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Electric Mobility on a Budget

Electric Mobility on a Budget

EV charging

Electric vehicle (EV) ownership is on the rise around the globe. Demand for EVs grew from 4% in 2020 to 14% in 2022 and is expected to leap a further 35% in 2023. This increased demand will cut the need for 5 million oil barrels per day by 2030 and will help millions live a net-zero life. 

However, EVs are still extremely expensive. The new tech they carry sells for a premium in the car market, and most EV forecourts feature luxury manufacturers like Tesla and BMW. Even “budget-friendly” manufacturers like Kia sell their EVs for upwards of £32,000 — roughly £12,000 more than their base petrol range. 

Fortunately, buying and maintaining an EV is becoming more affordable. EV plug points are now compulsory and you may be eligible for a plug-in grant from the government. You can also consider buying a used model today, as many owners are looking to sell EVs that are still in great condition.  

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Buying Used EVs
The EV generation has finally arrived. Modern manufacturers are capable of building durable, long-lasting batteries and 90% of Europe’s new power comes from renewable sources. This has driven high demand for eco-conscious consumers who want to sidestep the pump and reduce their carbon footprint. 

The number of used EVs on the market is rising, which may equate to options at a price point that suits your current budget. When buying a used EV, consider: 

●    Battery Health: 2% battery degradation per year is entirely normal. Anything above that rate may indicate heavy use and higher-than-average wear and tear. Look in the car’s settings yourself or bring in an expert dealer who can help you determine the health of the EV you’re looking at. 
●    Battery Warranty: Be sure to read the fine print when buying an EV. Many dealers sell their cars with a warranty, but the EV landscape is a little different. Find out how far into the typical 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty your car is and speak with the manufacturer’s customer service agents if you’re concerned. 
●    Depreciation: You may want to sell your used EV in the future. However, EVs have a steep depreciation curve due to the speed of innovation in the electric car market. Look for models that are already 3 years old to avoid the worst depreciation hit. 

Buying a used EV isn’t like picking up a used petrol-engine car. EVs will degrade over time and there is little value in “classic” EVs. Get a clear picture of the situation by bringing in expert help when viewing EVs and assessing your budget to avoid future disappointment due to depreciation. 

Charging Stations 
The cost of charging an EV is considerably lower than filling up a petrol engine car. If you’re charging at home, filling up your electric car costs around £17 while a 30-minute rapid charge will cost around £22. 

You may even be able to sidestep charging fees altogether if you work for an employer that allows you to charge on-site. Similarly, some supermarkets offer free charging while you shop in their store. This makes charging your EV far more budget-friendly than filling up with a tank of diesel or petrol. 

If you decide to charge your EV at home, you should look into the different types of charging stations available today. Most vehicles come equipped with a level 1 charger that plugs straight into a regular outlet. These take upwards of 24 hours to fully charge and are usually used as a backup. 

Regular commuting with an EV will almost certainly require a level 2 charger. You’ll need to call out an electrician to equip your home, but these chargers will fill your EV up in 4 to 5 hours. These chargers typically come with a timer, too, meaning you can leave the car to charge overnight when electricity is cheaper. 

Buying Incentives 
The EV market typically has a high entry cost. However, the U.K. government is making it easier to buy an EV by incentivizing electric car ownership. Today, you’ll get 35% off when buying a low-emission, plug-in vehicle thanks to a nationwide government grant. This deduction is sent directly to the manufacturer, meaning the 35% saving is already included in the price you see on the forecourt. 

You’ll also be exempt from some road tax following your purchase of an EV. Provided your EV is new and entirely battery-powered, you do not have to pay road tax for the first year and are exempt from the standard rate annual vehicle tax. This can help you save a few hundred pounds while running your EV. 

Conclusion 
EV cars are great for the environment and recoup their higher costs after a few years of ownership. However, you may find that the high entry cost is enough to put you off. Rather than turning your back on EVs altogether, consider opting for a used model that fits your budget. Continue to reap the rewards of EV ownership by strategically filling up via free stations at work or grocery stores. 
 

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