Is it time the UK embraced electric cars?

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Posted in: Automotive Curiosity,BMW,Concept Cars,Electric Cars,Peugeot

BMW-i8

If you are looking to buy a car… Is it time to embrace electric?

It is almost fashionable to go green these days with the talk of electric cars online being widespread, but in reality, do we really consider embracing eco friendly driving when we look to buy a car? Is time to move away from buying cheap used cars in order to save money in the long run?

On a recent trip to U.S I was intrigued to see the amount of electric car charging points on the side of the road, particularly in California where perhaps the celebrity endorsement of the Prius Is taking affect. But in general, the U.S seems to be embracing the electric car concept much more than Europe and the UK. And with Toyota and now Tesla becoming more popular in the States this trend is set to grow. It is actually refreshing to see a country and innovative companies like Tesla, really embrace electric cars. So, why doesn’t the UK have the same outlook?

The guys over at MSN cars put this idea to the test a few weeks ago. Using the Peugeots new ‘iOn’ electric car, they tested the whole experience and practicality of going all out green.

The iOn was purchased for £12,000, which immediately blows the whole high purchase price problem out of the water. Additionally, a domestic charging station can be fitted in your home for around £1000. Not a bad price… but that can be significantly reduced by the various grants that are available. Some companies are even offering a free installation to owners of electric cars and plug-in hybrids!

So the cost is looking good already, but what about the practicality?

The Pod Point will be wired into you main circuit board with the charging point mounted on a wall outside which means it will now charge the cars at 16 amps instead of 10 amps. The charge cable wires are generally around 5 metres long but you will be able to find a longer lead if needed. Now you can plug in and get charged! It costs between £2-£3 to get fully juiced up and takes around six hours. Not ideal, but there are 50 ‘Fast Charging’ stations in the UK, which gives you an 80% charge in just 30 minutes.

This is arguably the biggest obstacle for people embracing electric cars in the UK when they think of what car to buy. The worry of “what if I run out of charge?”. I agree, and there is no doubt that their needs to be more of these ‘Fast Charging’ pods across the UK to give people more confidence and accessibility in committing to an electric car.

What you do have to think of though, is that electric cars and the smaller iOn in particular aren’t yet designed for long distance commutes, so driving on the motorway isn’t the best way to get the most out of your charge. But, It can happily go at 70+mph if required. And In this particular experiment, the iOn was tested to see if it lived up to it’s 90 mile range on a full charge and in the 65 mile round trip it still had some juice in the tank.

It proves that the electric car is becoming more and more practical and can meet most of motoring needs. The iOn might not be the best for long distance travel but if you are travelling more than 90 miles per day, there are more equipped hybrid and electric cars out there. But the bottom line is that the price of an electric car is viable and the practicality can satisfy most needs. And with Petrol prices rising in the UK electric car motoring is starting to make perfect sense and people should start to embrace it as they do in the States.

If you are thinking of making the switch and buying a new or used, Check out Carhoots.com – the new simple, fun and social way to research and buy a car.


Check out the Peugeot iOn

peugeot ion

If you are looking for a more sportier and expensive looking electric car, the BMW i8 Spyder could be an option…

BMW i8 Spyder

or how about the Rimac Concept 1 which is set to go on sale this year…

Rimac Concept 1

Maybe not the most practical of electric cars but a sign that this is the way the auto industry is going, so perhaps you should too.

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