What is it like to drive an electric car?
If you’re used to driving petrol or diesel cars, you might be wondering if driving electric cars will be different. For the most part, driving an electric car is the same as driving a petrol or diesel car - it doesn’t require any special training or special licence, and all the rules of the road still apply.
But there are a few key points that set electric cars apart. From cleaner systems to lower running costs, it’s easy to see the benefits of driving an electric car.
Switching to an electric car can seem like a big change, but once you’ve got all the facts, you’ll understand why it’s definitely a positive one.
Fact #1 - Power
- It sounds obvious, but petrol cars run on internal combustion engines (ICEs) powered by petrol
- Electric cars run on a battery powered by electricity
Fact #2 - Emissions
- ICE cars produce exhaust as a byproduct of combustion - these emissions can contain toxic compounds and cause air pollution
- Electric cars run only on electric power - so they produce no emissions
Fact #3 - Maintenance
- ICE cars have complex inner systems - if one component isn’t working, the car may not run properly. They can need frequent - and costly - maintenance
- Electric cars have fairly simple inner workings that are easy and affordable to repair when needed - though they rarely need maintenance
Fact #4 - Handling
- Petrol and diesel cars are available as manual or automatic, depending on the driver’s preference and licence
- Electric cars are much closer to automatic cars - the battery provides constant power so there’s no need to shift through gears to gain speed
Fact #5 - Costs
- Petrol and diesel cars are subject to all kinds of congestion and emission zone charges. If you’re a commuter, these can really add up!
- Electric cars are exempt from the LEZ, ULEZ, and Congestion Charges, among others
Fact #6 - The future is now
- After 2030, new petrol cars will not be offered for sale in the UK
- There are now over 37000 charging points in the UK, and there are ambitious plans for expansion before all new cars sold will be required to be electric in 2030