure your chargers are running smoothly.

It's simple for operators and smooth for drivers.

If you want to know more about anything to do with EV charge point installation for your place of work, commercial building, fleet vehicles, farm, holiday let or home, please contact EVC Solutions – The Electric Vehicle Charging Specialists, and be part of the future today.