There is nothing new about cars; they have been with us for almost 140 years. Usually then, any new technology that advances, say, benefits to the environment or safety or economy are generally accepted with no quibbling by motorists. In the case of electric cars though there has been more reservations.
The EV and related hybrids have something new to offer and, in the case of the former, eliminate the internal combustion engine completely. At first, car buyers were sceptical. They had to think about the electric charging cables that these vehicles need, despite the fact that we use a similar hose now to fill up with fuel. Fortunately, these worries are in the past and motorists have grown used to the idea of electricity as a fuel. Things are picking up fast.
An Improving Picture
The latest industry figures for November 2019 show that, although the car market generally has slowed, demand for the latest battery electric cars (BEVs) surged by a huge 228.8%, with 4,652 EV’s registered. Sales of popular plug-in hybrids and hybrids also rose by 34.8% and 15.0% respectively. That’s good news for the environment.
Is EV Reliability A Cause For Concern?
Motorists from as long ago as the Twentieth Century will recall that cars were not always as reliable as they are now. Modern manufacturing techniques to tight, demanding tolerances have ensured that breakdowns, while not totally eliminated, have receded in the motoring memory. Similarly, the dreaded rust, once the bane of car owners everywhere is now rarely seen thanks to galvanising. Car bodies last much, much longer.
Knowing this, buyers who have doubts about the reliability of vehicles with electric motors need not be concerned. It’s understandable though; in addition to buying the cars there is also the need to buy a better, more powerful charging cable than the one supplied plus the added cost of fitting a wall charger for overnight top-ups. This additional first outlay is recovered over time thanks to reduced running costs and servicing schedules and it has now been shown over time and with usage that electric cars are among the most reliable.
Our Survey Says
Yet another recent, large, national survey has demonstrated clearly that the UK’s most dependable new and used cars are hybrids and BEV’s, which have shown long term reliability across the board and the reason is simple: There are fewer moving parts in an EV and electronic parts tend to be more reliable than mechanical parts which can wear quickly. There is some not unreasonable concern about battery life but the reality is they have a useful life until charge drops to about 75%. Weight this against the problems with old engines; if an engine needs replacing it costs a packet so, although new battery packs are also costly, there is no reason to doubt that the life span will be about the same.
Remember too that there is no transmission; that’s a whole lot of parts taken out of the equation. The electric motor only has 1 moving part compared to a fossil-fuelled car which has many. Brakes on an electric car last much longer since they slow down by using the electric motor as a generator and actually store power back in the battery by process of regeneration.
It is known that some earlier Tesla models have travelled over one hundred thousand miles and some considerably further with no issues at all. Of course, you can never say never but on the evidence to date potential buyers can purchase their EV with confidence. Keep it serviced, make sure the electric charging cable is in tip-top condition and save by charging over night with cheaper power.