It’s no surprise that you may be thinking of switching to an electric vehicle (EV) in the near future.
However, we also understand that you might not be too sure where to begin, or even if an electric car would be right for you.
To help answer your queries, or allay some of your fears, we’ve put together some of the key things to consider when asking yourself, ‘Will an electric car suit my lifestyle?’
From range to costs, there are a few things to keep in mind when taking the first step on your journey to moving to electric.
The average range of an electric car in the UK is around 190 miles, but this depends on factors such as driving style and outside temperature.
So, in theory, if you’re not driving lots of miles every day, the less you’d need to worry about running out of charge.
Ideally, electric cars are perfect for city drivers and those making shorter trips.
But, of course, that doesn’t mean if you travel longer distances that EVs aren’t for you. It just means you’d be more reliant on public charging stations being available to keep your charge topped up.
However, with more and more manufacturers turning their focus to electric, the range on EVs is always improving, and getting bigger, with some manufacturers claiming their EVs can reach over 500 miles in a single charge.
Thinking of making the switch to electric?
Charging at home can be the most convenient and cost-effective way of charging your new electric vehicle. The main thing to consider is if your home is suitable for a charger; for example, do you have dedicated off-street parking where the cables pose no obstruction to the public walkway?
You can also check when your off-peak charge time is to avoid paying more than you need, while there are also government grants available for home charging points – both cost-saving options.
Public charging can be used when travelling long distances, topping up when out and about or if home charging is not an option.
There are lots of great websites and apps available to help you find your nearest charging point – these also allow you to filter by different connector types, networks, location, access and payment options, including free to use chargers.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
There are many public charging providers, most of which have two different costs for use – one if you are a member of that network, and one for visitors. Members can usually benefit from lower tariffs.
The same elements as any other vehicle will be checked to be determined an EV’s roadworthiness, including tyres, the braking system and headlights. However, EV drivers will be delighted to know that they no longer need oil changes.
What’s more, electric vehicles don’t have a clutch, gearbox, timing belt or spark plugs, so there is much less to go wrong with an EV.
And, because most EVs can still produce power even when braking, movements are much easier on its brakes and tyres.
Fundamentally, an electric motor only has two or three moving parts, making it easier to service.
For a number of years now, there have been various grants available designed to make the transition to EV ownership more affordable for drivers.
However, as with the other grants, these are not always available and can be withdrawn at short notice.
The staff at the Innovation Centres are always on hand for the most up-to-date information.
The Arnold Clark Innovation Centre opened last year on Dumbarton Road in Glasgow’s West End with the aim of educating visitors about the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles and why they are becoming so important.
There are more than 60 vehicles on site available to test-drive, from plug-in and self-charging hybrids to fully electric vehicles.
There are no sales at the site, which is specifically an innovation, information, and educational centre.
You can also learn about the different types of charging and generous government tax and grants available if you're thinking of moving to electric.
We have also recently opened a second Innovation Centre in Stafford, England.