Motorists spend £56,000 on petrol during their lifetime

Lifetime cost of petrol

Have you ever stopped to consider how much money you spend on fuel over the course of your lifetime?

If not, prepare to be shocked. New research conducted by EDF Energy has revealed that the figure could exceed £56,000. Maybe it’s time to fast-track the purchase of an electric vehicle… 

The research found that the cost of petrol and diesel is a serious concern for drivers, with 84 percent of the 2,000 motorists surveyed saying that fuel is “too expensive”.

Meanwhile, a third of motorists have been put off driving due to the cost of fuel, while 75 percent have gone out of their way in search of cheaper prices.

40 percent are considering an EV

hybrids better for short term CO2 reductions than EVs

It’s hardly surprising, then, to discover that 40 percent of drivers are considering making the switch to electric, which could save them around £41,000 over their lifetime.

Beatrice Bigois, managing director of customers for EDF Energy, said: “Many of us aspire to owning an electric vehicle.

“This research shows that, not only will electric cars help motorists save money on their fuel costs, electric vehicles will help more people do more of the things they want to, like exploring more of the UK – all while helping the environment by reducing emissions.

“For this vision to become reality for more drivers, we have to make the decision as easy and attractive as possible for our customers.”

And 70 percent expect to own an EV

Tesla's Model 3 is the most popular electric car to lease in the UK

EDF Energy has partnered with DriveElectric to create a GoElectric leasing package for EV drivers. Customers leasing an electric car via EDF receive a free home charger and 10,000 miles of worth of charge at no cost.

Monthly rental costs start from £299, with the Tesla Model 3 available from £418 and the Jaguar I-Pace from £529.

Seventy percent motorists surveyed expect to own an electric car at some point in the future, with a quarter claiming they will go electric within the next five years.

Electric shock: EVs cost 14 percent more to insure

Electric car insurance costs

Electric cars cost an average of 14 percent more to insure than equivalent petrol and diesel cars, new research reveals.

Analysis by Vantage Leasing shows that EV owners are paying an extra £116 a year, but cover could cost as much as 37 percent more than the same car with an internal combustion engine.

By 2025, motorists could be paying an additional £231 million in insurance as the number of electric cars hits two million, says the company.

Surprisingly, the analysis revealed that insurance is usually cheaper when the electric car is parked on the road overnight, rather than in the garage

‘Optimism could be curtailed’

Renault Zoe electric car

Rob Walker, Vantage Leasing managing director, said: “There’s no doubt UK motorists are ready for EVs. Demand is growing because the technology and infrastructure is getting better every year.

“However, this optimism could easily be curtailed if the costs mount up. After all, electric cars are touted as being both kinder to the environment and easier on the wallet, so the industry must ensure they are affordable to ensure they become increasingly popular.”

The Nissan Leaf is the UK’s most popular electric car, costing £992 on average to insure, over £500 more than the average UK insurance cost of £471 for comprehensive cover.

Of the vehicles analysed, the Renault Zoe and Renault Clio showed the biggest difference, with the former coming in 37 percent (£244.10) more expensive to insure compared to the Clio.  

Electric vehicles (annual insurance)

Volkswagen e-Golf£904.45
Renault Zoe£895.32
Hyundai Kona Electric£728.12
Audi e-tron£1,518.63
Volkswagen e-Up£641.60

Petrol or diesel equivalent models (annual insurance)

Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI R-Line£709.91
Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 GT Line£651.22
Hyundai Kona 1.0 T-GDI SE£660.16
Audi Q8 55 TFSI S Line£1,444.37
Volkswagen Up 1.0 High Up£642.29

These figures are based on annual cover and an average of multiple quotes.

You can cut the cost of your electric car insurance by shopping around or by using a price comparison website. Never accept a renewal quote, as there’s very little reward for loyalty in the car insurance world.

We’d also point out that the Vantage Leasing analysis is based on particular engines and specs. You could find that the cost of insurance could be reduced by selecting a different engine or trim level.

The Volkswagen Up is actually cheaper to insure than the e-Up in High Up spec, so further savings could be achieved by opting for an alternative trim level. Do your homework and shop around.

Government cars to be electric by 2030, says transport secretary

Chris Grayling looks to the future of electric cars

The entire fleet of Government ministerial cars will be all-electric by 2030, the transport secretary Chris Grayling has confirmed.

Currently, electric vehicles make up nearly 23 percent of the fleet, with the government pledging to electrify at least a quarter by 2022.

The Government Car Service (GCS) is managed by the Department for Transport (TfL) to provide a secure car service for ministers in government departments.

GCS operates a fleet of around 90 cars, including British-built and low emission vehicles. The cars are managed by an in-house secure workshop.

The transport secretary has written to every government department to reinforce the pledge to move towards a 100 percent electric fleet by 2030.

‘Best place to own an ultra-low emission vehicle’

He said: “We want the UK to be the best place in the world to own an ultra-low emission vehicle, and as a government we have to lead by example.

“I am pleased with the change we are making to the Government Car Service, but this now needs to be reflected in all fleets that are controlled by government.

“Only yesterday, the prime minister made the bold commitment that the UK will end its net contribution to climate change by 2050. It is absolutely vital that all parts of government play their part in delivering this ambitious target.”

The government plans to end the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040 and is seeking to encourage more people to drive ultra-low emission vehicles.

The UK’s most powerful EV charger is now open

First 350kw charging station in UK

The electric car charging network has been given a massive boost with the opening of the UK’s first 350kW charging station.

The new Ionity site – located in Maidstone, Kent – is the first of 40 to open in the UK, with more to follow in Milton Keynes, Gretna Green and other locations. The company – a joint venture between Daimler, Ford, BMW and the Volkswagen Group – is planning up to 2,400 chargers across Europe by 2020.

Although no electric cars are currently capable of benefiting from the 350kW charge rate, next-generation EVs will take advantage of charging times as low as eight minutes.

In the meantime, current makes and models compatible with CCS chargers will be able to use the Maidstone charging point, which is located at junction eight on the M20.

Ionity’s network has been designed with pan-European travel in mind, hence the location close to the Channel Tunnel and cross-Channel ferry ports. Its UK stations are powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

‘Passionate about making e-mobility a reality’

Jaguar i-Pace charging in Maidstone

Michael Hajesch, CEO of Ionity, said, “We are delighted to be launching our network in the UK with our first station in Maidstone. As car manufacturers continue to launch electric vehicles with bigger batteries to provide a longer range, high-power charging is an essential part of the e-mobility transition process, thus making the e-journey a smooth and seamless experience.

“We are passionate about making e-mobility a reality, with drivers already taking advantage of our convenient stations across Europe. We selected Octopus Energy to provide 100% renewable energy for our network of 40 High Power Charging stations in the UK.

“Coupled with the new charging times that 350kW makes possible, this represents an important step towards making the environmentally friendly long distance journey an everyday reality.”

In a separate development, IONITY recently announced the opening of its 100th high-power charging station. The site in Rygge, Norway, offers six charging points with the potential to expand to 18 if required.

The opening of the UK’s first 350kW charging station is likely to bring new customers to the electric car market, as well as future-proofing the network for new EVs, such as the Porsche Taycan.

A network of rapid chargers located every 20 miles on motorways and A-roads is seen as a ‘trigger point’ for a new breed of electric car owners.

Number of used electric cars soars 27 percent

second-hand electric cars

The number of electric cars available on the second-hand market is up 27 percent versus two years ago, according to new figures.

Compared with the first two months of 2018, there’s actually been a 30 percent rise in the numbers of used electric cars.

This is directly related to the steady growth of the electric car market, with sales up 50 percent in the first couple of months of 2019, compared with the same period last year.

A maturing market = stronger EV valuessecond-hand electric cars

As the market matures and demand increases, so too have residual values of electric cars. 

The Renault Zoe is cited as a case in point. A one-year-old car at the start of 2018 was worth £5,000 less than a one-year-old Zoe in April 2019. That’s an increase in value of around 50 percent.

“The past few years have seen a steady growth of the new electric cars being registered in the UK, and 2018 saw an increase of 13.8% over 2017 according to the SMMT” said Chris Plumb, electric vehicle expert at CAP HPI.

“This has resulted in more used EVs entering the market and satisfying the growing demand from the used consumer. Residual values are improving, with some models, such as the Renault Zoe, actually increasing in value in recent times.”

With this, we must bear in mind that the average residual value of all cars is rising, as second-hand cars on average, get younger.

Used car market strengthening overall

second-hand electric cars

Electric cars nearly account for one percent of the UK car market according to new SMMT figures. That may seem small, but it’s a big step on from yearly numbers that you could fit in a supermarket car park 10 years ago. Sales are now at around 1,500 per month, making up over 10 percent of the 10,254 alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) sold.

With a barrage of new EVs due over the next couple of years – and assuming infrastructure comes to meet them – the increase in popularity can only be exponential.

Electric car buyer’s guide: what you need to know

Electric car guide

Opting for a car that runs purely on battery power can feel like a risky move for many motorists. On the plus side, an electric vehicle (or EV) with zero tailpipe emissions will ensure you do your bit for air pollution, while also feeling suitably smug that you’ll never have to visit a petrol station again. Think of all the money you’ll save.

But you may also be asking yourself reasonable questions, such as how far can I drive before the battery is drained? Will I end up stranded on the roadside with no way to recharge it? And how long will it take me to recoup the extra cost of my advanced car’s elevated price tag? We’ve got the answers to all those niggly questions right here.

Do all manufacturers offer an all-electric option?

Not yet, but there’s an increasing number of electric cars on sale. From the Tesla Model X SUV to the humble Volkswagen e-Up city car, buyers have a huge range to choose from if they want to opt for an EV. That’s why 15,474 new electric cars were registered in 2018 – an increase of 13.8 percent from the previous year.

Nissan was the first to offer a truly convincing EV option when it launched the Leaf back in 2010. It was the first bespoke, mass-produced electric car in the UK, and it gained popularity thanks to its respectable range of up to 155 miles if you opted for the 30kWh version, and the fact that it drove like a normal car.

Electric car range UK

But an ever-increasing number of manufacturers have invested in the technology since, so you’ll now find electric cars on a number of forecourts across the UK. These include Renault’s Zoe supermini, Volkswagen’s e-Golf, plus BMW’s cutting edge lightweight i3.

In 2019, we’ll see a new raft of electric cars hitting the market, including the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron, Kia e-Niro, Tesla Model 3 and the Honda Urban EV.

What’s the typical range of an electric car?

Many electric cars go further than you perhaps think. It’s natural to have a little range anxiety when you’ve been used to filling up at ease on regular fuel, but modern EVs promise to run for between 150 and 200 miles in real-world use when fully charged. That figure does vary, depending on which model you opt for, but future models are likely to offer upwards of 300 miles.

Of course, using the air con, heaters and other battery draining in-car features will reduce that range further still, as will cold weather. But if you’re using the car for a commute, and there’s charging point at work, then you should never have to worry.

For long-distance journeys that are likely to stretch beyond that range, you’ll need to use a high-voltage power supply for at least half an hour for a reasonable recharge. Better still, plug it in overnight for a fully charged battery in the morning.

How much does it cost to recharge overnight?

Electric charging at home

You recharge your EV using the supplied adapter cable, which plugs straight into a special high voltage socket, which you can have fitted to the outside of your house or garage. The cost of the electricity used to recharge is then typically around £3 for a full charge, costing you roughly 2-3p per mile, depending on your EV’s range. Compare that to the cost of a tank of fuel, and you can start to see why this technology is such an appealing option to many motorists.

Where else can I charge an electric car?

If you’re struggling to find a suitable spot to park and charge, websites such as Zap-Map have them conveniently mapped out for you. Log on, and it will show you exactly where the chargers are located. These could be in town centres, supermarket car parks, motorway services stations and offices. It will also reveal how many charging points there are, the type of connector offered, and even user ratings.

As the availability of these charging points is often the deal breaker for motorists contemplating an EV, huge efforts have been made in the UK to keep their numbers rapidly rising year on year. At the last count, there were reportedly 7,000 charge point locations across the UK, providing nearly 12,000 devices and a massive 20,000 different connectors. On that note, if you’re unsure which connector you need, there’s also a search facility to find the right one for your model.

Of course, if you buy a Tesla then you’ll also have access to its ever-growing Supercharger network. Currently, there are around 1,400 sites that contain about 13,000 plug-in points between them. A half an hour charge here can add 170 miles to your Tesla’s range.

Where’s the best place to live in the UK if you own an EV?

electric Smart charging in London

Surprisingly, Scotland is in with a shout here! Although Greater London has 23.8 percent of all the UK’s connectors, Scotland is second with 14.1 percent. Next up is the South East with 13.8 percent.

In reality, the ease of locating a charging point in London is easier than anywhere else in the country, meaning there’s a little less risk of range anxiety if you own an EV in the South East.

Are there any roadside recovery services for electric cars?

Yes, most of the manufacturers offer their own bespoke breakdown and recovery package for the EVs that they sell. The major breakdown recovery companies, such as the AA and the RAC, offer EV-specific services as well.

What’s the typical lifespan of the battery?

The last thing you want is to end up with a car that, like a modern mobile phone, begins losing charge and becomes impossible to take out on anything but short stints. However, while EVs are not exactly new technology – let’s not forget that Sir Clive Sinclair was the trailblazer for electric car back in the 80s, when he unveiled the Sinclair C5 – they haven’t been on the road long enough to really know how those batteries will perform over, say, ten or twenty years.

Nissan Leaf

Some manufacturers – such as Renault and Nissan – offer a battery leasing scheme to alleviate those concerns. So if the cell fails, owners can automatically swap it for a new one. That also makes these cars much more attractive to second-hand buyers. While other brands will provide you with a separate warranty for the battery (typically five to eight years).

Are there any grants or subsidies for electric cars?

Yes! The Government’s Plug-In Car Grant offers up to £3,500 (or 35 percent) off the list price of an EV, while current Vehicle Excise Duty rules mean that EVs costing less than £40,000 are now the only cars that are road tax exempt.

Those with a higher price tag fall foul of a new Premium Model rate introduced in April 2017, however; albeit it at a discounted annual Vehicle Excise Duty of £310. That compares to a slightly higher rate of £450 a year for all other Premium Models. EVs are exempt from congestion charging in the Capital, and other cities which operate similar schemes, however.

Will an EV cost more to buy than its conventional fuel equivalent?

Volkswagen e-Up

Almost certainly. The increasing popularity of EVs means costs are coming down, gradually. But you should still expect to spend at least £20,000. As you can see below, the on the road price for the VW e-Up is around £7,000 more than its petrol-powered equivalent, even after deducting the government’s £3,500 Plug-In Car Grant. Although the price difference isn’t always this high between EVs and their conventionally-fueled equivalents, if you’re looking to reduce spend, opting for VW’s plug-in version of the Up might not make sense.

To be sure, you need to work out how long it would take to recoup your losses, opting for an electric version of this city car. To do that, you need to work out your annual fuel bill for both. Fortunately, we’ve done the maths for you (see below), and show that make an annual saving of £550 with the e-Up. Offset that against the £7,000 initial outlay, and you can see it would take around 13 years to recoup the extra initial outlay for the EV version of this car.

 VW High Up 1.0-litre 90PS (5-door)VW e-up 82PS electric motor
Price (OTR)£13,360£20,150^
Average fuel/charge cost120.6 per litre*£3
Combined mpg64.2mpg3p per mile
Annual fuel/charge cost^^£854£300

Of course, for most of Britain’s EV owners, the main decision to opt for an electric car is not a financial one. The big draw is these cars’ ability to ease motorists’ eco-conscience, thanks to their zero tailpipe emissions, and the impact that this ultimately has on reducing air pollution in the UK.

*Based on average fuel prices (March 2019)^Price includes £3,500 plug-in car grant^^Based on annual 10,000 mileage

Trump’s America buys more electric cars than Europe

Electric car sales USA America Trump

The United States has overtaken Europe in the league of markets buying electric cars. Around 361,000 EVs were sold in the USA in 2018, compared with 302,000 in Europe.

That US figure also makes up 2.1 percent of market share, compared with Europe’s two percent.

It’s a curious development during the presidency of Donald Trump, who is hardly know for his environmental concerns.

The American market actually saw a 120 percent surge in sales of electric cars during the last quarter of 2018, compared with the same period in 2017. Over the same period, Europe was up 33 percent.

Electric car sales America Trump USA

The tables could soon turn, however. America has the advantage of being the home market for Tesla, including the newly-released and more affordable Model 3.

Added to that, Europe actually saw a slowdown of debuts for electric models in 2018 compared with 2017. Just seven new EVs came to market.

This year and in years to come, that’s due to increase dramatically, with the Model 3 among the 20 electric models due to hit showrooms. A lot of these debuts will be more affordable, too. Honda’s E Prototype looks particularly appealing, along with Peugeot’s electric 208.

That number increases to 33 in 2020 and 45 in 2021. So maybe 2018 was a bit of a fluke for America.

Tesla takes the credit?

VW MEB available to third parties

Over the course of last year, the Tesla Model 3 became the USA’s best-selling luxury car. The entry-level model from Elon Musk’s breakout electric car manufacturer made up 68 percent of electric car sales in the final quarter of 2018 in the USA.

The maturity of the European market must be commented on, too. While Tesla is the electric beacon in the US, Europe’s long-standing car manufacturers are gearing up for major investments in electric vehicles. Volkswagen is even offering out its Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) architecture for sale to third parties.

Audi, Mercedes and BMW have their own new EV onslaughts to come. Where we all stand globally in 2019 and 2020 will be very interesting, as will how market share for electric vehicles progresses.

Either way, neither Europe or America was going to come close to China. Electric vehicles had a four percent market share, with more than 150,000 EV sales in December alone. For reference, that’s half of the annual EV sales in Europe.

Electric dreams: amazing cars of the future debut in Geneva

Pininfarina BattistaThis year’s Geneva Motor Show may well be a watershed moment in the movement towards the electrification of cars. From tiny superminis to luxurious off-roaders and even hypercars, seemingly everything has the potential for battery power in 2019.

We’ve taken a look at some of the most impressive battery-powered concepts and production-ready vehicles making headlines in Geneva.

Kia ‘Imagine by Kia’ concept

Kia is not messing around when it comes to the future of electric cars, and the special ‘Imagine by Kia’ concept proves it. Yes, the name might be a little weird, but this high-riding four-door crossover features dramatic styling inside and out. A compact electric powertrain sits beneath the swooping exterior.

In fact, Kia has used the Imagine to take a shot at other car manufacturers, and the trend for giant multimedia screens. The Imagine features 21 individual displays across the dashboard, as a “humorous and irreverent riposte” to modern trends.

Alfa Romeo Tonale

Arguably one of the prettiest concept cars making its debut at the Geneva show, this plug-in hybrid SUV manages to stand out against the countless competitors on display in 2019. Not only is it Alfa’s first step into the mid-size SUV category, but also the first car from the Italian brand to feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The name comes from the Tonale Pass, located in the Alps and not far from the Stelvio Pass – which lends its name to Alfa’s current SUV offering. Although pegged as a concept vehicle for now, a production version seems highly likely in the near future.

Volkswagen I.D. Buggy

The Volkswagen Group has a range of concepts on display at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, all making use of the new MEB modular electric platform. Volkswagen has become adept at platform-sharing, and the move to electric vehicles means that attitude will only increase in importance for the company.

The beauty of the modular MEB platform is that it allows different bodies to be added. Volkswagen is even touting the idea of offering it to third-party suppliers, just like dune buggies of old. For now, this is very much a concept, albeit with 204hp from an electric AWD system.

Skoda Vision iV concept

Making use of the same MEB platform, but in a much more production-focused design, Skoda is rightly excited about the Vision iV concept. There’s a dramatic coupe-crossover design, with more than 300hp on offer from the electric drivetrain. The traditional wing mirrors have been replaced by cameras, and the centre console can be moved.

Vegans will be pleased by the vinyl fibres used to finish the seat-backs, while the carpets are made from pure biodegradable wool. Ignoring some of the more fanciful design features, we can expect to see an actual production version of the Vision iV towards the end of 2020.

Audi Q4 e-tron concept

Seemingly even closer to reality than the Vision iV, and naturally using that same MEB platform, Audi’s Q4 e-tron is just one model in the brand’s major electric vehicle strategy. Set to become the fifth production electric vehicle from Audi, the Q4 will go on sale in 2020.

An 82 kWh battery uses almost all the space below the passenger compartment, but allows for a range of up to 279 miles when fully charged. Top speed is limited to 111mph, but 0-62mph takes just 6.3 seconds.

Seat el-Born

It’s that Volkswagen MEB platform again, but this time with a Spanish flair to proceedings. Appearing somewhere between a tall hatchback and an MPV, the el-Born will be Seat’s first all-electric car. Expect a range of 261 miles on a full battery, plus the ability to charge to 80% capacity in just 47 minutes.

It might be named after one of Barcelona’s most famous districts, but the forthcoming el-Born will be built in Germany. Volkswagen’s Zwickau factory will be responsible for churning them out, with production slated to begin in 2020.

Honda E Prototype

We were wowed by the original Urban EV concept, and hoped Honda would put it into production unchanged from that cute creation. Thankfully, Honda seems to have listened, with the E Prototype borrowing much of the Urban EV’s style, but in a more practical five-door hatchback body.

Curiously, Honda admitted to designing the production car before the concept version, seeing the show model as necessary to generate interest. It certainly worked, and a finished car should go on sale with a battery range of around 125 miles. Perfect for urban life.

Pininfarina Battista

At the opposite end of the scale to the Honda, the Battista offers up an astonishing 1,900hp from its electric powertrain. That huge amount of power means 0-62mph in less than two seconds, but all with the smug eco-satisfaction of using electricity.

The Battista marks the first actual production car to be sold under the Pininfarina name alone, with 150 units to be offered to customers. They’ll need to stump up some £2 million for one, but that seems almost reasonable for the performance on offer. That it looks rather a lot like a Ferrari 488 can only be a bonus…

Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain

Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept

On an Aston Martin stand featuring two shock new supercars, it was almost easy to overlook the importance of the Lagonda All-Terrain. Any other day this would be major news, as Aston sets out its stall for Lagonda to become an all-electric brand.

A production version won’t appear before 2022, and Aston Martin is obviously light on details at the moment. But expect an electric all-wheel-drive setup, long-range battery capabilities and a luxurious interior. Oh, and the key levitates in the centre console using magnets.

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQV

Thought the MPV was dead? Not according to Mercedes-Benz, which is bringing the idea back with electric power. In fact, the MPV concept is perfectly suited to electric propulsion, as the battery packs can fit neatly beneath the flat floor of the EQV.

Although billed as a concept vehicle, this looks fairly close to being ready for production. A 100 kWh battery pack offers up to 250 miles of range, while the interior can be configured to seven- or eight-seater layouts. Not sexy, but a practical EV future.

Skoda Klement electric bike concept


Skoda Klement electric bike

Not content with creating electric concept cars, Skoda has also unveiled a concept bike in Geneva. An electric motor attached to the rear hub generates 4kW, allowing for a top speed of up to 28mph. Thankfully, the brakes feature ABS assistance.

Given that Skoda began life manufacturing bicycles, the Klement is a neat nod to the history of the company. Although we imagine LED lights and an electric range of 39 miles are ideas Skoda’s founding fathers could only have dreamt of.

Fiat Centoventi

Another genuine surprise at this year’s Geneva show, the Centoventi is a 120th anniversary present from Fiat to itself. Radical in nature, the styling previews what is expected to be the next version of the Panda city car. Fiat is mooting the idea of selling them only in one colour, with buyers able to have panels wrapped to their own preferences later.

Even more radical is the electric powertrain underneath. A sliding rail connects the battery packs, allowing more to be quickly added to boost range, with a maximum of 310 miles. The tailgate can be used to display digital messages, and the roof also acts as a solar panel.

21 million new electric vehicles expected by 2030

Electric vehicle charging

An additional 21 million electric vehicles (EVs) will be on the road globally by 2030, according to data released by Deloitte.

EV adoption is expected to gather pace, rising from two million at present to four million in 2020, then 12 million in 2025. By 2030, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) will account for 70 percent of total EV sales, says the consulting firm.

Growing consumer demand for greener vehicles, coupled with policies offering financial incentives for EV adoption, while restricting the use of diesel and petrol vehicles in inner cities, are seen as the primary factors behind the accelerated adoption of EVs.

Deloitte even predicts that by 2024, the cost to own a BEV will be on a par with that of a petrol or diesel vehicle – that’s just five years away.

‘Tipping point’

Michael Woodward, UK automotive partner at Deloitte, said: “In 2018, we saw global EV sales surpass two million units for the first time; twice those sold in 2017. In the UK, the cost of petrol and diesel vehicle ownership will converge with electric over the next five years.

“Supported by existing government subsidies and technology advances, this tipping point could be reached as early as 2021. From this point, cost will no longer be a barrier to purchase, and owning an EV will become a realistic, viable option for new buyers.”

electric car drovers wouldn't go back to petrol or diesel

Woodward continued: “Those that can successfully build trust in their brand, ensure a positive customer experience from initial sale through to aftercare, and reflect consumer shifts towards the sharing economy in future business models will successfully navigate this.

“Equally, continual investment in engineering talent and the formation of partnerships with bespoke battery producers and third-party mechanic networks will also be important.”

Read more:

Volkswagen is going to deploy mobile electric car charging stations

VW mobile charge points

VW has opened 2019 with a preview of its new mobile charging solution. It’s another example of how car makers are innovating to solve the challenge of how to eliminate electric car range anxiety for good.

What is it?

In simple terms, it’s a middle ground between having an extra onboard battery and being restricted to hard-wired charge points. Volkswagen’s compromise is essentially a power pack that can be set up almost anywhere.

VW describes it as a ‘flexible charging station’ that can be set up ‘independent of the power supply wherever it is needed’. Think along the lines of a mobile version of Tesla’s power wall – banks of batteries that Volkswagen can deploy wherever it sees fit.

It’s not a be-all solution to what many see as an under-prepared infrastructure. Rather, says VW, a temporary solution that allows electric cars, such as the upcoming ID. range of VW EVs, to charge wherever a charge is needed. Volkswagen cites pop-up events, parking lots and business premises as examples. A service can be deployed and provided quickly and easily, without the fundamental long-term structural changes needed for a permanent charge point.

What’s it made up of?

VW mobile charge points

The MEB (VW Modular Electric Toolkit) battery pack that forms ‘the energetic core of the charging station’ can store up to 360kWh of power and can charge up to 15 cars at once. The MEB is also used in Volkswagen electric cars. Batteries that need exchanging in cars can potentially be re-used in columns in future.

As you’d expect, it’s fully quick-charge capable. Up to 28kWh can be delivered in as little as 17 minutes – that’s 80 percent of the charge capacity of the current e-Golf. The power pack can be plugged in so that it doesn’t run down. If it is sat independent of mains power, the stations that get to less than 20 percent are to be exchanged for a charged one.

A temporary approach doesn’t mean you’ll be hard pressed to find one, however. You’ll be able to use apps to find your nearest VW charging station.

Other advantages of the charging stations? They’re capable of connecting directly to renewable sources of energy. Generating wind or solar power? You can store it in a Volkswagen mobile charge point. Say goodbye to dirty coal-made electricity and hello to genuinely carbon-neutral electric automotive power, potentially…

When can we expect to see them?

VW has no intention of slacking on this. The first mobile quick charging stations are to be deployed locally in Germany in the first half of this year as a pilot, before expanding to other locations in 2020.

Thomas Schmalz, Chairman of the Board of management of Volkswagen Group Components, highlights the long-term usefulness of the project. As well as plugging gaps in the infrastructure today, suitable points for permanent charging locations can be mooted for tomorrow.

VW mobile charge points

“Cities can, for example, find out the most suitable places for a permanent charging point before making major investments in developing the network.

“In addition, it will be possible to set up a large number of charging stations temporarily – exactly when and where they are needed”.

All in all, it sounds like a great temporary solution as well as a way to prepare for a more hard-wired electric car future.

Read more: