This month we are taking a look at Electric Cars.  As Renewable Energy is being embraced as a way to move away from fossil fuels and decrease harmful emissions, Electric Vehicles also offer us an opportunity to reduce our reliance on petrol and diesel.  Many countries around the world are offering incentives for consumers to purchase Electric Cars in an effort to reduce pollution, improve air quality and become less reliant on having to rely on foreign oil.  In Spain currently, incentives are in the form of savings on car ownership tax at the city/local council level.  However, China has been offering purchase incentives as well as regulatory incentives with the result that sales of Electric Vehicles have grown strongly there.

Is An Electric Car Right For You?

If you drive less than approximately 200 miles/320km per day and have off-street parking, then an Electric Car could be a great option.  However, if you drive long distances in one go, an Electric Car is probably not the best solution for you.  There are several models of Electric Cars available with a range of around 200 miles, after which the battery needs to be re-charged and it can take several hours to charge from empty. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Cars

Currently Electric Cars cost more to buy than the petrol or diesel equivalents, but the total cost of ownership is less.

It costs a lot less to charge an Electric Car than to fill up with diesel/petrol and if you already have a solar electricity system at home, you can charge your Electric Car during the day and take advantage of the free electricity.

Service costs for Electric Cars are also less and some cities are banning fuel powered cars altogether.

However, if you do not have off-street parking, then access to charging points for an Electric Vehicle can be an issue.

Electric Cars are much kinder to the environment, but if you drive long distances in one go, then the range limitations of an Electric Vehicle may make it unsuitable.

Alternatives

If you would like to reduce CO2 emissions, but don’t want to be restricted on how many miles you can travel, then a hybrid car may be the solution.  There are various kinds of hybrid technologies available.  Some cars come with an electric motor combined with a combustion engine and use the electric motor to supplement the engine and offer lower running costs and emissions.

Plug-in hybrids can be charged at the mains and have an indicated range where the car can be driven on electric power.

Range extender hybrids use the combustion engine to charge the batteries so you can drive more miles on electric power.

Hybrids often have lower tax and running costs than petrol or diesel equivalents. 

Whether an Electric Car is right for you today or not, there is no doubt that automotive manufacturers are investing heavily in Electric Car development.  In an effort to meet emissions targets, many European governments have pledged to ban petrol and diesel cars over the next 10 to 20 years.

Email Free-Sol Solar at info@free-sol.com to learn more about how Renewable Energy solutions can help you lower your bills and your carbon footprint.