What are the pros and cons of buying an electric car?
In Europe, electric and hybrid cars account for about 5% of new vehicle sales. But these numbers are set to spiral as manufacturers power ahead with new models against the background of Government commitments to end the production of new petrol cars by 2040.
Businessman John Quinn is a proud owner of a Tesla Model S that takes him 285 miles on a single charge. The car does not come cheap – he paid about £90,000 – and that includes a Government discount of £4,500. John, 62, has owned the car for six months and is already making savings.
He says: ‘It costs me roughly £20 to fully charge compared to £100 to fill up my previous car, a Bentley convertible, for the same mileage.’
Businessman John Quinn is a proud owner of a Tesla Model S that takes him 285 miles on a single charge.
He adds: ‘With no road tax or congestion charge when I drive to London and free use of Tesla Superchargers at motorway services I am already seeing cost savings.
‘I go to Swansea once a week, some 180 miles. I tend to stop for a coffee at the services on the way back, plug the car in and have enough charge to get me home. The cost of a round trip is about £20, compared with £140 in my Bentley.’
John says his insurance bill is about the same as for the Bentley. He says: ‘It’s green and it’s fast – doing nought to 60 in less than three seconds – and it comes with advanced technology such as free wi-fi. I love the idea of electric – we will all adopt it in time.’
The High Notes
- Packed with interesting technology
- Safest car ever tested by the NHTSA
The safest car in the world
Designed to be the safest car in the world, the Tesla Model S owes a large part of its 5.4-star NHTSA safety rating to its electric drivetrain that resides beneath an aluminum occupant cell in the subframe – contributing to its low center of gravity and reduced rollover risk. Factor in six airbags, in addition to features such as collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking, and its safety medallion stands well justified.
This car is convenient with GPS memory for automatically raising and lowering ride height. The front and rear trunks have 31.6 cubic feet of storage—meaning you can pack what you want.
Chok-full of technology, there’s over-the-air software updates that add features and enhance performance, maps and navigations with real time traffic information, 400KWH of free annual Supercharger credits, a GPS enabled homelink for opening and closing garage doors and a center console with removable dividers.
The future is electric
As of December 2016, Tesla has sold over 186,000 electric cars worldwide since delivery of its first Tesla Roadster in 2008. The company has a goal of producing 500,000 cars annually in 2018.
California-based Tesla is accepting online orders from customers in the United Arab Emirates, a pop-up store in the Dubai Mall and a Tesla service center on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road.
Tesla will open a store and service center in Abu Dhabi in 2018 and plans to expand to Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.
Jaguar’s chief executive said recently: ‘One thing is clear, the future is electric’, as he announced that by 2020 the luxury car maker would produce only electric or hybrid cars.
Although more affordable than hydrogen-powered vehicles, there stands a lot of dispute over the long-term environmental benefits of electric vehicles, especially when factoring in the production, charging, and disposing of batteries at the end of their lifecycle.
HIGH UPFRONT COSTS: Owners can pay thousands more to buy an electric car compared to a conventional motor. Colin McKerracher, of research group Bloomberg New Energy Finance, says plug-in battery prices explain the higher cost. He adds: ‘The battery pack makes up between 30 and 40 per cent of the car price. But costs are falling fast. By 2030 we expect the battery to represent 18 per cent of the total.’
This car is convenient with GPS memory for automatically raising and lowering ride height.
INSURANCE: Pure electric cars cost more to insure. The higher premiums reflect the scarcity of electric cars, their higher upfront cost and the use of battery technology that requires specialist repairers. This hurdle will diminish as electric vehicle sales grow.
Pricing in the region starts at 275,000 dirhams (~$75,000) for the Model S–not very different from the company’s pricing anywhere else. Presumably, the only differences from the US are due to shipping and import taxes/fees.