£5k grant to spark electric revolution
FAMILIES are becoming increasingly aware of the need to make their car environmentally-friendly.
Cars remain the most practical mode of transport for individuals, but Governments worldwide are setting increasingly ambitious targets for reducing CO2 emissions. In an attempt to keep up with the guidelines, electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming a popular choice for motorists.
There are a few things to consider when looking into buying an electric car.
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Firstly, you need access to a garage or drive to be able to recharge the car overnight.
Secondly, your mileage needs to be limited to less than 100 miles per day, preferably on a regular route that you know well.
For example, regular commuting trips are well suited to electric cars, as you will know what to expect in terms of distance, route, congestion, road conditions and parking.
You also need to be able to afford to buy new. There are very few electric cars available on the used car market.
Although they remain more expensive than conventional cars, some new electric models such as the Nissan LEAF are now priced at around £25,000.
These are supported by the new Plug-in Car Grant.
The grant subsidises the purchase of battery, electric and plug-in hybrid cars that qualify and is worth up to a maximum of £5,000.
With more than a dozen hybrid models already available in the UK, and several more models to be launched this year, hybrid cars are taking their place alongside conventional models and should be a serious consideration for car buyers.
The first diesel hybrids are also now appearing in UK showrooms.
In general, hybrids improve fuel economy by around 20 to 25 per cent, and reduce emissions considerably in comparison to equivalent non-hybrid models.
Due to their lower tailpipe CO2 emissions, car tax for hybrid cars is generally lower than it would be for a non-hybrid model.
Hybrids are particularly suited to urban start-stop driving conditions, with the battery recouping some of the energy that would otherwise be lost during braking.
The only type of driving not particularly suited to hybrid cars is regular long-distance driving typical of company cars used on business.