YOU will buy an electric vehicle. It’s written in the pages of the Government’s gospel plan. By 2030 you won’t be able to buy anything new except an electric vehicle (EV).
So should you take the plunge now and become part of the future? Or should you await developments for another couple of years?
Here are seven good reasons for buying a new EV next month/year:
1. There is no time like the present especially with the 192-plate season starting on Monday. You might as well get a head-start on what is expected to be a flood of demand - and trade-in your petrol or diesel while you can still get reasonable money for it. And before you have to pay more for fuel and, possibly, tax.
2. There are huge financial incentives to buy an EV now – they might not be as attractive in a few years. They include €10,000 in VRT relief and SEAI grant, €600 for a home charger, €120 road tax, no BIK for company car drivers, partial toll reduction etc. But . . . these financial carrots may not be as generous in a few years. That’s because a future government may feel obliged to introduce more ‘sticks’ and reduce the number of current generous ‘carrots’ to persuade you to buy electric. They may be forced to do so as excise tax on fossil fuelled cars diminishes in parallel with burgeoning Exchequer support for increased numbers of EVs.
3. Straightaway you will notice lower running costs. That will be especially the case if you’re driving an older petrol or diesel and can avail of night-charge rates at home. According to the ESB’s comparative calculator a Nissan Leaf covering 15,000kms a year costs €3.81 a week in electricity. That compares with €32.40 a week in petrol bills for a small-family hatchback and €23.61 for a comparable diesel.
4. The choice of EV has been limited but is expanding all the time now. And over the coming months there will be several more new entrants.
5. It is often overlooked, but most EVs can be fun to drive. Unlike internal combustion-engined cars they can deliver all their pulling power from the second you move off. Significantly, they are also all automatic, making them easier to drive.
6. Because there are far fewer moving parts, maintenance costs are lower. One case in point is the lack of wear and tear on brake pads because people get used to lifting off the accelerator earlier when coming to stops or slowing down.
7. The public charging network is improving so you should not have to worry as much about range. In other words you should be able to travel further for longer. As well as that battery technology is extending the distance you can cover on one charge all the time.
Seven reasons to hold on:
1. It’s early days. What’s the hurry? Wait and see how things pan out over the next two or three years.
2. There is a serious lack of EVs in the moderate price zone (€25,000 to €35,000) at the moment. If you wait a couple or three years there will be big numbers – and therefore greater choice of affordable cars. Demand at the moment is outgunning supply with some new model ranges already sold out for 192.
3. The public charging system remains patchy. Not great, really in some areas. Wait until it is improved, as promised, in terms of availability and reliability.
4. There will be far more cars with longer driving ranges in a couple of years. So why dump your 1,000km-a-fill diesel for something that will do under half that – at best?
5. If you can’t get hooked up to a home-charging system yet, you are as well to wait until you can. There are thousands like you. This is a major difficulty. No such concerns with your current car.
6. If you’ve bought a new petrol, diesel, hybrid over the past couple of years you will take a hit in depreciation if you change right now.
7. There will be more secondhand and, therefore, cheaper EV options on the used market so the cost of change for you will be a lot lower.