With electric cars now properly vying for sales against ICE cars, is now the time to take the plunge and buy one, or should you be leasing instead?
It’s probably time to concede that the days are numbered for ICE cars, and that we’ll all be driving an electric car in the not too distant future although, for now, there’s plenty of room for both.
Whether that electric future means battery electric cars or Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars only time will tell, but we’re certainly heading in to an EV future. But is now the time to take the plunge in to an electric car?
There are downsides still to getting an EV, with charging stations not as plentiful – or as rapid – as you’d like, costs which are greater up-front, and even higher insurance premiums. And then there’s depreciation which, until very recently, hasn’t been great for EVs.
But there is progress on the charging front, with Ionity and Gridserve rolling out electric forecourts which can deliver up to 350kW charge rates, and networks like Polar now have a significant numbers of 50kW charging points dotted around.
Even depreciation on EVs is slowing, and up-front costs are becoming more affordable as mainstream makers embrace EVs but, as research from Vantage Leasing demonstrated, insurance premiums are still high for EVs and seemingly oddly calculated (it costs more to insure a garaged EV than one kept on the road!).
But when you add it all up, EVs are making sense for a lot of people, range anxiety should be a thing of the past (and it is when you spend time with an EV), but there is still the depreciation danger.
That danger could be magnified massively if, as expected, Toyota roll at Solid State battery technology next year which, even if it’s a year or two away from arriving in a production car, would make all other EVs on the road almost obsolete.
That’s enough to put you off buying an EV for now, but there is a way round it – lease it, and let the lease company take the hit. And there are some pretty appealing electric car lease deals around.
You can pick up a Renault Zoe or Kia Soul for under £200 a month, an electric Golf or Nissan LEAF for under £300 and a BMW i3 for under £400. Even a Tesla Model S can be had for around £800.
So yes, now is the time to grab an electric car, but only if you let the finance company take the strain.