Should I buy an electric vehicle?


This week, governments and car manufacturers signed an agreement on Cop26 promising to end the sale of fossil fuel-fueled cars and vans by 2040 “or sooner.” What does this mean for consumers?

What’s in the deal?

According to its terms, all cars and vans sold in countries that signed the agreement must have “zero emissions worldwide by 2040 and no later than 2035 in leading markets.” In practice, this means that the replacement for the combustion engine is likely to be a battery: hydrogen vehicle technology is evolving, but most car manufacturers are focusing on electric vehicles (EVs).

More than 30 countries signedincluding Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Canada and the UK are the only G7 countries on board.

Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, General Motors and Ford agreed to the agreement, but several car manufacturers noted their absence, namely BMW and Volkswagen. However, Volkswagen, looking to improve its image after “Dieselgate“, Has already said that 50 percent of its sales by 2030 and almost 100 percent by 2040 will be electric vehicles. Toyota, the world’s largest auto maker, has yet to sign up, but the Japanese company has long focused on hydrogen fuel cells than batteries.

Should I buy an electric car right away?

The target date for the deal is still 19 years away, but if you’re looking to buy a new car, an EV might seem like an attractive option.

The problem is that at the moment, especially in the UK, they are hard to find. Global scarcity microchips hit car makers hard, including electric car makers. Last monthJaguar Land Rover was forced to suspend production for a week due to chip shortages, while Renault cut production by 500,000 vehicles this year.

In September, Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius said the deficit could last until 2023.

You should also consider your lifestyle: there are still not enough charging stations. An analysis by New AutoMotive found that while there are 25,000 chargers in the UK, the country may need up to 480,000 by 2035 to meet demand. This means installing 40 to 50 new charging points every day from now until 2035.

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The road to zero

Meanwhile, while the time it takes to charge an electric vehicle is shrinking, it still takes much longer than refueling at a gas station. Renault Says Its New Megane E-Tech Can Travel From London To Newcastle with one 30 minute stop charge.

And if you don’t have off-road parking, you’ll have to fight for a roadside charging station, which can be costly or require cabling along the sidewalk. Ofgem is talking By 2035, the UK will need 19 million new home chargers.

Aren’t electric cars expensive?

A study by German battery specialist The Mobility House compared the cost of ownership of two relatively similar vehicles, the Hyundai Ioniq Elektro Trend and the Hyundai i30 1.4 T-GDI Trend DCT.

It emerged that although the owner of the electric vehicle had to allocate between € 5,000 (£ 4,280) to another € 10,000 for the purchase price of the car, after operating costs, insurance, etc., the electric vehicle owner ultimately received € 600. better.

However, the analysis took into account incentives and subsidies such as free road tax and a € 9,000 purchase premium that reward early adopters. In the UK, these subsidies are already being cut. Meanwhile, emergency coverage provider RAC says: third motorists cannot afford even the cheapest electric vehicles. Many cities, such as Madrid in Spain, offer free parking for EVs, while motorways and bridges are free or at least 50% cheaper for EV drivers in Norway.

Does this mean the end of the internal combustion engine?

The death knell for an internal combustion engine sounded many years ago – and manufacturers hear it. AlixPartners reports that global automakers are planning to invest $ 200 billion in electric vehicle technology between 2020 and 2024. The fact that Tesla, which only makes electric vehicles, is the world’s largest car manufacturer by market capitalization is a sign that investors are becoming more enthusiastic.

Consumers seem to have understood the message too: The Society of Car Manufacturers and Dealers, the industry body representing British automakers, released data earlier this month showing 287,000 electric vehicles will be registered in 2021, more than in the entire decade. while battery-powered electric vehicles will sell more than conventional diesel cars next year. Data from the EV Volumes online sales database shows global sales of all-electric vehicles. the Rose to 2.65 million in the first half of this year, up 168 percent over the previous year.

Will car companies stop selling internal combustion engines?

Many car companies have already set themselves the goal of discontinuing fossil fuel vehicles.

Volkswagen said it will stop by 2035; Ford, Fiat and Mercedes-Benz by 2030 and Opel by 2028. In the UK, Jaguar has said it will switch to an all-electric version by 2025, while the Mini, which has a UK manufacturing facility, is aiming for 2030.

Can cars really be green?

Transport emissions fastest growing a global source of emissions, accounting for about a quarter of all emissions. Electric vehicles significantly reduce tailpipe emissions, which is good for the climate and our health. Fewer vehicle emissions mean a significant improvement in air quality in our cities.

But they are not a silver bullet. Until electric cars everywhere run on clean energy – renewable or even nuclear – emissions are still being pumped out somewhere.

Analysis Reuters assumes that you need to drive an electric vehicle an average of 13,500 miles before it does less harm to the environment than a “gas-powered sedan.” Meanwhile, Volvo says that emissions from the manufacturing process can be 70 percent higher for electric vehicles than gasoline models, which means that motorists will have to travel 68,400 miles before their electric vehicles are greener than fossil fuel models, dropping to 30,000 miles if the vehicles are charged with clean energy.

The short answer is yes, if you’re buying a new car, an electric car is arguably better for the climate, health, and possibly your wallet in the long run. But as protesters outside Cop26 have made clear, the real solution is fewer cars, better public transport, and more bicycles.


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