The real figure is much larger. And with the recent £40 million fund awarded to Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes, and London to help drive the ‘green car revolution’, thousands more are expected to take to the roads.
The fund will be spent on charging infrastructure, improving public knowledge, parking, and other schemes particular to each of the four cities. All this means it’s a great time to be an EV driver.
But wait a minute, don’t rush out and buy one just yet. Although there are thousands of happy EV drivers, the majority of them lease rather than buy, and as we will see they have a good reason to do so.
Let’s take a look at the three main benefits of leasing over buying an EV.
While when buying outright, electric cars often carry a price premium over petrol or diesel options, lease-rates can be more favourable. With some models which have low kW batteries like the Renault Twizy and the Peugeot iOn being available to lease at a steal.
Add this to the fact that EV batteries are coming down in price fast—with new, more efficient models coming out every quarter—and the case for leasing and having the ability to upgrade your vehicle becomes a lot more attractive than owning.
We know internal-combustion engine cars depreciate quickly. As soon as you drive the car out of the showroom it has already significantly dropped in value. And unfortunately this is more true for electric cars.
After around 3 years, the average car will have retained 40 to 50 percent of its original value. With EVs, the figure is more like 25 to 30 percent. Unless you have plans to keep the car for a while before selling it—which comes with its own issues as we’ll see—it may be a smart move to opt for leasing.
Making a long term commitment in a rapidly changing market is always risky. The two year smart phone contracts service providers reel us into are one example of this. Normally long before the contract is up, one if not several new breakthrough features have already been launched.
The overall EV engine and in particular the battery are expected to improve significantly over the coming years. According to ChargePoint, an EV charging infrastructure company, the range on EV batteries has increased on average by around 5 to 10 miles per year.
Looking forward, many companies forecast seeing mid-priced EVs which have batteries with a 200-mile range in 2017. With this in mind, it’s easier to see how the industry is currently in a state of great change and therefore more suited to leasing.