Can an electric car be your everyday car?

It’s a measure of how far electric cars have come that, even a decade ago, it would have been hard to justify one as your everyday car.

Electric cars were too expensive, offered limited range, and the charging network was too small to make them a realistic prospect. Things started to improve when the Nissan Leaf arrived in 2010, with the Renault Zoe coming two years later.

Government grants, the rapid expansion of the charging network and the launch of more affordable vehicles all mean that the answer to our original question is, yes, an electric car can be your everyday car.

However, there are several questions you need to ask yourself first.

How long is my daily commute?
The average round-trip commute in the UK is around 21 miles. Even an electric car with the most miserly range estimate will be able to cover that. You don’t even need a Tesla to tackle a longer daily commute.

For example, the Kia e-Niro offers a claimed 282 miles of electric range, which might be enough for an entire week of commuting. Indeed, the e-Niro offers an impressive balance of price and range, costing around £30,000 after the plug-in car grant.

Kia e-Niro EV (Image: Kia)

Kia e-Niro EV (Image: Kia)

If you live in a city, you could find the latest breed of smaller and more affordable electric cars works for you. The Seat Mii Electric, for example, costs a fraction over £20,000 and offers a range of 160 miles.

Do I have off-street parking at home?
Without access to a driveway or garage at home, charging your electric car could be a problem. Although you can lobby your local authority to install chargers on your street, home charging is both more convenient and cheaper.

Trailing a charging cable across a pavement is unwise and unlawful. As the Highways Act 1980 states, unless you can prove that you have taken all necessary means to give adequate warning of the danger, you’re committing an offence. It just isn’t worth the risk.

Lamp post charging is an option – and connected kerbs are coming – but for now, home charging is the answer. Or maybe it isn’t…

If you have access to a charger at work, you could charge your car there. That way you’d have full batteries for the journey home and your morning commute. Just make sure you’re guaranteed access to the charger, or you could be set for an unplanned night shift.

Do I live in a city?
If you spend most of your time in a city, an electric car is fast becoming the best choice of vehicle. Indeed, it won’t be long before some cities make them the only choice.

Right now, electric cars are exempt from paying the London Congestion Charge – and they will be until 2025 at the earliest. The introduction of Clean Air Zones across the UK will also work in favour of electric cars.

Read more: msn

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