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Could electric cars cause blackouts?

Could electric cars cause blackouts?

Could a significant upturn in electric car registrations highlight energy shortages and cause blackouts? In the aftermath of more than a million homes going without power last Friday, experts are uncertain.

EVs could put a strain on the National Grid that it’s not yet ready for.

SaveMoneyCutCarbon is warning that increases in electricity demand could result in black-outs and power cuts by 2040. The main culprit of that demand? Electric cars…

At present, we’re well behind some European countries when it comes to electric vehicle registrations. As the charging infrastructure strengthens and the cost of EVs comes down, more British motorists will be considering making the switch in the coming years.

Could electric cars cause blackouts?

Mark Sait, chief executive of SaveMoneyCut Carbon, warns that if we match some European registration figures it “could create real concerns”. Near-on half of all cars registered are electric in Norway.

“The spike in demand from EVs could very well cause blackouts in certain areas of the UK, with there not being enough power generated, or particularly if the technology generating that power had not been upgraded,” explained Sait.

The National Grid has reported that we need a 20 percent increase in energy capacity by 2050. Sait is warning the real figure could peak at way more than that – double today’s 348 terawatt/hour yearly demand – if we move towards EV registration targets.

Could electric cars cause blackouts?

“As more and more EVs are plugged into the grid, the demand in electricity will constantly rise,” he warned.

SaveMoneyCutCarbon is in the business of helping large facilities including schools and hotels cut their energy consumption. Sait’s warning is that a country-wide consumption cut strategy needs to be considered if the grid hopes to cope with increased demands from electric cars that are coming sooner than we think.

Can an electric car really save you money?

Can electric cars save you money?

Claims about electric cars saving you money usually pertain to how much they cost to ‘fill up’.

Tesla’s website has a calculator that shows how much you pay for charging, allowing comparisons with a tankful of petrol or diesel. The figures are impressive, but does an electric car actually save you money overall?

MoneySupermarket has crunched the numbers to find out which fuel type ends up the cheapest over the ownership of a car. The results are interesting.

Electric versus fuel: buying and running

Can electric cars save you money?

The overall figures are fairly damning for electric cars. At present, EVs are around £10,000 more expensive to buy than petrol-engined cars. Diesels are a bit more expensive, but still markedly cheaper than an EV upfront.

Where it gets interesting is lifetime running costs. This includes servicing and ‘fuelling’. Over the course of a year, MoneySupermarket reckons an EV could save you £500 in ‘fuel’ versus petrol, and £425 versus diesel.

Electric car servicing is cheaper, too, costing £167 on average, compared with £228 for petrol and £309 for diesel. Add up the average cost of tax, which is £143, and you’ve got an overall annual saving of £711 against petrol, and £710 against diesel.

A petrol car will cost you around £10,000 to run over six years on average, by comparison with around £6,400 for an EV. Over six years, including both purchase and running, a petrol car costs an average of £26,941. A diesel costs £36,698. Electric, meanwhile, averages out at £37,699.

Can electric cars save you money?

Assuming that expenses stay the same, including servicing, fuel and electricity, over 12 years the saving is £7,200 in an EV. However, that still doesn’t make up the difference versus a petrol car.

In fact, it would take around 14 years for your EV to comparatively ‘pay you back’.

Why people haven’t switched yet

Can electric cars save you money?

The above cost is reflected in people’s reasoning around electric cars: 51 percent would switch if they were cheaper to buy.

Inconvenience is the second major factor, with 40 percent saying they hadn’t switched to an EV because of the lack of charging infrastructure.

Then again, fuel will get more expensive and electric cars are getting cheaper. The jumping-off point is coming, sooner or later, for most car buyers. It just needs the numbers to add up – even if they don’t yet. 

Government DOUBLES funding for electric car street charging

Government investment in street charging doubles

The government has allocated £2.5 million for an additional 1,000 electric car charge-points on residential streets. The funding is part of the enormous £1.5 billion Road to Zero fund.

The aim is to encourage car buyers without access to off-street parking to buy EVs. A big hurdle for this demographic is the ability to charge a car when parked ‘at home’ without a drive.

The charge-points can be built onto existing infrastructure such as lamp posts, allowing access for street-parked electric vehicles.

Charging up new affordable electric cars

Government investment in street charging doubles

The added funding is a response to the 158 percent year-on-year increase in fully-electric vehicle sales as of July 2019. Research indicates that one of the main hurdles to EV adoption in the eyes of car buyers is adequate charging infrastructure.

On top of this, there’s the cost of electric cars. However, a number of affordable EV models will have come to market by this time next year, including the Vauxhall Corsa-e, Peugeot e-208 and the Volkswagen ID.3. They will join affordable electric-only models from Renault, Nissan, Kia, Hyundai and MG.

Cheaper EVs should result in more accelerated uptake – hence the improved infrastructure.

Government investment in street charging doubles

“It’s fantastic that there are now more than 20,000 publicly accessible charge-points,” said the new transport secretary, Grant Shapps.

“But we want to do more. It’s vital that electric vehicle drivers feel confident about the availability of charge-points near their homes, and that charging an electric car is seen as easy as plugging in a smartphone.”

“That’s why we are now doubling the funding available for local authorities to continue building the infrastructure we need.”

The slowest depreciating electric cars

Jaguar I-PaceDepreciation is the difference between the price you pay for a new car and the amount you receive when you come to sell it.

Most cars lose between 50 and 60 percent of their value in the first three years, with the biggest hit taking place in the first 12 months.

Here, we reveal the slowest depreciating electric cars, with data supplied by CAP. The results are presented in reverse order, with the slowest depreciators at the end of the gallery.

14. Renault ZoeRenault Zoe

In nearly a decade, the Renault Zoe has shifted from concept to close to 150,000 registrations, establishing an 18.2 percent share of the EV market in Europe. Used prices start from £7,000, so it’s not particularly good at holding its value. CAP says the Zoe will lose just under £16,000 in three years, giving it a retained value of 47.5 percent. It’s the only car on the list to finish below 50 percent.

13. Nissan e-NV200Nissan e-NV200

We’re braced for a new wave of electric cars to roll in on the tide, but the Nissan e-NV200 is one of the more established members of the EV fraternity. Launched in 2014, the e-NV200 is an all-electric version of the NV200 van, with the early versions offering a range of up to 110 miles. A 2014 model year e-NV200 should retain 52.6 percent of its value after three years.

12. Kia Soul EVKia Soul EV

The first Kia Soul EV was never more than a niche player in the UK, with the boxy SUV let down by a high price tag and a limited range. The all-new model should come with a similar price, but with a more realistic 280-mile electric range. In the meantime, the old Soul EV should retain 52.8 percent of its value after three years, losing around £14,500 in the process.

11. Nissan e-NV200Nissan e-NV200

It’s the Nissan e-NV200 again, this time in post-2015 guise. It’s available in five- or seven-seat guise, with post-grant prices starting from a little under £30,000. You can expect a range of between 124 and 187 miles, which is 60 percent further than the previous-generation battery. It will retain 56.2 percent of its value after three years, helped in no small part by the fact that you’re not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to all-electric seven-seaters.

10. Smart EQ Fortwo CabrioSmart EQ Fortwo Cabrio

The electric Smart Fortwo Cabrio appears twice, with the recently rebranded EQ version up first. Right now, this is your only choice if you’re after an electric convertible, although you’ll have to make do with two seats and a limited 70-mile range. CAP says the Smart drop-top will lose £11,730 in the first three years, giving it a retained value of 56.7 percent.

9. Smart EQ ForfourSmart EQ Forfour

In pure monetary terms, the four Smart cars on this list lose the least amount of cash. Take the Smart EQ Forfour, which costs upwards of £18,190 after the plug-in car grant, but will lose just £9,420 after three years. So while two electric cars at opposite ends of the price spectrum might have similar rates of depreciation, the financial hit will be more severe on the expensive EV.

8. Smart Fortwo CabrioSmart Fortwo Cabrio

It’s the Smart Fortwo Cabrio again, this time in pre-EQ branding guise. Strangely, CAP reckons the older version is better at holding its value, retaining 58.4 percent of its purchase price after three years. Right now, the Smart EQ Fortwo Cabrio is available on a three-year personal lease for £279 a month after an advance rental of £1,585.

7. Smart EQ FortwoSmart EQ Fortwo

The EQ Fortwo is the smallest electric Smart, but the one with the largest retained value after three years. With a tight turning circle and tiny dimensions, it’s perfect for the city centre, where the 70-mile range should be enough for the majority of buyers. Buy one today and it should retain 59.7 percent of its initial value in 2022, but with EV tech moving on at such a rate, it might find itself outmoded by the likes of the Honda e, Mini Electric and Peugeot e-208.

6. Tesla Model STesla Model S

Although the Tesla Model S arrived in 2012, the CAP depreciation data relates to the facelifted model, introduced in 2016. Prices start from £77,200, with performance variants available from £91,800, and used examples remain in strong demand. On average, a Model S will lose £39,200 of its value in the first three years, giving it a retained value of 60.8 percent.

5. Hyundai Ioniq EVHyundai Ioniq EV

The Hyundai Ioniq is a relative newcomer to the electric car party, but its residual values are worth making a song and dance about. CAP says the Ioniq EV will retain 61.7 percent of its value, losing £11,740 in the first three years. It helps that it will still have the remainder of its five-year warranty, giving peace of mind to the new owner.

4. Nissan LeafNissan Leaf

To date, more than 400,000 Nissan Leaf electric cars have been sold globally, making it the world’s most popular electric car. Recently, Nissan unveiled a new range-topping Leaf e+ Tekna, which delivers 217hp of performance and 239 miles of electric range. Buy a new Nissan Leaf today and it could be worth 64.5 percent of its original purchase price in 2022. That said, you need to factor in variables such as mileage, condition, market trends and spec.

3. Tesla Model XTesla Model X

With an entry price of £82,200 for the standard version, rising to £96,400 for the performance variant, the Tesla Model X is the most expensive electric car to feature in the CAP data. It should retain 64.6 percent of its value after three years, although new electric SUVs from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi could put a dent in its residual values. It will be interesting to see how the new Model 3 performs on the used car market.

2. Volkswagen e-GolfVolkswagen e-Golf

Such is the rate of progress in the EV segment, the Volkswagen e-Golf is beginning to look a little dated. At around £30,000 after the plug-in car grant, it’s relatively expensive, while the 144-mile range simply isn’t enough for a car of this ilk. But it’s biggest problem is the imminent arrival of the ID.3, a car designed from the ground up to be an electric vehicle. That said, the e-Golf will retain 66.3 percent of its value after three years.

1. Jaguar I-PaceJaguar I-Pace

The current World Car of the Year is also top dog when it comes to depreciation. CAP reckons the Jaguar I-Pace will retain an impressive 74.6 percent of its value after three years, as motorists clamour to get their hands on one of the most sought-after cars on the market. Next year, the I-Pace SUV will be joined by an all-electric XJ saloon.

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Ferrari tuner reveals first modified Tesla Model 3

Novitec Tesla Model 3

Famous Ferrari tuner Novitec has turned its attention to Tesla, with the latest Model 3, now Europe’s best-selling EV, getting an aggressive new look.

A Model 3 with added attitude

Novitec Tesla Model 3

The Model 3’s visual makeover consists mainly of carbon aero addenda.

At the front, a new splitter reduces lift at high speed. A rear lip spoiler and diffuser help balance it out, and match the carbon side skirts.

The wheels have been changed for 21-inch forged items from Vossen. The spokes are curved and aerodynamically shaped like a windmill, helping to vent the brakes. They can polished or brushed, in one of 72 different colours.

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Dropping the Tesla onto these bulbous new wheels is aluminium sports suspension, which lowers the car by up to 40mm.

A more subtle 30mm drop is available if you choose the spring upgrade in combination with stock dampers.

Reduced drag due to the lower ride height can reduce power consumption on long-distance drives by up to seven percent, says Novitec.

Trimming a Tesla like a supercar

Novitec Tesla Model 3

Novitec is known for its lavish and luxurious interiors. The Model 3 gets the full works, with leather and Alcantara available in any colour you wish. The carbon dashboard also adds a more exotic feel to the Model 3’s futuristic cabin.

A subtle upgrade seems unlikely from the company responsible for monstrous N-Largo modified McLarens and Ferraris, but Novitec has enhanced the Model 3 with the deftest touch.

An already agreeable looking car just got a very well-measured dose of attitude.

Novitec Tesla Model 3

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The most-wanted electric cars around the world

Tesla Model 3 most-wanted electric car

The world doesn’t agree on many things, but when it comes to electric cars, we’re demonstrating some rare joined-up thinking.

Of the 136 countries studied in a new report, the Tesla Model 3 is the most searched for electric vehicle on Google, making it the most desirable EV on the planet.

Indeed, the Model 3 generates 1,529,770 global searches on Google every month, which is around a million more than the next most popular EV, which just happens to be the Tesla Model S.

The Model 3 comes out top in 75 countries in new research conducted by CompareTheMarket, with interest high in North America, Western Europe, Scandinavia, China, India and Australia.

EVs: the world map

Most-wanted electric cars world map

It’s proof that Tesla continues to dominate online traffic and interest for electric vehicles, with the Model 3, Model S and Model X combining to account for around 2.5 million Google searches a month.

Tesla models are also the most popular electric vehicles in nearly 80 percent of the countries studied.

As the first electric car to surpass 400,000 sales, it’s no surprise to discover that the Nissan Leaf is the most searched for EV in 36 countries, accounting for around 560,000 monthly searches.

Nissan Leaf plugged in

But aside from the BMW i3 and Renault Zoe, few electric cars are generating a significant level of Google traffic. It’s left to Tesla to lead the PR and marketing for an entire segment.

Things will change. There are a host of new electric cars waiting in the wings, ranging from mainstream EVs like the MG ZS EV and Peugeot e-208, to the more high-profile Porsche Taycan and Aston Martin Rapide E.

Others, like the Mini Electric, Fiat 500e and Honda e will inject some much-needed glamour into the more affordable end of the market.

The question is: can a mainstream manufacturer generate as much online buzz as the upstarts from California? Time will tell.

Electric cars: total monthly searches

Electric carTotal monthly searches (Google)
1. Tesla Model 31,529,770
2. Tesla Model S559,240
3. Nissan Leaf545,520
4. Tesla Model X507,990
5. BMW i3354,230
6. Renault Zoe246,180
7. Chevrolet Bolt61,770
8. Hyundai Kona Electric50,720
9. Kia Soul EV35,820
10. Jaguar I-Pace32,270

Data and world map courtesy of CompareTheMarket.

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

Tesla is to the electric car industry what the Nissan Qashqai is to crossovers, the Volkswagen Golf is to family hatchbacks and Ferrari is to red supercars. As the brand generic for the EV segment, Tesla has stolen a march over the establishment, while becoming the go-to name for headline writers (and clickbait merchants). But Tesla’s time as the electric top dog could be coming to an end, as highlighted by this range of 20 new electric cars coming soon.

Aston Martin Rapide E

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

Our list of future electric cars includes everything from the mainstream to the kind of cars the industry needs to inject a little glamour into what remains a small but growing market. Aston Martin will build just 155 Rapid E electric cars, with a 65kWh battery pack and two electric motors replacing the familiar 6.0-litre V12 engine and gearbox. Aston Martin claims it will deliver a 200-mile WLTP driving range, but to achieve that you’ll want to avoid too many Grand Prix starts. It’ll hit 60mph in less than four seconds, on the way to a top speed of 155mph.

Audi Q2 e-tron

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

Audi has kickstarted its electric car revolution with the launch of the e-tron SUV, but there’s a line of other EVs waiting in the wings. The Q2 compact crossover (pictured) will receive an electric makeover, although it’s expected to be dedicated for the Chinese market. Meanwhile, the Audi e-tron GT will feature styling influenced by the e-tron SUV and a platform shared with the Porsche Taycan. Performance is likely to be Porsche-troubling, with a driving range in the region of 250 miles.

BMW iX3

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

The BMW Concept iX3 was unveiled at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show and looks, to all intents and purposes, production-ready. BMW is promising a range of more than 249 miles from a 70kWh battery, along with a newly-developed Charging Control Unit for accessing the latest fast charging points. Unlike the i3 and i8, the iX3 is based on existing architecture and is being developed alongside the i4 four-door coupe.

DS 3 Crossback E-Tense

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

Remember when the DS3 was a hatchback with a Citroen badge? The DS 3 Crossback E-Tense is a very different proposition and is the first electric vehicle from the DS Automobiles brand. The company is taking refundable £500 deposits ahead of customer deliveries in January 2020, with prices starting from £36,000 or £436 a month. DS is promising 200 miles of range and up to 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.

Fiat 500e

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

Fiat is investing €700 million (£625 million) into the development of the new 500e electric car, including a new production line at its Mirafiori plant in Italy. Production is set to begin in the second quarter of 2020, after its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, with the plant capable of building up to 80,000 all-electric 500s a year. Given the popularity of the conventional 500 (pictured), this has the potential to be a hugely successful EV.

Fisker SUV

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

Los Angeles-based Fisker has Tesla firmly in its sights with the launch of the as-yet-unnamed SUV. The price is rumoured to be in the region of $40,000 (£30,000), although sales aren’t expected to begin until 2021. In a recent tweet, the company founder and CEO Henrik Fisker said: “We aim to make the world’s most sustainable vehicle, the 2021 Fisker Electric SUV. Priced below 40,000. The interior (just saw prototype) is incredibly spacious for its segment with recycled materials.” The driving range is rumoured to be 300 miles.

Honda e

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

We haven’t seen this much pre-launch buzz and hype for a small vehicle since the all-new Suzuki Jimny. The Honda e will be in showrooms early next year, with styling influenced by the original Civic and details designed to appeal to the iPhone generation. We’re told the range is likely to be more than 125 miles, which is a bit limited in a world of 300-mile EVs. It will also cost of upwards of £30,000. Still, you want one, don’t you?

Jaguar XJ

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

We don’t know a great deal about the all-electric Jaguar XJ, but it represents a new era for the flagship saloon. Production of the current XJ (pictured) has come to an end, but Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to build a range of electrified cars at its Castle Bromwich plant in Birmingham. The electric XJ is expected to arrive next year, with Jaguar using its experience in creating the I-Pace SUV.

Kia Soul EV

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

If the e-Niro is a little too conventional for you, Kia has an alternative in the boxy shape of the Soul EV. Sales of the previous Soul EV were somewhat limited, but Kia hopes to thrust the new version into the mainstream by promising a 280-mile electric range and a host of standard equipment. Bank on spending around £30,000 for the 64kWh version, which will be the only model available in the UK at launch.

Lotus Evija

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

From a mainstream EV to something a little more otherworldly. The £2 million Lotus Evija is powered by a mid-mounted 2,000kW lithium-ion battery developed in conjunction with Williams Advanced Engineering, and just 130 examples will be made. It’ll hit 62mph in ‘less than three seconds’ and will exceed 200mph. Using a 350kW charger, the charge time will be 18 minutes, with 250 miles of range available from a full battery. 

Mercedes EQC

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

The EQC is the first Mercedes-Benz to be launched under the EQ brand and is designed to take on the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron SUV. It’ll deliver up to 259 miles of range, with power provided by a 80kWh battery. The EQC is based on the same platform as more conventional Mercedes models, and its launch heralds the dawn of a new electric era for the brand.

Mini Electric

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

The new Mini Electric is now open for ordering with a special £299 a month lease deal. With an on-the-road price of £24,400 – including the £3,500 Plug-in Car Grant – the Mini is cheaper than the Honda E, but the driving range is a similarly limited 124 miles. The compact 32.5kWh battery has been used to keep the weight down, with Mini keen to preserve the fabled ‘go-kart’ handling characteristics.

MG ZS EV

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

Our Richard Aucock has driven the MG ZS EV and he thinks it could become Britain’s best-selling electric car. “This small family-sized electric SUV could genuinely be a game-changer, both for MG and the electric car market,” he said. With a pre-grant price tag of £28,495, it dips below the £30k mark, while a range of 163 miles is perfectly adequate for the target market.

Peugeot e-208

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

The Renault Zoe has had things its own way for too long, so the Peugeot e-208 is here to grab a slice of the French small electric car pie. The official WLTP driving range is 211 miles, with a price tag rumoured to be around £25,000 after the government grant. Up to 80 percent charge is available in 20 minutes via a 100kW rapid charger, or 40 minutes using a 50kW charger.

Polestar 2

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

As the name suggests, the Polestar 2 is the company’s second production car, with the four-door saloon boasting a 78kWh battery pack to provide up to 311 miles of range from a single charge. Polestar is taking online deposits of £1,000 ahead of the 2’s launch in July 2020, with UK cars likely to start from £40,000. A special European launch edition will cost €59,900 (£54,000).

Porsche Taycan

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

The Porsche Taycan made its dynamic debut at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed, with Mark Webber taking it up the famous hill. The company expects to build 25,000 Taycans a year, which will account for 10 percent of its global sales. A number of different power outputs will be available, with Porsche targeting a range of 311 miles. An 800V charging system will provide 249 miles of range in just 15 minutes.

Renault Zoe

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

The new Renault Zoe gains a new 52kWh battery to deliver a WLTP range of 242 miles – an increase of around 30 percent over the old 40kWh pack. The option of a new R135 100kW engine delivers the equivalent of 135hp, helping the Zoe sprint to 62mph in less than 10 seconds and onto a top speed of 87mph.

Seat Mii electric

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

The Seat Mii electric is essentially a reskinned version of the electric Skoda Citigo and is likely to replace the conventional Mii city car. The company is promising a range of 161 miles, and although prices haven’t been confirmed, it’s likely to cost around £18,000. The Mii will be joined by the all-electric el-Born, which will offer a range of 420km (261 miles).

Vauxhall Corsa-e

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

The Vauxhall Corsa-e shares its underpinnings with the Peugeot e-208 and deliveries are expected to begin in April 2020. In common with the Peugeot, the electric Corsa will offer a range of 211 miles, although you could achieve more in Eco mode. Right now, Vauxhall is offering £2,615 towards your deposit when you buy on PCP, with the first 500 customers receiving a free home charging unit worth £800.

Volkswagen ID.3

The electric cars coming soon to take on Tesla

The Volkswagen ID.3 made its UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, with VW confirming that it has received more than 15,000 reservations across Europe. The launch edition will offer 260 miles of range of 110kW fast charging as standard, with deliveries expected in summer 2020.

EVERY new home to have an electric car charge point

EVERY new home to have an electric car charge point

All new homes in England could be fitted with an electric car charge point, under plans announced by the government.

The world-first legislation would ensure that all new homes with a dedicated parking space are built with a charge point.

Owners of existing properties can receive up to £500 off the cost of installing a charge point at home, but this proposal could kick-start an electric car revolution.

‘Appetite for cleaner, greener transport’

What will tempt UK drivers into electric cars

“With record levels of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads, it is clear there is an appetite for cleaner, greener transport,” said transport secretary Chris Grayling.

“Home charging provides the most convenient and low-cost option for consumers – you can simply plug your car in to charge overnight as you would a mobile phone.”

If the move is successful, England would become the first country in the world to introduce mandatory charge points in new homes. It follows an announcement that all new charge points should accept card payments by spring 2020.

Installing charge points at new homes would cost approximately £976 per parking space, but this is significantly less than the £2,040 it costs for a retrofitted charge point.

Philip New, chief executive at innovation centre Energy Systems Catapult, said: “This is an unequivocally sensible move. It may enable some benefits of scale.”

The proposed policy positions

Electric company car driver

Policy position: residential buildings

The government proposes every new residential building with an associated car parking space to have a charge point. We propose this requirement applies to buildings undergoing a material change of use to create a dwelling.

The government proposes requiring every residential building undergoing major renovation with more than ten car parking spaces to have one charge point and cable routes for electric vehicle charge points in every car parking space.

Policy position: new non-residential buildings

The government proposes every new non-residential building and every non-residential building undergoing a major renovation with more than 10 car parking spaces to have one charge point and cable routes for an electric vehicle charge point for one in five spaces.

Policy position: existing non-residential buildings

The government proposes a requirement of at least one charge point in existing non-residential buildings with more than 20 car parking spaces, applicable from 2025.

The consultation period began on 15 July and will run until 7 October

Drivers want charging infrastructure before buying electric cars

What will tempt UK drivers into electric cars

A survey of 2,000 drivers by InsureTheGap reveals what we want when it comes to buying an electric car.

So, what exactly are we most concerned about for the switch from internal combustion to electric power?

EV charging infrastructure

What will tempt UK drivers into electric cars
The biggest pull for electric cars would be an infrastructure that can handle charging them.

Topping the list, 46 percent said they want the ability to charge quickly at home, without adding too much to their electricity bill.

Below that in second place, 43 percent said a robust, national infrastructure of chargers would make EVs considerably more appealing.

Range and trust in the tech

What will tempt UK drivers into electric cars

In third position, with 38 percent saying it was important, was driving range. We want our electric cars to offer at least 100 real-world miles before they need to fill up.

Trust in the technology is fifth, with 33 percent saying they want to understand what they’re buying, including reassurances of reliability and longevity.

Saving money and benefits

What will tempt UK drivers into electric cars

Perhaps predictably, what would make an electric car more appealing is saving money. So this comes fourth, with 38 percent saying it would boost the appeal of electric cars.

At present, electric cars cost an average of 20 percent more to buy than conventional rivals. 

In sixth, 33 percent that said grants were key, while 28 percent (seventh) suggested that there should be tax breaks for EV drivers.

BP Chargemaster rapid charging hub at Milton Keynes Coachway

In eighth, 23 percent that said they want reassurance the government will not be make electric vehicles more expensive in future.

Interestingly, 10 percent of drivers also said they’d be interested in electric cars if they got access to priority lanes in congested areas.

Saving the environment

What will tempt UK drivers into electric cars

Only 16 percent (ninth) said they’d be keen to know they were helping the environment. There are doubts, of course, given the unknown quantities around electricity and battery production.

“As UK ownership of electric cars grows it’s interesting to see what is holding people back from embracing this new, cleaner technology,” said Ben Wooltorton of InsuretheGap.com

“This survey shows that clearly there’s still a lot of hesitation when it comes to buying an electric car and until car manufacturers can improve their driving range, the national charging infrastructure is in place, and people feel they can trust the technology, the sector will remain a slow burner.

“It still only represents about six percent of the latest 2019 registrations.”

MG ZS EV is ‘first truly affordable family electric car’

MG ZS EV revealed

MG has revealed what it calls ‘the first truly affordable family-friendly electric car’: an electric version of the ZS crossover.

Deliveries of the ZS EV start in September 2019. It costs from just £21,495 after the government grant of £3,500, plus MG’s own £3,500 contribution. That last bit won’t last forever, though…

The need-to-know numbers

MG ZS EV revealed

So, what are the important numbers? WLTP-certified range is 163 miles, while ‘frequent rapid-charging capability’ means you should be able to fill the batteries in less than an hour.

With ‘frequent rapid-charging capability’ in mind, it’s also worth noting that the ZS EV gets MG’s seven-year warranty, battery and all.

Power is around 140hp from a front-mounted electric motor, with charge stored in a water-cooled 44.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The ZS EV has three driving modes, with three levels of regenerative braking.

£21,495… for the first 1,000 orders

MG ZS EV revealed

MG is matching the government’s £3,500 grant for the first 1,000 cars, meaning the standard ‘Excite’ ZS EV starts from £28,495, before £7,000 is lopped off by both government and manufacturer contributions – leaving a price tag of £21,495.

The base car is also available for £279 a month on PCP, for now. The Exclusive version is effectively reduced from £30,495 to £23,495. 

If you’re number 1,001 on the pre-order list, however, you’ll be paying £24,995, or £3,500 more than the first 1,000 owners.

Reserve a ZS EV for £500

For the first 1,000 £500 reservations, MG will also throw in a home charging point, with installation costs included.

You can join that first 1,000 now by visiting MG’s EV website.

MG ZS EV revealed

MG is adamant this is a series production car, too. No limitations on production or allocations are expected unlike the Volkswagen e-Golf, for instance.

‘ZS EV is here to revolutionise the way people think about electric cars. With the first truly affordable, family-friendly electric car, MG is bringing zero-emissions motoring within everyone’s reach,’ says the Chinese-owned company.

‘Make no mistake, this car isn’t a brand statement or a vanity project, we’re here to sell electric cars and to sell big!’

A crossover like any other

MG ZS EV revealed

Other than its EV powertrain, the ZS remains a conventional family crossover. Standard equipment levels are generous, with adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto coming as standard.

It also remains practical, with MG claiming it ‘can handle bikes, pushchairs, luggage and bulky loads with no trouble at all’.

You can have your ZS EV in a range of four colours, combined with new range-maximising 17-inch alloy wheels.