Is it worth having an electric car in Shropshire?- Tell us!

Author: JT Hughes

 

Electric Cars Shropshire

New electric car charging points are popping up across Shropshire and Mid Wales, as highlighted in a previous article about a guide to charging point locations in Shropshire. As a result, you will increasingly find hybrids and electric cars for sale in Shropshire. The savings on running costs are fantastic, but big questions remain. Are there sufficient charging points close to where you live and work, and is an electric car a practical option for you?

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Electric cars are seen as a greener way to drive. In cities, and in the UK’s larger towns, there has been a big surge in EV and hybrid car popularity. Now EV charging points are spreading outwards and are popping up across Shropshire and Mid Wales.

However, with the range limitation issues inherent in electric cars and the greater distances covered by those living in the countryside, rather than the town, it is high time to examine the pros and cons of electric car ownership for Shropshire motorists.

How much does an electric car cost?

The upfront purchase price for electric cars is generally more expensive than for standard petrol/diesel. A Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV currently costs around £31,00 to £42,000 depending on the specification, which Includes £2,500 Government Plug-in Car Grant.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Similarly, you can have a home charger installed (which can use cheap rate electricity) for which you will receive a government grant for 75% of the installation cost. The charger can fully charge the battery in just four hours for about £2. Presuming a 100-mile range, that works out at 2p a mile. The charger typically adds about £260 a year to the average driver’s electricity bill – not bad for a year’s motoring.

Recharging systems.

·       There are three main EV charging speeds:

·       Slow charging (up to 3kW) which is best suited for 6-8 hours overnight;

·       Fast charging (7-22kW) which can fully recharge some models in 3-4 hours;

·       Rapid charging units (43-50kW), which are able to provide an 80% charge in around 30 minutes. Rapid chargers also come in two charge point types – AC and DC – depending on whether they use alternating current or direct current.

How far can you drive in an electric car?

The distance an electric car can drive depends on many different factors. It depends on the kind of motor in the car, on the type of battery pack being used. The average electric vehicle can run for 40 to 100 miles on one charge.

Charging Point Problems.

Occasionally you can find that the charging spot you counted on using is ICEd—the term that EV drivers use when a charging spot is occupied by an internal combustion engine car. This selfish behaviour seems to be on the decline. EV drivers have become adept at leaving polite notes, which will hopefully convince the offender not to make the mistake again.

A more common problem is EV drivers who leave their car charging well beyond the point of practicality. Once a vehicle has reached 80% charge it should be unplugged as the final 20% takes as much time as the initial 0-80%.

Hybrid cars can also be a point of contention. Some EV drivers feel that hybrids already have an alternate power source and should not occupy the public charging points that EV drivers rely on.

So, is it worth having electric cars in Shropshire?

If your daily driving pattern is below 80 miles a day, and you have home charging, maybe even work charging, then most definitely yes. At 2p a mile you will be virtually driving for free. If you need to drive regular, or occasional long distances then consider a hybrid. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV hybrid delivers great mpg, but gives you the security of a conventional engine.

The charging network continues to grow, and public rapid chargers are more common.Two or three years ago this would have been a problem, with just one in Telford and two in Shrewsbury. However, if you take a look at the latest Zap Map (a UK record of all charging points) you can see that Shropshire and Mid Wales are now well catered for (and the network is being added to month by month). Even the remoter parts of the Shropshire Hills now boast coverage. If it’s not the right time to switch to EV now then keeping an open mind for the future could be an option.

 

 Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2015 and has recently been updated. ( 22 March 2016 )
6 Comments
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Nikki Locke
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4/27/2016 7:53:09 PM
More than one year ago
I don't think the government grant for home chargers is available any more. But all cars should come with a slow charger you can plug into a normal 3-pin socket. I bought a Peugeot Ion second hand. It is great for most of my journeys, with a range of 50-70 miles (depending on driving style, and whether I have the heater on). I do have a diesel car as well, for towing my caravan, which I use for longer journeys if there isn't a convenient fast charger on the way.
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Alison Collins
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4/20/2016 8:44:11 PM
More than one year ago
I have driven my Renault Zoe since last September and it is a fantastic car. Perfect for urban use, nippy and non-polluting. Goes 80+ miles per charge, can use rapid chargers such as the Ecotricity ones at all motorway service stations. Purchased via PCP on extremely favourable rates, I have a home charger (installed for free) so I can use my own solar electricity. Also I can charge the car at Asda while I shop. So much cheaper to run than a fossil fuel car and I am not contributing to air pollution. This Shropshire granny drives the latest model car complete with integral sat nav which also tells me how much power I have left and where the charging points are around the country. There is a rapidly growing and enthusiastic Renault Zoe population, all over the UK, and we share tips and help solve problems. I'd never go back to an ICE car! Join us!
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Colin
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3/22/2016 6:57:52 PM
More than one year ago
I have owned a 2012 Leaf for 2 years now. Bought as an ex-demonstator, so got for a good price. My daily commute is 8 miles each way, so range is not a problem. If I use my petol car, it has barely warmed up by the time I get to work, where as the Leaf has pre-warmed itself while still connected to the mains and I get into a warm, frost free car. I live in mid-Wales and can go into Hereford and get free parking and charging at the public car park. My car only has the original short range battery and its true that in winter you are looking at a reliable range of about 40 miles on the normal 80% charge or 50 with 100%. However I can work most normal journeys into this. Shropshire has been much worse than Herefordshire for charging points - still nothing in Ludlow or public car parks in Shrewsbury, but there are now rapid charges at Dobbies and Mile End services on the A5. In conclusion - the Leaf is the best car I have ever owned and it saves at least £1000pa in fuel.
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Andy
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3/22/2016 4:27:32 PM
More than one year ago
Range is the biggest problem for me. Manufacture's love to big up range but its blatant lies just as with other cars. Lets have better real world figures. Real world tests of Leaf show I would struggle to do my daily round trips especially in the winter when I'm driving in the dark all the time so no EV for me just yet.
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Paul G Shaw
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3/22/2016 11:45:45 AM
More than one year ago
Electric cars are pointless at the moment, unless you are very rich. Due to the range and recharge times it's not possible to do the miles to make the savings in fuel costs to justify the significant extra expense over a conventional engine.
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Steve
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10/23/2015 9:52:58 AM
More than 2 years ago
Great to see a dealer aware of the realities of ev ownership. Think the price you gave for the Leaf is after not before the grant. But in effect you can get better deals from many dealers. And the new Leaf has a longer range. Be great to get your charger working again...?!
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