We’ve bought a few electric cars over the last couple of months, and we’ll be honest – this is a completely new area for us (as it will be for the entire car buying industry)
We’ve been doing a lot of research into them recently as there’s an ever-increasing range of electric cars now on the market, which is leading more new car buyers to swap pump for plug!
We thought it would be useful to offer some insight into the electric car world for you too and answer a few questions that we often get asked.
If you’d like a personal valuation on your electric car in the meantime, head to our home page www.sellyourcar2jack.com and enter your details – no different to a fuel car, we are still offering better prices than our competitors and our level of service remains the same.
Top 5 electric cars on the market
An electric car still isn’t for everyone – but if you live in the city, have a short commute – or take occasional short trips, an electric car could be ideal. In fact, thanks to ongoing leaps in battery technology, range is much less of an issue than it used to be, so even if you have to make the occasional long journey it could be worth looking at an electric car.
But if you are constantly doing long journeys, or do a lot of mileage with work, then you’re probably better off sticking to a fuel car for now.
1. Tesla Model S (starts at £53,500 after government grant)
The Tesla is a great looking car – I’m sure we don’t need to tell you that. While it’s not the truly affordable, accessible electric car many are crying out for, the level of performance and efficiency it offers at the price of a large executive saloon is truly astounding.
If you were to drive at a steady 55mph, you may get up to 340 miles from the “range” of the battery pack, but with more realistic motorway use, it’s likely to be closer to 300 miles.
2. Nissan Leaf (starts at £21,290 after government grant)
The Leaf remains a popular choice thanks to its practical interior and low price. If you’re happy enough with the charging times and still limited range (when compared to a petrol or diesel), there’s little that should dissuade you from getting a Leaf.
The new battery uses state-of-the-art technology to pack in more charge, so now you can go up to 155 miles at a time which is a commendable achievement.
3. Tesla Model X (starts at £71,900 after government grant)
There’s nothing else quite like the Tesla Model X out there. It’s the MPV version of the Model S electric car using similar chassis, drivetrain and suspension components, combined in a more practical body.
You can enjoy a 250-mile range, which is impressive for an electric car.
4. BMW i3 (starts at £25,680 after government grant)
The BMW i3 is a small eco-friendly city car that is a hoot to drive and feels premium compared to rivals such as the Nissan Leaf and Kia Soul EV that, on the flipside, cost a fair bit less than the BMW.
The styling is quite Marmite, some love it, some hate it… we’re still not quite sure to be honest!
Top speed is limited to 93 mph to preserve range – the all-electric model should be good for 190 miles, while the range extender can stretch that to 276 miles.
5. Renault Zoe (starts at £13,945 after government grant)
It’s a comfortable and practical ride, so you could potentially spend a while in Zoe. Its range extends to around 100 miles of mixed driving conditions – more than enough for most inner-city drives – and that’s when the car is in Eco mode.
So, there you have our top picks and ranges of the top 5 electric cars on the market.
The used market for electric cars is also pretty attractive if you’re buying (If you’re selling then it can be a distressing experience as the initial depreciation on many electric cars is proving very high) The market seems to feel concerned that technology is moving so fast that an electric car even a few years old may be ‘old tech’ fairly soon, and that is reflected in the prices.
Be aware that if you’re looking to buy a used car, the battery life/range reduces with age and mileage so make sure you take this into consideration. Some cars come with the battery and you own it, but some are leased, which if buying a used car could be a better alternative.
Make sure you do your research and ask these questions before you purchase.
The facts everyone wants to know about electric cars…
Are they reliable?
It’s the reliability aspect that puts off most buyers. Although there’s a boom now in Electronic vehicles, you’re not really an early adopter as they’ve been around in the UK since 2011.
One Cornwall-based taxi firm runs a Leaf with 110,000 miles on the clock and it’s still working as it did the day it was delivered. A taxi firm in Blackpool runs a fleet of 21 Leafs (with more on the way) and has found them to extremely reliable.
How often does the battery need replacing?
It’s the cost of replacement battery packs and whether or not the motor will fail that many potential owners worry about. But long-term owners have found that, as long as a battery pack is recharged and discharged regularly, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t rack up a decade’s use and 150,000 miles or more before it has to be replaced or repaired, even if it loses some capacity.
The cost of replacing a pack if it’s not on a lease arrangement starts at about £4,920 (for a Nissan Leaf.)
Should I lease or own the battery?
If you buy a more expensive electric car like a Tesla or a BMW i3, then the battery is something you’ve bought along with the rest of the car. Many others are only offered with a leasing deal on the battery, with charge that scale up as mileages mount.
A Nissan Leaf or a Renault Zoe fall into this group along with many others.
Battery lease costs are around £70pcm. And don’t forget you’ll need to add a charger at home. This can be in the £279 to £354 range depending on speed of charge.
So all that is something to factor in while you’re looking at fuelling costs of only about 2p per mile. Maintenance costs can be as little as a quarter what a comparable petrol or diesel car would cost too, so there are definite compensations.
What if the battery runs out on my journey?
Most mass market electric cars today have a range of 100-150 miles before the battery runs flat. Some of the top-end cars, such as Tesla’s electric sports cars, can run for 334 miles before needing a plug socket.
While that may not sound much compared to the 400-500 miles or more that a petrol or diesel car can manage before refilling, most car journeys in the UK would easily be accomplished in an electric car.
Of course, some people will need to go much further – and that’s where plug-in hybrids come in, using a petrol engine to run an electric motor after the battery runs out.
Are electric cars cheaper?
In terms of upfront costs, electric cars are still clearly more expensive than conventional ones – but companies like Renault and Nissan are getting around that with deals where buyers lease the battery (as above). For example, the UK’s best-selling electric, the Nissan Leaf, is £16,680 with the battery on lease for a monthly fee, rising to £21,680 if you buy the battery outright.
Electricity is certainly cheaper than petrol or diesel. Travelling 100 miles in an electric car will cost £3-£4 depending on energy tariffs, compared with £15 in a petrol car.
Overall there are some definite pro’s to buying an electric car, you can also read up on our article “Should I Buy A Tesla?” for more information, but it all depends really on whether or not an EV suits your lifestyle.
As always, we hope this helps but do your research thoroughly before buying a new car or used one.
Let us know if you have any questions,