The rise of the electric car – can an EV do everything we need?
Electric cars are not a new phenomenon. They’ve been around since motor vehicles first existed, but the poor progress of battery technology meant that combustion engine vehicles soon became the mode and the norm. But at what cost? The environment has not thanked us humans for the incessant and growing emissions that internal combustion engine (ICE) cars and vans inevitably create, and our dependence as a society on oil, usually imported, has frequently meant instability for domestic and commercial budgets, and for societies both at home and in oil-producing nations.
Whether switching from diesel and petrol to battery power (or a combination of the two) is the complete answer is a moot point but it’s a step in the right direction and there’s no denying that electric cars are going to be a more common sight on our streets. But can they do everything we need them to do as a household or as a business?
Just how popular are electric cars?
Electric vehicles (EVs) are not yet the dominant mode of transport on our roads, but they are certainly becoming more popular.
According to heyCar (https://heycar.co.uk/blog/electric-cars-statistics-and-projections)
- EVs make up 14% of the new car market in the UK
- More EVs were sold in 2021 than in the previous five years (2016-2020) combined
- The best-selling EV in the UK of 2022 is the Tesla Model Y
- In 2018, just over 15,000 new electric vehicles were registered in the UK. By 2021, this figure was over 190,000.
EVs are projected to soon outsell diesel vehicles, though petrol cars will be the most common for a little while longer. The ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 will likely ensure that electric cars continue their impressive growth trajectory. With there now being more EV charging points in the UK than petrol stations, even the most cynical of motorists can’t continue to claim that EVs are going to be little more than a niche product – don’t we all know someone (or someone who knows someone) who drives a Nissan Leaf?
Zap Map have some interesting stats on their website >> Electric vehicle market statistics 2022 which show that the total number of Electric vehicles on our roads has increased year on year.
What are the most popular electric car models?
Figures from the Department for Transport show that the most popular EV to June 2020 was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, followed by the Nissan Leaf. Tesla have been the success story of the past couple of years and huge sales of the Model 3, Model X and the newly-released Model Y means that Teslas might soon overtake Mitsubishi as the most frequently seen make of EV on our roads.
How far can an electric car travel?
The range of electric vehicles (how far one can go on a charge) has been a talking point for many years now. While it’s been true that some early model’s ranges were inadequate and recharging points were few and far between, that is certainly not the case anymore. There has been a huge push on getting charging points rolled out to homes and offices, on-street parking, supermarket car parks, motorway service stations and pretty much anywhere else that cars tend to spend a decent amount of time.
In terms of range, there are few models on sale now which do much less than 100 miles on a full charge, with some other models able to do over 300 miles; more than enough to get most people to work and back each day. Source: https://ev-database.uk/cheatsheet/range-electric-car
There are few people that have transport requirements that need a car that can do over 100 miles consistently every single day. Increased capability of battery technology coupled with more frequent and available recharging points are working together to shake off the idea that EVs are not adequate for modern lifestyles.
Can an electric car have a roof rack?
Yes indeed, electric cars can have roof racks. In fact, some models such as the Tesla Model 3 come with one as an option. Many EV models, usually due to their smaller size and lighter weight do not come with a roof rack as an option.
Many electric cars don’t tend to come with a permanent roof rack as the extra weight and drag have a negative impact on the car’s performance and ultimately, on its range. EVs don’t tend to have huge boots either and a lot of models are too small to be legally allowed to tow a trailer. This isn’t much use when you absolutely have to transport something large; a temporary solution is often necessary. We can help with that!
A product such as our HandiRack can come into its own for smaller vehicles such as electric cars. Check out this video from Me and Mon Ami on using our HandiRack inflatable roof rack on a Citroen Ami to transport a paddleboard. The HandiRack can’t make you a better paddleboarder, but it can definitely help you get your kit to where it needs to be!
Always be sure to check your car’s manufacturer recommendations for weight limits before loading up too much on the IKEA run though!
Can an electric car tow a caravan?
Again, whether an electric car can tow a caravan is down to the size and capability of the car itself. Some bigger electric cars are certainly capable of towing something like a light trailer. Hybrid cars tend to have greater capacity for towing so might be a better option if you’re going to be taking a caravan away a lot.
Here is a guide to which electric cars might be suitable for your towing needs What Car guide to towing with electric cars
Could you have an electric car?
You may already have an electric car, or are thinking of getting one but the reality is that by 2030 you won’t be able to buy a new petrol or diesel car in the UK anyway. Continual improvements in EV technology will mean that the current objections to owning one instead of an ICE vehicle will be minor points. Putting that aside, most households and business currently have daily travel requirements which fit well within the limits of the average electric vehicle and EV ownership is more of a matter of initial cost, availability of space to charge at home or at the workplace, and mindset.
So yes, EVs can do a lot of what we need them to be capable of right now, and the rest is being worked on. If you have an EV, there is definitely a solution to the current issue you are facing.
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash