But what are those benefits? Why exactly should you drive one? And, more specifically, why should you lease one?
Read on as we discuss the advantages of leasing an electric car…
1 | Affordability
Due to them being relatively new and their technology still evolving, electric cars are more expensive than their petrol or diesel counterparts. As an example, the electric-powered SEAT Mii will set you back upwards of £20,000, significantly more than the VW Up! at around the £11,500 mark - which only differs from the Mii in its badge, engine / powertrain and minor detailing.
Even with the government grant of £3,500 (previously £4,500) to buy one, many drivers are priced out of going electric. However, leasing provides an alternative to buying outright, enabling you to afford an electric car with smaller monthly payments.
2 | Flexibility
On top of that, leasing an electric car means you don’t lose out from the rapidly evolving technology. New and improved electric cars are hitting the market at a rapid rate, making older models less valuable. By leasing an electric car, you can ensure your money isn’t tied up in the car.
This also allows you to keep up with the latest technology and get the best car for you. At the moment, electric vehicles are improving significantly in terms of their range, so you can drive further between charges. With an electric lease car, you can upgrade to a newer model when your contract ends.
3 | Reduced running costs
Now onto the benefits of electric cars themselves compared to other lease cars. One of the biggest benefits is the lower running costs. Charging up an electric car costs a lot less than a tank of petrol or diesel. In fact, a mile in an electric car can be up to three to four times cheaper than a mile in a petrol or diesel car.
The cheapest and easiest way to charge your electric car is at home, if you have off-road parking. If you leave your car plugged in overnight, it will be fully charged for the morning. In addition, the government pays up to 75% towards the installation cost (up to a limit of £500) of your own home faster charging point.
However, as electric cars become more commonplace, many supermarkets and public car parks also have charging points, varying in price. Currently, in the UK, there are over 15,000 charging points, and you can use Zap Map to conveniently find the nearest one to you, no matter where you are. Most electric cars charge to a full capacity in 8 to 12 hours, and some rapid chargers can charge electric cars by 80% in only 30 minutes.
4 | Easy to maintain
Another benefit of leasing an electric car is that they’re easier to maintain. The number of moving parts a car has plays a big part in the cost of maintenance. With a less complicated motor than a normal, internal combustion engine (ICE) – electric cars have fewer things ‘under the bonnet’ to go wrong and therefore less to pay for if something does go wrong.
That includes no metal on metal wear as you would get with a normal car’s clutch system, for instance, which would need replacing to maintain the car itself. Much simpler and more affordable than conventional cars, electric car maintenance is usually limited to:
- Windscreen, wipers and fluid
It’s worth noting, however, that despite having less to maintain, the parts that do need maintaining are particularly specialist. Electric motors, for instance, aren’t something dealerships can service in-house, while batteries are something of an unknown in a relatively new sector. As batteries deteriorate with age and charging cycles, it may be that these batteries need replacing, which could be expensive or even impractical.
5 | Better for the environment
Arguably the biggest reason people switch to electric vehicles – and the government is aiming to push us towards them – is the environment. Electric vehicles can reduce your carbon footprint as they don’t emit high levels of greenhouse gases like petrol and diesel cars.
That said, they’re not entirely emissions-free at present. Electric cars still contribute to global emissions through the burning of coal and gas, which generates the majority of electricity in the UK. This will reduce over time as we move to renewable sources of electricity.