According to research conducted by The Telegraph, the United Kingdom is now within the top 20 most environmentally friendly countries in the world and is set to rise in ranking in the upcoming years. All members of the public are actively encouraged to make even the smallest of lifestyle changes to contribute towards creating an eco-friendly nation.
For many years, vehicles have remained one of the leading contributors to global warming with emissions continuing to cause a detrimental effect on the environment. With this in mind, we have devised a comprehensive guide to finding the right car to meet your requirements, along with ensuring that your choice is as eco-friendly as possible.
Finding The Right Car For You
As a nation of car lovers, our passion for the most modernised, fast and technology-filled vehicles is, unfortunately, doing more harm than good. Car pollutants continue to cause not only an immediate short-term effect on the environment but also an increasingly harmful long-term effect.
Vehicles emit a variety of different potential fatal gases which cause harm to both environmental and human health. A vehicle exhaust alone fills the air with carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide, both of which contribute towards global warming. The combination of gases become trapped in the earth’s atmosphere, which is the leading causes of adverse temperatures that are often tricky to predict. If temperatures are free to continue to rise in years to come, the survival of the human race does become at risk.
Along with air pollutions, vehicles also contribute towards growing water pollution; also known as acid rain. Acid rain is caused by a combination of gases emitted from the exhaust and rainwater, which is then filtered into the ocean, harming the quality of the earth’s water supply.
The negative impacts of vehicles mentioned above depict just the start of the growing issue of global warming. Luckily, thanks to expert research, there are now a wide variety of ways in which you can work towards lowering emissions; the main one being transitioning to an electrically powered vehicle.
What Is An Electric Car?
Unlike a standard vehicle, electric cars are powered by a battery pack that fuels an electric motor, which then turns the wheels. Not only is electricity capable of powering the vehicle to begin moving, but also operate all other components such as the headlights, air conditioning, heating and stereo. There are no limits to the abilities of an electrically powered car as opposed to a fuel engine; there will also be no differences in the way that you operate the vehicle.
There are three different types of electric vehicles to choose from and each is categorised against their ratio of electrical energy to fuel, these are:
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
A battery electric vehicle is a car that is entirely powered by its battery pack; the only source of propulsion is through the electric motor. Battery packs on a BEV vehicle can only be charged using an electric vehicle charging station and the charged motor is used to power all components of the vehicle.
Hybrid-Electric Vehicle (HEV)
Unlike a BEV, a hybrid-electric vehicle is powered by a combination of the electric motor and conventional fuel. An HEV is created with a two-part drive system and includes the internal components of both an electric vehicle and combustion engine, found in a standard car. There are many different types of HEV vehicles depending on the ratio of electric motor to conventional fuel you would prefer.
Plug-in Hybrid-Electric Vehicle (pHEV)
Plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, again, include a combination of electrical and conventional fuel. However, when opting for a pHEV, the majority of the power is due to the battery pack, and there is only a small combustion engine included. The only time that conventional fuel will be used is when the battery pack runs low on power.
What Are The Benefits Of An Electric Vehicle?
The most significant advantage of opting for an electric car is, of course, their kindness to the environment. Battery electric vehicles in particular, have no exhaust, which means that when driving, no harmful gases will be emitted into the atmosphere. Although you will need to utilise a constant supply of electricity to power the vehicle, you will dramatically decrease your greenhouse gas emissions and instead, begin to use renewable energy.
Not only is investing in an electrically powered vehicle rewarding in terms of working towards lowering global warming, but it can also prove beneficial in simplifying your daily routine. Below are just some of the many additional benefits of an electric vehicle.
Money Saving Alternative
An electrically powered vehicle is cheaper to both run and maintain. Fueling an electric car is thought to cost up to a third less than opting for petrol or diesel alternatives. A plug-in hybrid, in particular, will save you the biggest chunk of money. You can work out how much money you will save on each journey by switching to an electric vehicle using the Go Ultra Low calculator.
As an electric car has less internal components, it also means that you will notice a dramatic drop in maintenance costs. A petrol or diesel vehicle includes many different temperamental features such as an exhaust, starter motors and gears, all of which are known for requiring regular maintenance. On the other hand, a battery electric vehicle has just three main components which are the charger, motor and inverter.
As the issue of global warming continues to grow, the government have turned to offering incentives and tax savings to those who opt for environmentally friendly alternatives. When considering making the transition to an electric vehicle, you could receive a grant of up to £3,500 to help towards the cost of using charging points.
Those who are beginning to offer electric vehicles as company cars will also have their tax dropped to only 9%. Similarly to the journey cost calculator, you can also work out the tax of your company car using the Comcar calculator.
Smoother & Quieter Journeys
As electric vehicles have no internal combustion engine and if they do, are used very little, they are considerably quieter. From the moment you turn the engine on, they are virtually silent, which makes for a more pleasant and relaxed drive. Electric motors are also able to achieve a higher level of torque, which makes accelerations quicker and smoother.
Where Can You Charge An Electric Car?
The fantastic advantage of an electric car is that due to the rising popularity and increasing government incentives, it is now easier than ever to find a charging station. It is your choice whether you opt to charge at home or at public charging points; however, many drivers utilise a combination of both.
Many petrol stations across the UK now provide drivers with access to electric charging points, and it is more than likely that you will also be able to spot points in local supermarket car parks. BP Chargemaster is the quickest growing supplier of electrical charging points and to this date, have over 50,000 customers across the nation and Europe. They install home, work and public charging points; all of which are durable, weatherproof and can be used both in and outside.
Depending on how quickly you would like your vehicle to be charged, some public charging points are free. There are three different types of charging points which are categorised into rapid, fast and slow. If you were to opt for a slow public charging point, it is likely to be free; however, it may take up to 12 hours. Those that fall into the fast or rapid category are likely to be located at motorway service stations and cost around £6.50 for a half an hour charge.
You can locate your nearest public charging point using the Zap Map app.
Due to the incentives of a drop in tax when offering electric cars as a company vehicle, many businesses are now opting for fitting charging points on their premises. Not only can organisations enjoy a drop in tax, but there is also a Workplace Charging Scheme grant available which supports the cost of installation. Corporate companies can gain up to £500 for each charging point, which covers 75% of the installation cost.
As mentioned previously, the government provide grants to those who would like to convert to electric vehicles, which means that this can be put towards the cost of a domestic charging point installation. Having the ability to charge at home overnight make the process convenient, secure and cost-effective. Home charging points can be fitted to any exterior wall or even in a garage and similarly to public points, are weatherproof and long-lasting.
When installing a home charger, there is a choice between a 3kW or 7kW unit depending on how quickly you wish to charge the vehicle. Opting for a 7kW charging point will come alongside extra power, which means that although it may prove to be a little more expensive, your charging time will be cut by 50%.
Along with a range of low-cost electricity plans for homes, Ampower is now proud to offer EV home charging installation in partnership with EV Charge UK. EV Charge UK is one of the leading installers of domestic charging points, ensuring that during the process, your charging point meets all industry policies and regulations.
Transition To An Electric Vehicle And Enjoy The Benefits!
In the past, it was often assumed that, as a constant supply of electricity was required to power electric vehicles, they would cost more overall. However, due to the continuous evolution in technology and resources, not only will electric vehicles help towards becoming more eco-friendly, but they will also cost less to maintain and run. If you are interested in investing in an electric vehicle, we suggest taking a look at Car Magazine’s guide to the best EVs of 2019!