Wednesday , June 19 2024

Electric Vehicle Resources: Prices, Charging Costs, Regulations etc.

The new electric vehicle regulations make buying a car at this time a nightmare.  The problem is compounded by cities introducing low emission and zero emission zones.

The links below should be useful for anyone researching EVs (electric vehicles).

The sale of new diesel and petrol cars is banned after 2030.  Some hybrids will be allowed to be sold until 2035.  See NEW REGULATIONS

From December 2020 new EVs will qualify for green number plates.

The government offers grants of 75% of the cost of installing a “homecharge” charging point. HOMECHARGE SCHEME .  A special, dedicated, high power, home charging point, such as covered by this scheme, will be essential if you wish to charge your car overnight.

The “plug in car grant” of £3000 upon purchasing an EV is usually taken by the car dealer. Your electric car must be able to go 70 miles on a charge to qualify for the grant.  See VEHICLES ELIGIBLE and for details:  PLUG IN GRANT

Cities are introducing clean air zones. Most of these will ban diesels manufactured before 2015 and implement access charges to the zones for vehicles that generate emissions.  See CLEAN AIR CITIES AND LOCAL REGULATIONS. Zero emission zones will undoubtedly be introduced before 2030 to encourage EV purchases.

Buying an electric car

In the UK major cities are about 100m (160km) apart so if you want an EV that can get you around with 40km range to spare when you arrive a real 200km+ range is needed.  Electric car batteries should be kept charged between 20% and 80% of full charge for a long life. This means we must deduct 20% from the maximum range figures for an EV.

You will have to charge the EV when you arrive. This might take 30 minutes for an 80% charge at a 100kW commercial charging point, an hour at a 50KW charging point or 8 hours at a dedicated domestic charging point or 20 hours+ from the ordinary mains.

The Tesla Roadster goes 970km on a single charge, yours for only £189,000 !   At under £40,000 is the VW ID Pro with a 470km range (the Skoda version is a bit cheaper at £35,950).  At the £30,000 level the 58KWh version of the VW ID Pro has a lower range (350km). At under £20,000 the Seat Mii has a 195km range. The Dacia Spring at £14,000 and 170km range is the cheapest.

This database of Electric Vehicles has most vehicles and data, prices etc. and is an invaluable resource: EV-DATABASE  a less detailed source that also covers hybrids is GO ULTRA LOW.

Electric car battery life and price

Electric car batteries are usually guaranteed for 65000-100,000 miles or for 8 years if the battery has gone less than 100,000 miles.  Kia, Mitsubishi and Toyota seem to have the lowest battery life and will almost certainly need new battery packs within 10 years.

At present the battery is likely to cost 30% of the price of a car.  Some sources are upbeat on battery life. Expect to replace the battery every 100,000 miles although batteries may turn out to last longer.  The battery replacement costs + electricity costs will be higher than running a high mpg diesel saloon.


Battery FAQ

EDF Review of EV Batteries.

Commercial Charging Points and the Economics of EV

The UK’s first, large, commercial charging station wasopened in Braintree in July.

Braintree EV Charging Station

Paying for your commercial charge is likely to involve a “Charging Point Network Membership”, a phone app or your credit card.

Some typical charging networks are BP Pulse, Osprey, Ubitricity, Source etc.  A list of charging point networks and links is provided HERE.  If you are a charging network member you pay perhaps £8 a month membership fee then 15p a kW hour for a rapid charge, non-members paying by credit card are typically charged 30p a kWh.  At 30p a kWh an electric vehicle costs more per mile than a high mpg diesel car.

Local Councils are already subjecting kerbside charging units to local taxes. Points in the London Boroughs of Camden, Kensington & Chelsea, and Westminster are subject to a 1p per minute surcharge.

The running costs of an EV will turn out to be higher than those of a modern diesel saloon.  Here is the calculation:

The battery will cost £8000 and need replacing in 100,000 miles = 8p per mile.

At 0.4 kWh per mile, 30p per kWh electricity cost and no charging point membership, electricity = 12p a mile

Total EV cost is 20p a mile.

An efficient petrol car (60 mpg) with £1.15 per litre fuel prices will cost about 10p a mile.

A charge for a 50 kWh EV with a 200km (125m) range will be £15, not including battery depreciation, and £25 including battery depreciation.  The high efficiency petrol car will cost £12.50 for the same journey.

Owning an EV may double your transport costs. Remember to give householders £10-20 for a charge using their EV charger or they might not invite you back!

The charging point networks have set out from the beginning to obfuscate charges. As an example, the Source London Network specifies that a 22 kWh charger will cost 14.3 p a minute for a non-member. Such a charger will supply 0.36 kW a minute which is 15.9 p a mile. This is almost 4p per mile more than BP Pulse chargers.  You can gain comfort from knowing that after an hour of charging you will have given the Council 60p.  Councils have an unerring instinct for how to damage the High Street.

The government should introduce a standard style for charger pricing such as pence per kWh so that consumers are not cheated.  Would we accept garages pricing petrol in p per pint, £ per litre, £ per tonne etc?

As low emission zones change to no emission zones anyone buying a petrol car will have problems and the second hand value of the car will plunge so buying either a low emission petrol car or an EV in 2020 is a gamble if money is the main criterion.  Hybrids may be the solution in 2020 but not in 2025 and hybrids have low mpg figures.

This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog:

About John Sydenham

Dr John Sydenham has worked in International Pharmaceuticals and for one of the "big four" International Consultancies. He ran a successful company for 15 years and after selling the company devotes his time to travel, science, black labradors and freedom.

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