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Electric Vehicles: Here’s everything you need to know

 

Today, families are more concerned about the environment than ever before. From their weekly grocery shop to the clothes that they buy, Irish consumers are paying closer attention to their daily habits and how they affect the world around them.

One topic that often creeps into the conversation around sustainability is electric vehicles (EVs) and the benefits that they can have on our planet.

But EVs are not just good for the environment. These top-performing vehicles are great to drive, cheaper to refuel and great for busy families on the run.

According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, there are currently over 12,000 electric vehicles and hybrids on Irish roads and their popularity is sure to grow over the coming year.

So, if you are thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle in 2020, we’ve got all the information that you need to know before making that all important decision.

How do they work?

While petrol and diesel cars run off a traditional internal combustion engine, electric cars are powered by an electrically charged battery pack. This pack powers the motor and turns the wheels.

Instead of being reliant on common fuels, such as petrol and diesel, these vehicles depend on electricity for power. This means that electric vehicles do not need a clutch, gearbox or an exhaust pipe which makes them much quieter and, many say, smoother to drive.

What is the typical range?

Range varies not only from make and model but also in terms of age. Take the Nissan LEAF for example. The LEAF is Europe’s top-selling electric car and it’s not hard to see why. This model has an impressive range of 300km which can pretty much take you across the country!

As congestion increases, there is a perception we are driving longer distances but in most cases, we are just travelling slower so our commutes generally fall within the range of electric cars.

Will buying an EV save me money?

Electric vehicles are now cheaper to buy than ever before. In fact, they are now comparable in price to petrol or diesel counterparts, when you factor in grants and other reductions.

Aside from the original purchase price you can also save money on road tax. Because road tax is calculated on the emissions level of the vehicle, electric vehicles are at the lowest tax band which is good news for your bank account.

How do I charge it?

Charging an electric vehicle is super easy! There are currently over 1,100 public charging points across the island of Ireland which allow users to quickly charge up their vehicle.

You can also charge your car at home overnight using a regular plug socket.  This is a cheap and effective way to make the most of off-peak night time electricity.

How will an EV affect my electricity bill?

According to the ESB calculator, if you travel 100km in a 5L electric vehicle it will cost you an additional €4.89 on your electricity bill. By comparison, a diesel car will cover the same distance for €6.70 in fuel. So, over time you could make a pretty nice saving.

Are all electric vehicles small and pokey?

Lots of people imagine electric vehicles as tiny, city motors that only work for single people or couples. However, that is not the case. Today’s EVs come in a range of different sizes for different needs.

Take the Nissan LEAF, for example. This spacious family car comes with a large boot and plenty of room in the back seat which is perfect for families considering switching to a more environmentally friendly motor.

What subsidies are available for electric vehicles?

Buying an electric vehicle has lots of benefits from the cost of refuelling to the positive effect that they can have on the environment but did you know that they can also help with your bottom line?

When you buy an EV there is VRT relief of up to €5,000 and an SEAI grant of €5,000. There is also a grant of up to €600 towards the purchase and installation of a home charger unit when you buy either a new or second-hand EV. How great is that?

What happens if I run out of electricity on the road?

The good news is that’s highly unlikely given the impressive range of most electric vehicles and the abundance of charging stations.

In fact, the Nissan Connect EV telematics system in the Nissan LEAF gives drivers constant updates that show vehicle and battery status, as well as charging locations on route.

The AA can also provide an EV with approximately 15pc of battery charge in 20 minutes, allowing the motorist to then proceed to the nearest charging point.

It is clear electric vehicles are the future of motoring. Will you be taking the plunge in 2020?

To get on the road in the Nissan LEAF – book a test drive today