Why consider going electric?

£1,000s

Maintenance Savings

3

Times less co2 emissions

£1,000s

Savings on fuel

Convenient

refuel at home

ev background

Since the beginning of the 21st century we have seen a year-on-year increase in the technology, popularity and in turn ownership of electric vehicles (EVs). However, innovation on this scale inherently brings some pessimism leading to conflicting and misleading information. We believe a certain amount of this can be attributed to preconceptions that people have towards EVs based on the early models we saw 5-10 years ago, while some can also be due to a general lack of understanding or awareness regarding the new technology and infrastructure. Ultimately this leads to the previous limitations associated with EVs being utilised as warning-off statements.

The transition to electric can be daunting in itself, add some outdated obstacles to the equation and it becomes extremely off-putting for some people, opting instead to stick to what they know. We want to change that and put some facts straight.

It may come as some surprise that the first electric car was actually invented in 1832 as people sought an alternative solution to the traditional horse and carriage. However, further developments stalled until the early 20th century when electric cars started to gain traction in America, Thomas Edison who famously invented the lightbulb took a keen interest, starting work to improve the batteries in electric vehicles whilst building his own electric car.

1997 saw another milestone as Toyota released the Prius, the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle. Between this period to 2010, there was a significant push towards electric vehicles with almost every mainstream car maker attempting to breach the market, including Tesla who didn’t initially have much success with the Roadster.

In 2011 the Nissan Leaf became the first modern pure EV hatchback produced for the mass market offering a range of 100 miles. Since then, the interest and uptake in EVs has gone beyond early adopters and enthusiasts.

Fast forward to May 2021, over 500,000 EVs were being driven on roads throughout the United Kingdom (UK). This momentum has seemingly continued, fast forward to 2023 where we have just seen the best year for new electric car sales, increasing by 17.8% with 314,687 new EV registrations – up from 267,204 in 2022.

While these figures are encouraging and provide clear evidence that more of the UK population are embracing the transition to electric, we wanted to take a deeper look into the current EV landscape including pros and cons, as well as busting some of the more common myths.

How many electric vehicles have been sold in the uk?

Number of new electric cars sold in the UK by year

Year

2023

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

Number of new electric car registrations (source:SMMT)

314,687

267,203

190,727

108,205

37,850

15,510

Debunking the myths surrounding EV ownership

Through Seven Asset Management and Seven Logistics we have over 25 years’ experience operating vehicles within the logistics and transport industries, owning and operating a variety of electric vehicles from cars to specialist refrigerated vans and trucks in the process. This unique opportunity to have these vehicles on our fleet enables us to thoroughly road test them within day-to-day life as well as business operations, providing valuable insight to our customers and a first-hand account to any questions.

So, using our experience lets look at debunking some of the most common myths surrounding EV ownership…

EV Range

One of the biggest myths we encounter is that EV range is limited and the charging network available throughout the UK is not sufficient to aid this, a conversation that largely goes hand in hand with ‘range anxiety’ which is further heightened in the winter months.

In short, if you are worried about vehicle range limiting or prolonging your journey, don’t be. The truth is that this is completely different to the reality, here’s why:

  • A national travel survey found that 99% of car journeys in England are 100 miles or less. (REF)
  • The UK market now offers over 30 models that offer a 200 plus mile range on a single charge, with many new models reaching over 300 miles.
  • A study found that we have more rapid chargers per every 100 miles of road than any other country in Europe. (REF)

To further highlight this, if we gave you two figures, one being the number of petrol stations in the UK and the other the number of charging points in the UK, could you guess which one is which?

  1. 50,000
  2. 8,365 (REF)

1 is obviously the number of petrol stations right?… Wrong, in October 2023 the UK surpassed 50,000 electric charging points marking an increase of 68% since September 2022 (REF), of which 10,497 of these are rapid charging devices (25-99kW) adding up to 100 miles in eight minutes. In addition to this, it is also worth noting the increasing number of home and workplace charging points being installed adding ease and convenience to charging.

EV charge points installed throughout the UK

Source: charging devices listed on Zapmap database

Our Group Managing Director Tom Dunnett, an avid EV enthusiast and Tesla owner of four years recently undertook an exercise to test the EV network further, undertaking a 476 mile return trip from Ipswich to Wakefield via Cannock in a Maxus eDeliver9 with 219 mile range (WLTP), documenting his journey ‘The All Electric Man in a Van, Top Gear Challenge!’.

Setting upon the route having pre-planned charging stops with up to 150kWh available, he utilised a Paua card to pay for charging, a process described as “an effortless tap and go system, perfect for the operation of any electric vehicle.” However, it’s important to note it wasn’t all plain sailing, one area not considered prior to departure was the charging capacity of the vehicle itself, not all EVs are capable of rapid or super charging. In this instance, the Maxus is only capable of taking maximum 70kWh charge, meaning the average charge time over four stops was 37 minutes. So, this is definitely something worth considering and researching further before purchasing an electric vehicle.

The Real Cost of EVs

The second myth we wanted to discuss is that EVs are too expensive, while the environmental benefits are often discussed, their price also is. As with any vehicle there are initial upfront costs at the point of purchase, however if we consider the total cost of ownership they often rank cheaper than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

The total cost of ownership for vehicles encompasses everything from maintenance and servicing to refuelling, research shows an EV will often cost substantially less than an ICE counterpart due to having considerably less moving parts. For example, there’s no engine, no exhaust and no gears negating three major sources of expenditure on ICE vehicles. As well as this, there is less pressure on brakes as a portion of the deceleration is done by regenerative braking, this kinetic energy generated is then put back into the battery.  

As well as this you can also expect reduced costs when refuelling. A Tesla Model 3 Long Range travels up to 348 miles on a single charge costing £20.52 at 27 pence per kWh, a Diesel vehicle covering the same mileage would cost just over £42 at 154.55 pence per litre. If we apply these figures alongside the average UK mileage for 2023 which was 9,035 miles (REF), each driver could expect to save £554.19 on fuel per year.

How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle at home?

Market leading electric vehicles and their home charging costs

Electric Vehicle

Tesla Model 3 Long Range

Kia e-Niro

VW ID.3 Pro

Nissan Lead e+

Audi e-tron 55

Hyundai Kona Electric

Mini Electric

Vauxhall Corsa-e

Battery Capacity (Useable)

76 kWh

64 kWh

58 kWh

59 kWh

86.5 kWh

64 kWh

28.9 kWh

45 kWh

Electric Cost (24p/kWh - April 2024 Cap)

£18.24

£15.36

£13.92

£14.16

£20.76

£15.36

£6.93

£10.80

We have over fifty electric vehicles within our commercial vehicle fleet including Teslas, Vauxhall vans and Mercedes vans. So, let’s look at some comparative figures….

  • Maintenance comparison to previous company cars (same user?? E.g. Dave North car compared to Tesla ) or maintenance YTD figures for company cars
  • Fuel consumption cost in comparison to electric cost?
  • Expenditure on podpoints CO2 saved etc etc

While EVs do currently cost more to buy, their running costs are typically less than petrol and diesel vehicles and production costs are reducing on a yearly basis. Furthermore, if you are to take advantage of off-peak electricity your journey may cost as little as 8p per mile.