If electric cars are non-pollutant, they only cost 2 euros per 100 km to drive, and they can travel free on many toll roads, park free of charge in blue parking areas, and travel along HOV lanes, why are there still people who do not make the move to electric mobility? Despite all these benefits, there seem to be two main reasons that deter possible buyers. We aim to debunk them.
When we are thinking about buying a new car, the price factor takes priority. Electric vehicles do tend to be more expensive than ones powered by fossil fuels, but this is not a good reason at all for deciding not to buy a zero-emission vehicle. All the savings that can be made per month with an electric car justify the price difference and, in the long-term, electric vehicles are far more worth it financially.
Imagine, for instance, that you are wavering between buying two models with similar horsepower engines: that is, a Golf Sport (26,650 euros, payable in monthly instalments of 353.20 euros) and a e-Golf (35,000 euros, payable in monthly instalments of 450 euros). The monthly savings on petrol alone justify the 100-euro monthly price difference. While the Golf Sport consumes an average of 4.7 litres per 100 km, which is tantamount to about 6 euros, the e-Golf only costs 2 euros per 100 km. If you take into account that, added to this, most toll roads and blue parking areas are free for pure electric vehicles, the savings get bigger and bigger, and this is before subsidies for purchasing them or reductions on vehicle registration and road tax are factored in.
Having debunked price as a deterrent in the purchase of an electric car, another obstacle is the vehicle’s range, even though regular trips tend not to be longer than 200 km and the average length of a journey to work is less than 100 km. So what happens if one day you want to go on a long trip? The feeling of not being able to reach your destination without recharging your car is called “range anxiety”. This term is used to describe an imagined need or desire to make long trips that does not actually coincide with the “real” range we need. Throughout the whole of the European continent, there is a big network of charge points. In Catalonia, there are over 400 and almost 2,000 across Spain. What is more, many of them are fast charge points, allowing you to charge your car in about 20 minutes.
It is very simple to locate and use these charge points, thanks to various different tools available on the market. First of all, there is the Electromaps website and app, which feature one of the most up-to-date maps of charge points in Europe. Mention must also be made of the Chargemaps, Open Charge Map, Plug Surfing and IBIL mobile apps, which show all IBIL public charge points.
Car manufacturers are also providing customers with their own tools. Renault Group’s electric vehicles are equipped with two very practical systems. Z.E. Trip locates all accessible charge points in Europe’s main countries and pinpoints them on the map. It is accessed via the R-Link system, which shows the availability and compatibility of these points with your zero-emission Renault and how to reach them. It has been available for all European ZOE users since September 2016. Meanwhile, Z.E. Pass makes it easier to recharge your ZOE, whatever the operator of the charge point. It allows you to identify charge points, compare their prices and pay by mobile phone.
Nissan currently offers users an increasingly well-populated map of charge points. There are presently over 2,300 Nissan rapid charge points across Europe and growing numbers of companies and bodies are helping to extend this network. By 2020, 5,500 charge points are envisaged. To fast-charge your vehicle, it takes as long as it would to sit down and eat, so it entails no major change to your life.
Meanwhile Renault, Volkswagen and BMW are preparing an ambitious Ultra-E programme, aimed at creating an extensive thick network of extra-fast charge points throughout the whole of Europe. These charge points will be based on a system of specially cooled cables (HUBER + Suhner) able to handle a power of 400 kW and current of 400 amps in the case of family cars and up to 630 amps in the case of industrial vehicles. The European Union is subsidizing half the cost of the funding needed to get this initiative underway.
Now that we have debunked the two main reasons why many people drag their feet when it comes to buying an electric car, any excuses for continuing to pollute our cities are fast running out. It is just a question of time before most people change their minds and see the financial benefits to electric vehicles in terms of money savings, instead of regarding them as being too expensive. So-called “range anxiety” will then give way to much cleaner air and better health.