Sunday 15 September 2019

Motoring Advice: How soon will fully electric vehicles be with us?


Photo: Stock
Photo: Stock

Aidan Timmons and Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham team up to help readers make the right choice with their next car. Aidan visits dealers all over the country to produce a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars. He is co-editor of Motor Trade Publishers, who supply a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses. Eddie is author of former best-seller 'Clever Car Buying'

I've got an 2012 Hyundai at present (120,000km, putting on 20k/year). I'd love to hold out and buy a fully electric vehicle (EV) in a few years, but which one would offer good range? How soon will they be with us? Also, I do a lot of work in the car , so a good Bluetooth/ quiet drive is a must.

Aidan: Covering 20,000km/year is one thing. The way mileage is recorded is another. Brands are investing heavily in battery technology, so my guess is that we could see a dramatic rise in the range of electric vehicles in the near-term. For instance, the new Nissan Leaf will have a 40kWh battery and a range of about 378km. Real-world figures might be lower. There is an extended range version earmarked for late 2018/early 2019. However, it will cost more and take a little longer to charge, so you need to consider this too. Let's say your ideal EV is between 18 to 24 months away. Will you be able to bridge the gap to a new car? I think you might need a stepping stone in the interim, so consider changing for a similar car to yours and reassess the situation when there is better availability of several competing models. That way you have more choice.

Eddie: Get yourself into a good petrol hybrid - I suggest a Toyota Prius - for the next three to four years. That is the safest stepping stone to electric. And if the electric scene still isn't to your taste at that stage, go hybrid again. I expect the EV landscape to have changed dramatically by then. Meantime, play the each-way game and go hybrid.

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We love getting your enquiries and try to reply to as many as possible here or via email. The ones dealt with here often represent a cross section of individual questions. You can help us help you with our free, independent, advice by including the following in your queries:

* Budget (including trade-in).

* Annual mileage (in kms).

* Size of car required (number of seats).

* Present car (make, model, year and mileage) if relevant.

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