Electric vehicles (EVs) are revolutionising the automotive industry and becoming increasingly popular with drivers. Smooth, responsive and wonderfully quiet to drive, EV's are a cheaper and cleaner alternative to petrol and diesel cars. As a result, more and more people are converting to electric.
There is a huge amount of governmental support behind the use of electric cars, with grants available towards buying vehicles and installing charge points. In addition to a 75% grant for the provision of domestic charging points, the UK government is investing £37 million into the infrastructure for plug-in vehicles. There are also dozens of websites and apps dedicated to supporting current and future electric drivers. BMW Group is a key supporter of the Government backed Go Ultra Low campaign, providing funding and resource to build awareness of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles in the UK.
In terms of running costs, electricity is approximately five times cheaper than petrol or diesel; and electric engines are mechanically simpler, meaning they require less servicing. There are also a plethora of tax benefits to reward EV drivers; pure electric cars, such as the BMW i3, are currently zero-rated for Benefit in Kind company car tax, there is no Vehicle Excise Duty on electric cars to-date and they are exempt from the London Congestion Charge. Additionally, for businesses, most pure electric cars are eligible for 100% write down allowance for the first year.
According to the annual National Travel Survey, the average commute by car in Britain is 10 miles each way, with 80% of drivers averaging less than 35 miles a day. Range anxiety can be a concern for drivers switching to electric, but EVs can generally cover at least 75 miles per charge, so typical day-to-day distances can be reached comfortably. The fully electric version of the BMW i3 can reach up to 100 miles, while the Range Extender delivers up to 186 miles for complete peace of mind.
It is estimated that around 85% of EVs will recharge at the owners' homes; if you are able to park your electric vehicle on your property or by the kerb outside you can simply plug into your existing 3-pin mains socket or install a rapid-charging point. Rather than searching for the nearest petrol station, EV drivers have the convenience of rapid charging at home. Homeowners and businesses can qualify for a grant to cover the majority of this cost, with businesses giving company car drivers the option to charge while at work. For the pure electric BMW i3, charging costs from £2 for 100 miles with particular energy tariffs (Economy 7).
The Bloodbikes NICU Support charity demonstrates how effective electric cars can be. The charity is an emergency hospital courier service helping premature and sick babies by collecting mothers' milk from donors and delivering it to special care baby units. Trustee Mike Burns was keen to try the new electric BMW i3 when it was launched in the UK. As well as being a comfortable and enjoyable car to transport mums around the city in, it also saves the charity a significant amount of money; the BMW i3 can cost just £3 to fully charge and is exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty and Congestion Charge.
Sustainability is a huge advantage of electric cars, both for the environment and running costs. More of Britain's electricity is now provided by clean and sustainable sources, such as wind and solar. BMW's new partnership with Good Energy Ltd ensures 100% renewable electricity from local, natural sources to BMW customer households throughout the UK. If you use a renewable energy supplier, such as Good Energy Ltd, to charge your BMW i3, the carbon footprint over its lifetime will be half that of a combustion engine car.
Source: BMW - click for more info