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Do your homework when switching to EV

 

NEW figures reveal that sales of used battery electric cars almost doubled last year, with a record 119,000 of the vehicles changing hands.

However, despite increasing numbers of motorists making the switch, a new survey of MotorEasy members has revealed that continuing challenges with the cost of charging, access to public charging and the apps used to facilitate charging are damaging the ownership electric vehicle (EV) experience.

Over half of survey respondents expressed frustrations with battery range and one in four said energy costs for recharging are a worry. However, the biggest ownership hurdles for owners are access to public charging (73%) and the practicalities of using these chargers (71%), including the multitude of apps supposedly designed to ease charging (65%). The rapid and much-publicised depreciation of used EVs has also left 65% of owners worried about the loss of value in their EV.

Duncan McClure Fisher, Chief Executive of Intelligent Motoring, the parent company of MotorEasy, said: “Although the number of EVs on UK roads is accelerating, our membership survey strongly confirms that the accessibility of EV charging still has a long way to go.

“Almost three-quarters of the EV drivers we surveyed have experienced difficulties with accessing and using the infrastructure. As a result, EV owners advised those considering the switch to prioritise the installation of a home charger to save both time and money. Experienced owners also suggest new buyers research energy providers and take advantage of nighttime charging tariffs wherever possible, to make powering up even more cost-effective.”

Over 22% also said that service, maintenance and repair costs are putting a strain on finances, with 25% of drivers claiming to have faced challenges finding a qualified garage or technician to conduct service, maintenance or repair work.

McClure Fisher added: “With high voltage systems and advanced technology onboard, technicians working on EVs need to have the right training, which can mean EV owners may not be able to use their usual garage. However, a little research should identify a qualified EV technician locally or check out the Institute of the Motor Industry’s Professional Register which lists TechSafe-accredited technicians. It is vital that owners have the assurance that their vehicle is suitably maintained by a qualified professional and safe to drive.”

EV adopters two essential points of advice

 

  • Choose carefully – do your research on different makes and models, take a test drive, do not be swayed by an enthusiastic salesperson, and prioritise range by opting for the vehicle with the longest range you can afford.
  • Get a home charger – it’s a more cost and time-efficient way of charging. Consider your expected usage and charging requirements, and don’t leap into having an expensive fast charger installed – you may not need it if you can charge slowly overnight using a three-pin plug and relevant adapter and cable provided with the car.

 

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