I’m going to go over some reasons and advantages of owning an electric car over a petrol or diesel car. Or at least these are reasons I’ve seen as benefits over the last year.
Some of these will come as no surprise, but if you’re new to EVs, you’re not sure whether an EV is really for you, or you just want to understand why anyone would want an all electric car, these might be of interest to you.
So one benefit is not having any gears, which means there’s no clutch or gearbox at all for you to control. You can almost compare it to an automatic petrol or diesel car, but even those still have gears which need to be selected for you.
Whereas in an electric car there’s just forwards or backwards, one continuous flow, no jolting between gears once you’ve put your foot down, no need to pre-select a gear as you come to a corner. No bite point or clutch control to worry about, which means it’s great for new, nervous or older drivers, I’m not sure which category I fall into. It’s also super smooth, and depending how hard you push it you control how fast you want to go.
Which leads me onto the performance of an electric car, and when comparing to any other car in its class, they are pretty fast. So unlike a petrol or diesel car, there’s no lag or delay when you put your foot down on the accelerator pedal, the torque is instant, it doesn’t matter what speed you’re going either, there’s no build up it’s just on or off.
This means that not only are they quick off the line, but they are really fun to drive, and as no one can hear you, you can be a little spirited around those country lanes.
So one of the biggest advantages of an electric car are the running costs.
Instead of paying per litre like you do with a petrol car, you’ll be paying per kilowatt hour, the same as you do to run anything electrical in your home.
The benefit of this is your home energy costs don’t usually fluctuate that much, in fact you’re probably locked in to the same pence per kilowatt hour for a set time period. Like me for example, I’m with Octopus, so my evening rate is only 5p per kilowatt hour which is when I charge my car, a lot lower than the 12p average.
So estimating how much it’ll cost you to charge your car is pretty easy, for me less than £4 or $5 for a full charge. Whereas petrol and diesel prices change almost weekly, sometimes in our favour, or sometimes 50% higher than we’d like.
You can also take advantage of free public charging, so literally parking up and using free electric while you shop for the day, these are often found at shopping centres and supermarkets. I’ve never paid for charging away from home, literally only used free chargers, but I imagine over time this will change as more and more people move to EVs, I doubt chargers will always be free. But you still don’t get that with any petrol or diesel car, free petrol while you shop.
There’s no road tax to pay and there’s no congestion charges to pay either, so if you work in London for example, you can commute in and not worry about paying the fees. I imagine other cities may follow suit, much like how Bristol City Council have approved the diesel vehicle ban proposal for 20 21.
You can also find free parking, for example some car parks in York allow you to park for free when parked in an EV bay and charging.
And if you’ve got solar panels at home or your place of work has chargers, you can practically charge your car for free too.
Charging at home
This leads me onto never having to visit a petrol station again.
So charging at home is one of the biggest benefits of having an electric car, I’ve covered this in massive detail in a dedicated video, but the fact is you can pull up on your drive, plug your car in and leave it overnight.
It takes no more than 10 seconds of your time to do it, then the next morning you’ve got a full battery of 2-300 miles, which is usually more than enough for one day.
Most people compare charging a car for 5 hours to putting fuel in a car for 5 minutes, but it’s not really the same. You don’t need to drive to a petrol station, sometimes out of your way, you don’t need to queue for a pump, you don’t need to stand at the side of your car for 5 or 6 minutes, then pay, then drive home. You just need to pull up on your own drive, plug it in and walk inside.
This is a huge convenience and not one I really appreciated until I started doing it, now I just plug it in every 2 or 3 days without thinking, but you’ve got to be disciplined and you do need to plan ahead.
And onto maintenance, and there’s none. Other than the odd brake fluid change, tyres and windscreen washer fluid, there’s not much else that needs a yearly checkup. Unlike a petrol or diesel car, where you’ll be replacing oil, filters, plugs, coils, brakes, then worry about emissions and your exhaust and cat.
It’s practically worry free motoring, and with some manufacturers like Tesla, there’s no yearly maintenance interval either, so you don’t need to factor in a 2-300 pounds or dollars service each year. And the warranty on electric cars are typically around 8 years for the batteries and drivetrains too, so you’re covered for a very long time should the two most important parts of the car develop a fault.
Quiet and noise pollution
So this next benefit is actually the noise, or lack of. So obviously an electric car doesn’t have an engine or an exhaust, which means other than the tyres rotating on the ground the car is practically silent. Now I’ve owned cars with loud engines and exhausts previously, but now the silence is borderline calming, I don’t miss the sound of an engine one bit. It’s also perfect for late night or long distance driving, or even taxis doing drop offs as no one will hear you. But it’s also helping towards noise pollution too, which in some cities can be a problem.
Now depending on the country you live in, there may be regulations for having a pedestrian warning sound, but in the UK that’s not a requirement yet.
Helping with the environment
Now another huge benefit to owning and driving an electric car is the environment. Plenty of people will buy an EV for this reason alone, which makes sense. But there will also be people who don’t buy for this reason at all, but the fact that this is an added benefit to the choice they make is awesome.
So when I chose my Tesla Model 3 I’ll be honest the environment was not at the top of the list for reasons to buy it. But now I appreciate the advantages, I don’t have an exhaust kicking out fumes, it doesn’t matter if my two children are standing behind me on my drive while I pull away, and I’m producing zero emissions. I’ve not suddenly gone full anti-petrol in less than a year having owned 25mpg cars, but it’s really made me think about it.
Frunk and boot space
Another awesome benefit of an EV, or at least for most EVs, is the extra storage space. So we already know there’s no engine, so what do most manufacturers do with that space, they turn it into a frunk. With my Model 3 for example, there’s extra storage under the bonnet, I usually store my charging cables in here, but there’s still plenty of room for other items, there are even custom made suitcases that fit in here.
The same goes for the boot, so as there’s no exhaust system, fuel tank and sometimes no spare tyre, there’s even more storage here under the boot floor.
Cost of purchase
Electric cars are expensive, like for like they are more expensive than a similar petrol or diesel car. But that’s because you’re paying for the battery and tech that comes with it.
Now one huge benefit of going for an electric car are the grants available, again this is country specific but here in the UK we have grants which will reduce the purchase price of the car. There’s also the option to lease or hire a car, and the monthly premium your spending on the rental can be offset against the petrol costs you’re no longer spending.
As an example, if you were spending £200 a month on fuel and leasing a car for £300 a month, you could potentially lease a Model 3 for around £500 and not really be any worse off.
And if you do buy, it seems a lot of electric cars hold their value, or at least more than a petrol or diesel car would.
Next up, the community, but wait, hear me out. I’m not talking about Tesla or a particular brand, I’m talking about driving an EV in general. There’s a community spirit when it comes to owning an EV and seeing other electric cars while you’re out. Owners have bought into something different, and it’s appreciated that everyone is giving it a go. Testing the water.
I’ve had conversations with Tesla, Nissan and Kia owners. It’s not about the brand, it’s about driving an electric car. But it’s also not prestigious and it doesn’t put you on any kind of pedal stool, it’s fun and exciting.
The same goes for non EV drivers asking questions about what it’s like to live with one, it’s awesome being able to answer people’s questions just purely based on my experience. It’s the reason behind me creating these videos.
I think everyone should drive an electric car at least once. Book a test drive, buy an experience, rent one for a weekend. The pros far outweigh the cons.
Do you or would you own an electric car?
If the answer is no, why not, honestly I’m always keen to understand why people don’t want to own one. Cost is a big factor, but there are some awesome leases and grants available to entice people in. If it’s range, well I’ve covered this in a recent 1,000 mile road trip I did, and if it’s noise, as in you want to hear the sound of an engine, well, I don’t know what to say. I hear it too often.