It’s time to start talking seriously about your next major investment. Something that’s more enduring than a Telfar tote, more durable than Balenciaga’s ‘knife’ heels and if we’re talking about cost-per-wear, it’s got absolutely everything beat. That’s right, for your next big purchase, you should be giving due consideration to electric cars.
If buying electric wasn’t on your radar a couple of years ago, this year’s expansion of the ULEZ (low-emissions) zone in London, and the panic-ridden calamity that was the fuel shortage have probably pushed it further up the agenda for you. Because despite the climate-driven requirement to taper our fossil fuel reliance, which has been a simmering pressure for decades, there’s nothing quite like rapidly haemorrhaging money or facing a sudden inability to complete normal daily tasks to put the fire up you. What’s more, with talk that sales of petrol and diesel cars could be banned from 2030, eventually you might not even have a choice.
It seems like the recent disruption to our lifestyles has had an immediate effect on our motivations for big purchases. More than a third of people in the UK (35%) have now said they are likely to go electric for their next car, according to Your Money.
Unsurprisingly, the fuel crisis was cited as a key reason for this change in thinking, with a third of all 18 to 34-year-olds fessing up to panic-buying petrol during the recent shortages. Not only that, but 32% of Brits said they would opt for second-hand electric car, showing that the circular fashion economy extends to more than just vintage Burberry trench coats. We’re looking to make savings wherever we can.
The Tesla Of It All
Though the cost of buying an electric car is still relatively high - at least compared to a third-hand banger that you might pick up from Facebook marketplace - your petrol-free or reduced-petrol options have dramatically increased in the last few years. With Tesla once looking like it was to be the Hoover of the electric car world (becoming synonymous with the product), happily that hasn’t come to pass. Other electric specialists like Polestar have sprung up, offering futuristic bodies, impressive range and, for those of us crippled by inadequate home-office set-ups, power-operated lumbar support in the driver and passenger seats. Sweet, sweet lower back bliss.
And, where the fuel-free specialists have led, so the rest have followed suit, with so many of your beloved and trusted car brands now bringing out either fully electric or hybrid models.
Among the very best of them, and seemingly the most Gen-X fashion-conscious (don’t tell me you haven’t seen the adverts with the cute pink charging cable before tucking into a new episode of Succession) is Volvo’s XC60 range. Coming in a re-charge plug in hybrid model, (though check out the XC40 if you want a pure electric) the XC60 is everything a young woman could want out of an SUV. It’s sleek, roomy enough to fit a couple of small dogs, several Vuitton suitcases and a travel tote in the back. Or, kids and all their paraphernalia, if you’re at that stage. The entertainment system is Google integrated, so your sat nav’s going to be the same as your phone’s and you can whack out the tunes via Google play. It also has lots of great safety additions, like detection of other road users to help you avoid collision. Take note, those with offspring.
The Audi e-tron has been getting a lot of press. Coming in a range of models, like the SUV-style Q4, or better yet, if you like something a little sexier, there’s the e-tron GT, which does 0-62 miles per hour in just 4.1 seconds.
If you’re looking keep your trusted family car but still make the switch to electric, you might consider the already hugely popular BMW iX3. It’s the brand’s first fully electric SUV, and delivers brilliant range, with an economic-output mode that allows you to conserve battery, reaching up to 282 miles from full charge. It also does away with the worry about wasting precious hours mid-road trip, waiting at the service station for the battery to re-charge. The car has rapid charging capability that reaches 80% within 34 minutes. Just long enough to enjoy a piping hot pumpkin spiced latte.
Buh-bye Range Anxiety
The thing (other than cost) that’s been cited as the biggest blocker to going electric is ‘range anxiety’ – the idea that you’ll just run out of battery power part way through a trip, with no idea how to recharge. And reputationally, electric cars can’t do nearly the same distance of a petrol equivalent before needing a top-up. But this needn’t be such a burden on your brain anymore. Sure, a lot of hybrid models can only to 20-40 kilometres in full-electric mode, but that’s why you have the fuel engine there as back up. And for the pure play brands, range has been a primary focus, with exceptional advances in battery power. The Polestar 2, for example, can do up to 335 miles on a single charge.
But beyond the car’s range, would-be electric shoppers can also benefit from faster charging times and countless more charging stations throughout the UK than ever before, with many petrol stations also offering charging points. And, it’s not just petrol stations. Major hotel chains, like The Exclusive Collection, which includes Pennyhill Park, South Lodge, The Manor House and Royal Berkshire, are now installing charge points in their guest car parks. So you’re likely only a couple of kilometres from hooking your vehicle up to a power source. And with plenty of apps to help you locate the nearest one, range anxiety is basically an anachronism.
Hello Return On Investment
Cars depreciate, that’s just a fact. It’s not like a Chanel double-flap, which has been known to increase in value over time. But if you’re going to buy a car over a bag, not only do you have the benefit of being able to get from A to B (I challenge you to find a Chanel bag that provides the same service), but going electric could save you a lot of money in the long run. According to Blue Drop Services, electric cars in general do not depreciate any faster than petrol or diesel models and electric vehicles from the likes of Tesla and Mercedes can retain their value for a long time. What’s more, as the government currently incentivises buying electric, with grants available towards the cost of purchase, you might find that your electric car holds its value for much more time than a petrol equivalent.
Then, of course, there are the lack of running costs. Petrol isn’t cheap, but a power top-up is. In a lot of places, charging your car is free. In others it costs about £6.50 for a 30 minute rapid-charge. And if we’re talking about charging from your mains at home, Pod Point estimates the average at-home full charge to cost about £9.20. In contrast, a full tank of unleaded now sets drivers back an average of £67.86.
So if you’re totting that up over time, that’s a lot of money that could go on a mortgage, nursery fees, a trip abroad. And with that kind of major cost-cutting, who’s to say you can’t buy an electric car and then spend the fuel savings on the Chanel double-flap too. It’s a double win.
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