The number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the UK’s roads is rising rapidly. While new car registrations saw just a 1% rise year-on-year, more electric cars were bought in 2021 than in the previous 5 years combined – making it the best year in history for electric vehicle uptake.
The trend has continued in 2022, with 39,315 electric vehicles sold in March, a new record for a single month at the time. Sales of battery-only vehicles increased by 49% between August 2021 and August 2022, while sales of petrol cars fell by 18% and diesel car sales fell by 47%.
So, what’s driving so many motorists to EVs? We take a closer look at some of the key benefits they offer.
Exhaust fumes from petrol and diesel vehicles take a massive toll on our natural world, emitting an average of 127 g of CO2 per km. A huge benefit of electric vehicles is that they have no tailpipe emissions, so are a much ‘cleaner’ means of road transport.
Electric cars can also help reduce noise pollution, especially in busy cities, as they are much quieter to drive than conventional engine cars.
EVs produce fewer lifetime emissions than petrol and diesel cars and the electricity to charge them can be generated from renewable sources like wind and solar power.
Mining and manufacturing do have an environmental impact, as manufacturers use more sustainable practices on the production line, electric cars are set to become kinder to the planet.
One of the more noticeable benefits of electric cars is that, with planning and understanding the cost per mile, they cost less to run than combustion-engine vehicles. Even with rising energy prices in late 2022, electricity remains cheaper than petrol and diesel in a cost-per-mile comparison.
EV drivers also benefit from savings on tax as there's no Vehicle Excise Duty for pure electric cars. They’re also exempt from the clean air zone charges for driving through London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). Some towns and cities even offer free parking for electric cars.
You may find you benefit from lower servicing and maintenance costs too. EVs have fewer mechanical components than conventional cars and are less vulnerable to wear and tear. Figures show that just 18% of EVs fail their MoT test at the first attempt, while 20% of petrol vehicles fall at the first hurdle and 23% of diesels suffer the same fate.
Another big plus of electric vehicles is that they usually come equipped with cutting-edge technology for a more enjoyable driving experience. Think voice-controlled navigation systems and heated seats, more likely to come as standard.
It’s not all advanced entertainment systems and wireless phone charging either – modern vehicles feature the latest safety technology too. Lane departure warnings, assisted emergency brakes and blind spot detection are common in newer EVs and make driving safer for drivers, their passengers and all road users.