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What Incentives Are There to Buy an Electric Car?

If you’re thinking of buying an electric car in the UK, then you’ll be able to enjoy a grant from the government. 😃 But what does this mean exactly? The government provides cash incentives for car buyers who are switching from conventionally fuelled cars to new electric vehicles. This is to encourage more people to think about getting an EV instead of cars that produce CO2 emissions like those that use petrol or diesel fuels.

How Does the Cash Incentive Work?

All vehicles on sale are categorised by the government into seven groups. The categorisation depends on how much CO2 the cars produce and also how far the vehicle can travel without emissions. 

Previously, cars under categories 1, 2, and 3 are eligible for incentives since they are the least polluting vehicles in the seven categories. However, there have been changes to the government grant. Cars under categories 2 and 3, which are plug-in hybrids,  no longer qualified for the grant. Category 1 vehicles can still get funding but it has been reduced from £2,500 to £1,500.

How Does a Car Qualify for the Grant?

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) is the one that oversees the grant for electric vehicles. It also makes the decision about which vehicles are qualified for the incentive, based on the emissions, safety features, top speed, and warranty. 

Previously, for the hybrid car to be eligible for the grant, it must have less than 50g/km of CO2 emissions. Also, the vehicle must be able to run for at least 70 miles without any CO2 emissions and of course, it should be included on the approved list of vehicles by the OZEV. But now, hybrid cars are no longer included. 

At present, the cash incentive being offered by the government can cover up to 35 per cent of the purchase price of electric cars only, with a maximum amount of £1,500. But the car should cost £32,000 or less. If you included additional equipment for the vehicle, it won’t be part of the calculation for the cash incentive. 

Other Benefits of Buying an Electric Car

Smooth Acceleration

With electric cars,  you don’t have to worry about some of the mechanical issues that you’d usually have with diesel or petrol vehicles. EVs offer a better driving experience because power is instantly delivered to the wheels. As soon as you put your foot down on the accelerator, you’ll be able to tell the difference. Try test-driving an electric car if you haven’t yet done so. It will help you arrive at a decision on whether to buy an EV or not. 

Quiet Driving

You won’t hear a lot of noise from electric cars. This might seem weird at first, especially if you’re used to conventional vehicles. But don’t worry because you’ll get used to it quickly enough. What you’ll most likely hear from driving an EV would be tyre and wind noise since there’s no sound coming from the engine. 

Maintenance Savings

While electric cars can be more expensive than diesel or petrol vehicles, you’ll get to save a lot on maintenance costs. EVs don’t need an oil change and other services. These cars have fewer moving parts compared to conventional vehicles so you can expect them to last longer without needing any servicing. As for the battery, make sure that it’s covered by the warranty because if it has any issues, it can be expensive to replace it.

Fuel Savings

Apart from the government grant, a major benefit of buying an electric car is that you don’t have to worry about fuel expenses anymore. With a diesel or petrol car, you’ll be spending about £1,000 if you cover a total of 8,000 miles within a year. Also, since you no longer have to stop by at refuelling stations, you can save more time since you can do the charging overnight at home. 

Zero Emissions

EVs have electric motors powered by batteries. These cars do not have a combustion engine so there are no exhaust emissions. You’re doing a lot for the environment by choosing an electric vehicle. Big cities are now facing a serious problem with air pollution. You can do your part in making your city’s air cleaner by shifting to an electric car. 

What is Range Anxiety?

Some drivers don’t like electric cars because they get range anxiety. This is when you’re always worried about whether the car can take you to your destination without running out of battery. It’s actually a real concern, especially during the early days of EVs, whilst the infrastructure is still being developed. 

However, at present, many electric cars can go for 250 miles on a single charge. You can use your EV every day without any problem. However, if you’re going for a longer trip, then you need to prepare and know in advance where the charging points are so you can have a smooth journey. 

Takeaway

EVs can be expensive but with the government grant for Category 1 cars, you can enjoy an incentive to help you with your purchase. Electric vehicles are great for driving around the city where the distances between destinations are shorter. You don’t have to worry about running out of battery power. Also, there are more charging points to choose from. 

Electric cars come with many benefits, especially if you only need a car to move within the city. If you find that you need to take long journeys frequently, you may want to spend more time weighing up the pros and cons of an electric car. For longer distances, conventional vehicles might still be the best option for the time being. 

The perfect car for you depends on whether it will be able to meet your needs. So don’t be in a hurry to decide. Instead, read as much as you can about electric vehicles vs. diesel vs. petrol cars. It will definitely help you in arriving at a sound decision for your next car purchase. 👍

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