Electric Vehicle 101 – Everything you wanted to know

I recently caught up with Global EVRT Founders Ben Pullen and Afeez Kay, who want to get more people out of the petrol car and into one that’s more sustainable and less polluting. A lot of the questions below are what you probably always wanted answering...


How?

In the current state of play, there are three key areas where media, government and the private sector can help:
1. Have more coverage in the media with more accurate reporting on true EV viability
2. Government incentives that favour EVs and penalise ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) usage
3. More show and tell meeting and exhibitions to showcase EVs for test-drives. 


Why are Electric Vehicles so expensive?

EVs by design are less complex to build than their ICE counterpart, as they have fewer parts to manufacture. However, the most expensive component of an EV is the battery. Currently, the price of a battery has dropped by nearly 70% in the last 18 months and will continue to do so. Despite this promising development, there remains some artificial price inflation attached to an EV, which deters consumers from buying them. We are on the cusp of the price of EVs to drop dramatically and by 2020 we the industry expects new EV car sales to exceed new ICE car sales, in effect the predicted year of the ‘tipping point’.


What happens when you run out of battery?

Unlike ICE vehicles, EVs require you to spend a bit more time planning your long distance journey. In most cases, the average motorist does not drive more than 40 miles a day, and most EVs on the market have a range of close to 120 miles. However, if you find that you are running low on charge, there are currently over 6,500 charging locations in UK with 12,201 connectors, and at least 200 additional charging stations being added monthly.


Why should we care when we have so much oil?

On the contrary, oil is running out and getting harder and more expensive to find, hence the latest fixation of fracking and oil sands to compensate for the lack of oil as we once knew it. It’s an unhealthy, pure legacy addiction that needs to get untangled, as most rational people understand. However, this should not be the main reason we should care, we should also care because of the offshoot of oil exploration, in the devastation caused to the planets eco-system due to drilling and the fact that the damage might be irreversible.


Barriers to Adoption: I need to overcome a few challenges I am currently facing with EV uptake…

EV image and existence: designs are mixed, some look weird, why’s that? Not a great selection to choose from right now, when will this change?

This statement would have been true five years ago. There are more than 60 different EV models and growing, from the major car manufacturers. Plus we have Tesla with the Model S and X and the pending model 3, not to mention Aston Martin, Bentley and Porsche with the Mission-E.

Budget: I don’t have enough money to get one right now, when all is said and done I still don’t think it's worth it if I’m thinking from an opportunity/cost perspective. Convince me otherwise!

You can lease an EV rather than buy outright. I will actually recommend this as the technology is developing so fast that in 2 years time there will be EVs in the market with far superior capabilities than once we have now. Also, there are longer term savings on fuel and maintenance as EVs cost less to run, plus the main components of an EV with the most cost, the battery, is getting cheaper and will continue to do so until it does not make economic sense to produce an ICE vehicle. Other benefits include the government incentives associated with EVs, to name a few, no road tax and in the UK, you get £4,500 towards the purchase of your EV. (Some cities in the UK let you use the Bus lane, saving you time too) – think about the long term and get ahead of the curve now!

Infrastructure: I will always need to think too much about where to charge and length of time of doing so it puts me off. It’s a big step change from filling up at the pump!

Yes it is, like most new technology there is a lifestyle change. However as most charging is done at home and as the range of EVs are increasing dramatically, those instances when you will have to plan ahead will come few and far between. Not to mention that the charging technology to be able to charge a 300 miles range EV to 80% in 15 mins is just around the corner. The tipping point is fast approaching!

Thank you, I'm almost convinced!