The ripple effects of the energy crisis are being felt everywhere, and it’s a cause for concern for most people – especially those in low-income households.
Many people wonder what can be done to reduce costs during this time, but could electric or hybrid vehicles offer a helping hand?
We spoke to Tilmann Vahle and Matthias Ballweg, co-heads of circular mobility platform SYSTEMIQ, to discuss the most frequently asked questions and myths about electric vehicles.
How does the range of electric vehicles (BEV) compare to petrol cars (ICEV)?
The range of electric vehicles generally matches that of gasoline-powered cars and is significantly better than that of hybrid vehicles. Electric caralso known as Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), typically have a range of up to 350 kilometers on a single charge.
And once the battery is depleted, it can be recharged up to 80% in a few hours, even in half an hour for some high-performance models. Of course, this also depends on the available power supply from the charging socket.
Are electric vehicle batteries better than before?
It would seem so, as the battery-powered motors in BEVs are actually designed to outlast the useful life of the vehicle itself.
Currently, about 80% of battery life is 12-15 years. This number is also constantly increasing and could even reach 20 years in the near future.
Can you buy used electric vehicles, and is the process as simple as buying non-electric vehicles?
Yes and yes. However, in some markets electric vehicles are so popular that they Used vehicles can actually be more expensive than new cars.
In the same way that you would approach the purchase of a used gasoline vehicle, you will still need technical experts to assess the likely remaining life of the car in order to give you a reliable price estimate. For modern batteries, there is sophisticated analysis software that can produce this estimate.
The next European Battery Passport will contain all the relevant information to provide an estimate of battery life with minimum effort. In the medium term, it will be even easier, cheaper and more reliable to buy used electric cars than ordinary thermal cars. This means more “lemons”.
How much do electric vehicles cost to drive?
Expenses vary widely depending on local cost conditions, but electric vehicles are still cheaper to run today than regular gasoline-powered vehicles. Fuel costs are still capricious, while electricity costs are more stable.
In addition, in many EU countries you can benefit from subsidies and exemptions on certain taxes if you buy an electric vehicle, which reduces overall costs.
From 2020, any owner of an electric vehicle in the EU is eligible to participate in the carbon credit scheme to also help improve emission standards. This could save you between €250 and €550 per year.
And due to fewer moving parts and less brake usage (because EVs mostly break down using induction to charge the battery), they have around 60-90% lower maintenance costs. .
Insurance for electric cars may be higher, however, as they tend to be more powerful in acceleration and heavier due to their battery. This, however, is just one of many components that drive the overall cost of running an electric car.
What will be the impact of electric vehicles on the economy and how will it be different across Europe?
Electric vehicles will undoubtedly have an impact on the economy. For starters, they are much cheaper to operate, which will benefit low-income households.
But also, an increase in demand for electric vehicles means the need for new infrastructure around charging. Subsequently, this infrastructure will require investment and will create many manufacturing and electrician jobs. And the job opportunities don’t stop there, as people are also needed to work on battery performance metals.
This new infrastructure will require new and different manufacturing skills. This means new opportunities for countries, such as the UK, which have not been so strong in ICEV manufacturing in recent decades – although it also opens up competition from non-European countries.
Granted, there may be fewer auto service jobs as a result, but the overall economic outlook appears to be good for both the economy and individuals.
Will electric cars be cheaper before the 2035 ban on petrol cars?
Yes, not only because battery technology is advancing dramatically – a cost reduction of around 50% is likely by 2030 – but also because electric vehicles are easier to build. They require far fewer moving parts.
As a result, manufacturing costs could drop 20-40% by 2030, and cars will be cheaper to operate and build than they are today.
How safe are electric vehicles and how do they perform in different environments?
Look You’re here, it would seem that electric vehicles are safer than ICEVs. Telsa has consistently been rated the safest car in crash tests because the battery is incredibly stable.
Likewise, the weather doesn’t seem to impact the functionality of electric vehicles any more than it does gasoline-powered cars. Norway has the most electric vehicles per capita, so obviously the extreme cold in the country hasn’t affected them enough to put people off.
In extreme weather conditions, electric vehicles are, ironically, safer to drive than ICEVs. Indeed, the electrical system is fully sealed to the highest standards. BEVs do not require an air intake like internal combustion engines. They can cross extremely deep waters without polluting them with oil because there is not the same risk of leakage.