The technology for electric-powered vehicles exists and the environmental benefits of driving them vs. conventional cars fully justifies the use of it, so why aren’t there more electric cars on our roads and what can be done about it?
If the motor industry is going to be revolutionised, it requires a collaborative effort made by pioneers; individuals, groups and industry leaders willing to commit to getting this new technology on the road. The challenge may be great, but success might not be as far away as you think.
For electric cars to become widely used, they need to be widely available to drivers. So far, many, like Citroen’s C-Zero and Peugeot’s ion have been available for lease, but more electric cars are becoming purchasable. Described by Top Gear as “one of the all-time best city cars ever made”, the Fiat 500e is enjoying high demand in the US and although they’re not available in the UK market yet, their popularity is likely to influence and increase sales on this side of the pond. This bodes well for Nissan and Renault who are both investing heavily in UK production. With some £420 million being ploughed into a new plant in Sunderland, Nissan’s production of the Leaf could give a much needed boost to the electric industry but with a £25,000 price tag, the average consumer could be priced out of buying. Renault however, is putting the Zoe on the road at a competitive £13,650 and the sooner consumers have a choice of car and purchasing options, the sooner these prices are likely to come down.
Although the price of a new electric vehicle is higher than that of a conventional car, government incentives which reward drivers who invest in carbon free technologies with grants of up to £5000 for cars and £8000 for vans, make them a more realistic option. In addition, electric vehicles are exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty and the cost of running them comes in at approximately 2p per mile depending on the tariff of the electricity provider. This means that an average driver who travels 10,000 miles a year could shave £1.5 to 2k off the cost of running their car in the first year and for businesses that operate fleets of vehicles, the savings could be substantial. That just leaves the cost of insurance, and this is where using an insurance broker really pays off. Drivers need an insurer that embraces electric technologies without charging over the odds for it, and a broker specialising in individual, or motor fleet insurance will be the best source of negotiating affordable premiums for them.
Places to plug-in
One of the major barriers to consumers and motor traders investing in electric vehicles is the shortage of places to recharge them. However, this could soon be remedied by organisations like the Zero Carbon World charity which is offering free charging stations to businesses in the hotel and leisure industries. Best Western have already committed to 50 locations across the UK, and with similar venues being in easy reach of the UK’s major routes, places for drivers to recharge their vehicles could soon be widely available.
So, with more electric cars being available and affordable, the cost of running and insuring them becoming competitive with conventional cars, and places to recharge them being more available, the only question remaining is – will you do your bit and contribute to the electric revolution?
Unicom Insurance are UK based regulated specialists of Motor Trade Insurance. You can connect with Unicom Insurance on Google+ to keep up to date with all the latest news and stories from the Motoring Industry.