As the electric car market continues to grow, the number of electric cars for sale has ballooned over the last few years. There are literally hundreds of different electric cars to choose from in the mass market and yet more electric cars in the limited marketplace which can take in areas such as electric sports cars. Let's take a look at the electric cars for sale at the moment...........
Tesla is one of the best-known electric sports car companies in the world and has, in many ways, stolen a march on its competitors who are still coming to terms with a fairly significant consumer shift from traditional motor vehicles to electric vehicles. The Tesla Roadster is capable of a top speed of 125 mph and can cover up to 250 miles between charges. This is a vehicle which is proving very popular in the UK and worldwide and one which also qualifies for various road tax and congestion charge exemptions.
The strangely named Mitsubishi MiEV has been available in the UK under a pilot scheme from November 2009, but only in the Midlands. However, a new batch of Mitsubishi MiEVs is on the way as demand continues to grow and consumers begin to recognise the enormous efficiencies and cost savings associated with the electric car market. This is a vehicle which has a slightly subdued maximum speed of 81 mph, although still in excess of the maximum UK speed limit, although the fact that running costs are estimated at around 6% of that associated with a comparable petrol vehicle is a major benefit for consumers. This particular vehicle will give you around 100 miles before the need to recharge the battery.
Nissan 2010 Leaf
The UK government has just announced a £20 million payment to Nissan to help kickstart the company's electric car operations in the UK with up to £200 million in guarantees and grants. Top of the list for possible production in the UK is the long-awaited Nissan 2010 Leaf, which is one of the first real mass market electric cars to be launched. The Nissan 2010 Leaf will give you around 100 miles before the vehicle needs recharged and battery charge times will vary from around eight hours charging from a traditional power point at home to just 30 minutes if you have access to a quick charge point. The vehicle is expected to come in at around £30,000 which is well within the budgets of many people in the country looking for efficiency and value for money.
The Citroen C-Zero is the latest addition to the Citroen electric car portfolio upon which the company is set to place more focus and more investment in the future. This particular vehicle will give you around 80 miles between charges and from a standing start can hit 60 mph in 15 seconds. While this is not particularly quick compared to electric sports cars, and some traditional cars, it is more than adequate for those who are likely to be the company's target market. The recharge time for this particular vehicle is around six hours unless you have access to a quick charge point.
The REVA NXR was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and is expected to be available in 2010. Built in conjunction with various partners around the world, although maintaining an Indian-base, the vehicle will have a top speed of around 65 mph and be capable of near 100 miles in journey duration. However, it is the car’s "Telematic" communication system which caught most attention as this offers the ability to control the recharging facilities on the vehicle using your mobile phone!
The second hand market in electric cars
The second hand car market is often a very difficult area of business to predict but many believe that the cost of second hand electric cars will be basically dictated by the life and cost of the battery power which is essential to the vehicle. Some experts believe that while electric vehicles will hold their price relatively well compared to more traditional vehicles in the first year, there will be a gradual depreciation in the value of a secondhand electric vehicle with potentially 90% of their value eroded by year five. So how can this be?
The problem with the electric car market is the fact that the power is the most expensive element of the vehicle and at the moment is an element which does have a natural shelflife. The 90% reduction in value over five years, with five years being the average life of the battery pack, is just a guess at the moment because in reality the electric car market is very much in its infancy and battery power and battery technology is improving month by month.
What can you expect to save on running costs?
When you consider that some vehicles in the electric car market have running costs which are less than 10% of those associated with a traditional petrol vehicle, there really are some massive savings to be had. When you also take into account the fact that many electric vehicles will be exempt from road tax and congestion charges in the UK, there really is the potential to build up a significant savings pot from using an electrical car.
However, if you retain your vehicle beyond the five-year limit, when experts believe you will see a significant reduction in the value of the vehicle, it is arguable that you could effectively lose more on the secondhand cost of your car than you have saved over the five-year period. This may seem very distressing at the moment but developments in battery technology and the electrical car industry as a whole will certainly reduce this potential loss and hopefully push it more into line with traditional vehicle secondhand reductions.
There are literally thousands of electric cars for sale on the Internet which offers the perfect opportunity to peruse and research the vehicle of your choice. There are many things to consider when looking towards the purchase of an electric car which include:
While in general the cost of an electric car is greater than the cost of a comparable petrol vehicle, you also need to take into account the potential savings on an annual basis. However, there is also need to maintain your budget requirements and ensure that you do not overstretch yourself with a vehicle which you cannot afford.
It is very easy to become caught up in the headlines and the sensationalism which often follows the release of new electric vehicles to the marketplace but in reality you need to pick up a vehicle which best suits your journey types. There are hybrids and electric cars which will perform better in the city and others which will perform better on longer journeys. You need to pick a vehicle which best suits your requirements because the difference in efficiency can be significant.
While the reliability factor associated with electric cars can be very much higher than that associated with traditional vehicles, there is still a need to do your homework and see what type of track record particular brands have in the marketplace. You may need to spend a little extra to obtain a more reliable and more efficient electric vehicle, but again, you will also need to consider your budget restrictions. As the electric car market evolves there is no doubt we will see the reliability factor increase significantly thereby injecting further confidence into the consumer market.
More and more governments around the world are now appreciating the need to encourage consumers to acquire environmentally friendly goods and environmentally friendly services. As a consequence, a number of authorities around the globe have introduced significant tax breaks for those acquiring electric vehicles, as well as a reduction in road tax and congestion charges. While the tax benefits offered by the UK government, and others around the world, are likely to last for some time they will not last forever.
Despite the fact that the first electric cars tended to be two seater vehicles, with a need to keep the weight of the car as low as possible, we have seen further expansion and further improvements in this arena. There are now more four seater electric cars available than ever before and size is no longer a restriction in the marketplace therefore opening up the electric car market to more and more people.
One of the major areas of the electric car market is the concept vehicle with a large variety released to the marketplace on a regular basis. While many of these concept vehicles will never make it into mass production there are some which will hit the market in the future and bring new and innovative ideas to the motoring public. Even if a concept vehicle does not make it to the final stages of the mass market, there are many new ideas which could be used by manufacturers in the future.
Investment in the electric car market
While the forecast potential 90% drop in the value of a brand-new electric vehicle in the first five years is a massive handicap for many people, this has not stopped car manufacturers investing billions of pounds into the industry. The 90% reduction will not relate to each and every electric vehicle on the market and indeed even recent advances in battery technology could push this timescale further out.
Even though the headlines would seem to suggest that the bulk of investment in the electric car market is going into the design and production of the vehicles, there has been a massive increase in investment in the area of electric car batteries. This is often an element of an electric car which many people overlook but ultimately this is the engine room of the electric car market and electric car industry. We have recently seen lithium-ion batteries taking their place at the top table of electric car industry due to their lightweight and relatively high power density. However, there are other battery types available in the market, which are available at the top-end of the industry as they are more expensive, although potentially longer-lasting.
As we touched on above, various governments around the world are now incentivising consumers to look at the electric car market as a means of reducing environmental pollution as well as reducing the overall cost of motoring. Government assistance in the future will be vital to the ultimate success of the industry because many consumers are still yet to be convinced about the reliability and performance of electric vehicles.
We are now seeing the creation of a fairly liquid and fairly popular secondhand electric car market although the pattern of depreciation can be very different to that of a traditional petrol vehicle. It is hoped that the growth of a secondhand electric car market will allow more and more users to upgrade to new electric cars, having raised some money from the sale of their secondhand vehicles. However, it is still the primary market which is most vital to the industry because ultimately this is what grabs the headlines and what consumers will see when they look at the electric car industry.
Tax incentives introduced for both consumers and car manufacturers will also play a major role in the future as indeed we saw up to £200 million delivered to Nissan UK from the UK government, in the shape of guarantees, grants and direct loans from UK taxpayers. This is the future of the world wide car market and countries such as the UK are very keen to grab a chair at the top table thereby ensuring the production and design of electric vehicles long into the future.
The electric car market is only a fraction of the size of the traditional petrol car market but over the years many believe the sector will eventually outstrip the petrol market and become the number one type of vehicle, whether hybrids or pure electric car plays, in the future.