Tuesday, March 28News For London

Are electric cars worth the price? Pros and cons of plug-in vehicles

Electric cars are becoming more common than ever in British roads, and they are also becoming a much more realistic alternative to gas fueled options. Everyone is talking about it, but a lot of people is still reluctant. The major reason? The price to pay upfront.

Courtesy of Tesla, 2021

When talking about purely electric vehicles the first name that comes to our mind is Tesla. The company run by Elon Musk is considered to be the pioneer of this range, with four cars in the market and two on the way, promising a budget vehicle that could cost just 25’000$ in the next three years.
With the improvements of battery lives, lower prices and the expansion of the charging network, 2021 becomes the best year to switch to an EV.

It is essential to recognize that electric vehicles are definitely better than gas-powered ones for the planet and environment. More and more companies are offering electric cars in their range, including luxury brands such as BMW and Porsche. But despite the higher market price of these vehicles, new studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology calculated that plug-in vehicles owner may actually turn out to save their money in the long run. As a result, they are definitely worth their price (MIT,2021).

They are eco-friendly

First of all, these types of vehicle are one of the best ways to reduce planet-warming gas emissions, according to scientists. Plus, they are proven to be greener over the time too, despite the emissions of the batteries manufacturing process.

The researchers say average “lifetime” emissions from electric cars are up to 70% lower than petrol cars in countries like Sweden and France (where most electricity comes from renewables and nuclear), and around 30% lower in the UK (BBC,2021).

Fully electric vehicles don’t use an exhaust system, and they don’t pump fumes as petrol ones do. With the newest technologies, these devices help create environment friendly vehicles, more efficient and quieter. Creating a more comfortable and relaxing driving experience, they become ideal to contrast the sound pollution of the cities.

The price: explained

Their high market price is easily explained by the cost of lithium batteries. This is covering up to a third of the value of the vehicle itself. These batteries are very similar to the ones we hold in our mobile phones and tablets, but extremely bigger and capable of delivering much more energy.

In terms of daily expenses, electric cars like Tesla, require a much lower maintenance. The cost of Plug-in vehicles ‘fuel’ is as low as 3p a mile. The price of a full charge is an estimated £5 on the electricity bill, allowing you to ride up to 325 miles. This resulting much cheaper than the full tank price of gas or diesel (Tesla,2021).

Helps for the government

The UK government set a low-emission vehicle grant, covering the 35% of the initial price and up to £3000, creating a cash incentive for buyers to switch to electric cars and vans. Also, the Electric Vehicle Home-charge Scheme grants up to £350 to cover the instalment of a home charging station (Gov.uk, 2021).

Also, until 2025, all electric cars are known to be Congestion Charge-exempt. Which is one the major concerns of Londoners and could deal with a saving of £2500 every year, based on five days commuting per week in the city. And using an EV also means that you are exempt from paying another £12.50 a day to access the London Ultra Low Emission Zone.

Batteries life and depreciation

One of the biggest concerns on buying this type of vehicles is regarding batteries and the value loss due the deterioration of them.
When it comes to power units, exactly like happens to our mobile devices, the capacity of this products is reducing with usage, and the need to plug it in results to be more frequent. Severe winter conditions could deal with a shorter range too. In terms of reselling and depreciation, it has been shown that both electric and hybrid cars retain their values better than regular gas-fuelled options.


The cost of battery replacement goes from £3900 to £5400 for the Tesla vehicles, the best-selling vehicles of this range. And this is an expense to take in consideration as the life of the battery is expected to last from 186’000 to 310’000 miles. Circa seven years.

Charging stations

Customers could also worry about the possibilities of charging their vehicle. The plug-in stations in the country are circa 38,775  mostly concentrated in London (ZapMap, 2021.) This number is enormously lower than the one of regular petrol stations. Finding a charging station if you are driving through wild areas or in a long-distance trip could be challenging, but more areas and facilities are embracing EV chargers, as the continue demand for charging stations increases.


Charging could take a while

Comparing to the five-minute fuel tank filling, charging your electric vehicle could take long. This can take from up to two days for the slow devices to as fast as 30 minutes for the 80% of the full charge with the ultra-rapid charging device, depending of the type of station.



Limited range  

The risk of running out of electricity could cause a bit of anxiety. Depending on the type of car, the miles range can go from 100 to 402 miles with the Tesla Model S Long Range (General Motors, 2021). This results on being the perfect vehicle for moving through the traffic of a city like London, but could be problematic in case of a long trip.