Electric Vehicles (EVs)

The popularity of electric cars in the UK has shot up over the last few years, with more than 195,000 plug-in vehicles on the road, compared with just 3,500 in 2013.  Sales of electric cars in the UK rose 21% in 2018, with nearly 60,000 plug-in cars sold.  The huge increase in electric car sales in 2018 has come about because of a greater level of choice for drivers, a shift in the public’s attitude towards electric cars, and a constantly improving public recharging network. As the price of EV’s continues to reduce they are becoming ever more competitive with petrol and diesel cars. Many models can now give up to 150 miles range, and newer models coming to market will exceed 200 miles.

Drivers are increasingly looking to ditch fossil fuels, but which one should you buy? And is an electric car right for you in the first place?

How much does it cost to run an electric vehicle?

Just like conventionally-powered vehicles, electric cars come in different shapes and sizes, and will therefore have varying costs per mile.  Every electric car comes with a different-sized battery. The capacity of a battery is usually expressed in kilowatt hours (kWh), a measure of the energy storage available. To calculate how much it costs to charge your car, look at the cost of electricity (your home supply or at a public charging point) and do the maths.

For example, to charge the 100kWh Tesla Model S on a home supply at a cost of 12p per kWh on a good-value overnight tariff, the cost would be 100 x 12p = £12 to charge from completely empty to full. That’s a major saving over the cost of a £70-£100 petrol/diesel tankful for a typical executive car.

Why buy an electric vehicle?

  • Electric cars are very quiet.
  • They accelerate very quickly and smoothly.
  • They corner well because the weight of the batteries keeps the centre of gravity low.
  • They are much easier to drive in traffic at very low speeds.
  • Fuel and road tax costs are lower – electric motors are about 90% efficient (compared to ca. 20% for petrol and diesel engines).
  • They have lower maintenance costs as their motors are much simpler and the brakes are used much less due to regenerative braking.
  • They are better for the environment – they produce no emissions while being driven, so don’t contribute to local air pollution.

EV Charging Points in Lochaber:

Rapid charger points (charge to 80% in 30 minutes) within 60 miles of Fort William:

  • Fort William – rapid charger in An Aird Car Park, behind Morrisons.
  • Kilchoan – rapid charger at the far end of the car park at the Kilchoan ferry terminal.
  • Mallaig – rapid charger in West Bay car park.
  • Roy Bridge – rapid charger in the community hall car park.
  • Glencoe – rapid charger in the car park of The Glencoe Mountain Resort on the A82 east of Glencoe.
  • Drumnadrochit – rapid charger in the Visitor Information car park.
  • Isle of Mull – rapid charger in Monadh Mor car park in Fionnphort.

The charge point connectors at the sites listed above are: Mennekes (Type 2) (43KW/AC 3-phase), CCS (50KW/DC) and CHAdeMO (50KW/DC).

ChargePlace Scotland is a national network of EV charge points available across Scotland.

PlugShare provides a map and detailed info for EV charge points in Scotland (and globally).

Links for EV Info and Loans Available

The electric car microsite on Next Green Car includes an EV buying guide, search tools to help pick the best electric car for you, helpful information about EV charging and reviews of many EV models available now.

In their handy guide, Car Magazine introduces their pick of the best EVs for sale in 2019. From the latest Jaguar i-Pace, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S to forthcoming electric SUV rivals the Audi E-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQ C and Tesla Model 3 launching this year, electric vehicles (EVs) are proving ever more popular.

EcoCars will provide information, advice, and can help you source your electric car.

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) are working to build the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) with funding and support.

The interest-free Electric Vehicle Loan offers drivers in Scotland loans of up to £35,000 to cover the cost of purchasing a new EV, and up to £10,000 towards a new electric motorcycle or scooter.

The typical cost for a home charge point and installation is approximately £1000.  As part of its Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, OLEV currently offers applicants £500 towards this cost.

The Energy Saving Trust provides advice for businesses wanting to add EVs to their fleet. Grants and loans are available to businesses for EV vehicles and charge point installation.

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