This guide will focus on the benefits that you’ll get for driving an electric car or van, but if you would like to learn more about how electric vehicle technology works then take a look at our general electric guide.
Environmental Benefits of EVs
The most obvious benefits that come from driving an electric vehicle (EV) are the environmental ones.
EVs are zero-emission vehicles and so they do not contribute to air pollution in the area you are driving.
Reducing your overall emissions footprint not only helps you, it helps pedestrians in the area you’re travelling as the air is not as polluted, the local and national governments reach their emission targets, and reduce the impact overall on the planet from vehicle emissions.
There are also a number of financial benefits that come from the vehicle producing zero emissions.
As there is no combustion engine an EV is much quieter than other vehicles. This means as well as reduced emissions there is less noise and so the noise pollution in areas you drive.
EVs are charged from an electricity source, which does produce some emissions in the production depending on the source, but there are green electricity companies which means you could be entirely emission free when using your EV.
There are a number of financial benefits that an EV can provide you with including:
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) are currently running a scheme that offers up to £350 off the cost of installing a home charging unit.
This scheme is currently available to everyone but is due to change in April 2022 when it will close for homeowners in single unit properties. Single unit properties are bungalows, detached, semi-detached and terrace housing. It will remain open to all drivers who live in flats or rented accommodation.
If you are a homeowner and are looking at an EV and want to apply for this grant then you will need to have your application approved and the installation fully completed by the 31st of March and the claim submitted by the 30th of April.
In general, full EVs are cheaper to run than hybrids, petrol or diesel vehicle as charging them costs a lot less than.
According to Pod Point an EV with a 60 kWh battery and around 200 mile range will cost about £9.20 fully charge based on a cost of 12 p per kWh. Compare this to the cost of filling up at a petrol station and you instantly see the financial benefit.
As well as lower running costs the lifetime maintenance costs of an EV will typically be lower as there are less moving parts so less points of wear and fewer components.
It’s important to note that although there is less need for maintenance when something does need repairs it will likely need a specialist because of the technology involved which can be more expensive.
As electric vehicles have zero emissions they will not be charged for road tax for the duration of their life.
You will still need to tax the vehicle via the government’s portal but there will be no cost for this.
Company Car Tax
Company car tax is a Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax that is applied to any vehicle that your company provides for you to use on personal travel.
To incentivise fleet drivers to take up EVs the BIK rate on them is very low. In the current tax year of 2021/22 it is at 1%, and will rise to 2% in 2022/23.
Across the UK we are seeing Low Emission Zones (LEZs) and Clean Air Zones (CAZs) being introduced by local authorities.
The majority of EVs will be exempt from charges applied to vehicles entering these zones as they do not emit any pollutants.
In London, zero emission vehicles will be exempt from congestion charges until December 2025 and the majority are also exempt from London’s ultra low emission zone which is now active. You will still need to register the vehicle with Transport for London (TfL) in order to apply for the congestion charge exemption but once you have applied you will then not be required to pay for it.
EVs are increasingly user friendly and provide many benefits for their drivers and passengers that go beyond the environmental and economic.
The public charging network is expanded to provide EV drivers with convenient and fast chargers that they can use at supermarkets, shopping centres and public carparks as well as at service stations on main trunk roads in order to keep them moving on longer journeys.
You can find an interactive map of charging points from carwow here to find your nearby chargers.
As mentioned above there are also home chargers available so you can charge your electric car at the most convenient place of all – your own house.
For more information on charging head over to our dedicated charging guide which gives a detailed breakdown on the different types of chargers available and how they could work for you.
All brands are transitioning towards electric models, in order to comply with UK and international targets, and so it is now easier than ever to find an EV version of your preferred brand or even specific model, though most are developing completely new models to take advantage of the functional features that EVs offer.
As more companies invest in the EV sector it continues to develop and more is invested in their R&D we continue to see advances in battery capacity, achievable mileage ranges, quicker charging speeds
Top Five Reasons to Choose an EV
1. Better for the environment – zero air pollution and reduced noise emissions.
2. Better for your wallet – lower running costs saves you money in your monthly budget instantly vs a traditional fuel vehicle, and generally lower maintenance costs due to less wear and tear.
3. Financial help available – government grants are currently available to assist with the cost of associated costs like the charger grants.
4. Long mileage ranges – we briefly mentioned longer ranges above but there are now a number of models that offer drivers over 200 miles on a single charge. Find out more about why this is more than enough here.
5. Wide range of options with great driving experiences – you’ve got so many options to choose from to find the perfect EV for you.
If you’re still not sure if an EV is the right choice for your then take a look at our other guides that will help you understand everything you need to know about charging, mileage range, and much more.
You might also want to check out our hybrid guides to see whether transitioning from a combustion engine to a hybrid and then to a full EV would be a patter path for you. You’ll find a complete guide to hybrids here as well as a similar guide to the benefits here.