With fuel prices soaring, and the cost of used cars continuing to rise in the wake of the pandemic, you might be wondering if now is the right moment to take the plunge and buy a new electric car.

In 2021 11.6% of new car sales were electric, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Looking at December alone, this number rises to 16.5%, showing a clear upward trend.

Electric vehicle (EV) technology has come on leaps and bounds from the days of the Corbin Sparrow. The Tesla Model 3 was the second best-selling car model in the UK in 2021, of any car, fossil fuel or electric powered.

The Government has also announced a ban on new fossil-fuel powered cars, which is set to take effect in 2030 – so not all that far off.

But there are still a few things to consider before taking the plunge.


This is one of the most basic considerations when looking at whether an electric car is viable for you.

The kind of house you live in can have a big impact on how easy it is to charge your EV. If you have a private driveway or garage, the process will be a lot easier than if you have on-street parking, particularly if it’s not always straight forward to park outside your house.

If you’re lucky enough to have private parking, you’ll need to think about whether you want to install an EV charger. It’s possible to charge an EV out of the mains electricity of your house, but it’ll typically take all night to get a full charge.

Bespoke EV units, which can typically be installed on the outside of the house or in a garage, will charge your vehicle much more quickly with much less hassle. You’ll need to decide whether you want a 3kW or 7kW charger – the former is cheaper, between £250-£500, while the latter will set you back up to £800.

Beyond your home, you’ll need to consider what the charging infrastructure is like in your local area, plus any other parts of the country you routinely visit.

Cities such as London have good infrastructure but in rural areas public chargers can be harder to find. Sometimes you’ll arrive at a station to find someone else’s vehicle there, or even a non-functioning spot.

Tools such as Zap Map are really helpful for finding charging points, and you can download the app to your phone too.


Range is still unfortunately a big issue for EVs. While top-of-the-range EVs will come with stated ranged over 300 miles, this is still well short of a top-performing efficient diesel car that can routinely manage up to 600 miles on a tank. Plus, manufacturer claims about range tend to be optimistic at best, so the real range is often a fair bit shorter.

If you’re making routine long-distance journeys, it therefore might not be practical to have an EV as you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time at motorway charging stations.

As stated above, anecdotally, charging points in public places do often suffer from unreliability. Range anxiety is a real issue, making EVs a more sensible choice for families that tend to make shorter journeys and stay within a relative short distance of a reliable charger.


Cost is a huge factor for considering an EV. And it’s unfortunately quite complicated. It’s also been made less clear by the recent energy price hikes, as until recently, charging at home would have been an extremely cost-effective way to power up an EV.

That being said, petrol and diesel prices have also soared in 2022, meaning the running costs are still attractive. As an example, charging your car at Tesco Pod Points currently costs 24p/KwH. This equates to around £6-£7 for around 100 miles of charge. This is still much, much cheaper than fossil fuels.

While EVs also tend to be more expensive to buy upfront than a typical fuel car, the maintenance costs tend to be much lower. This is because EVs have considerably less moving parts compared to a combustion engine.

However, battery replacement can be a very costly exercise. Batteries are generally rated to around 100,000 miles use or eight years. At the end of this period, you’ll likely have to spend a significant sum to replace the battery with a new one. A Tesla Model Y costs £6,670 to replace and for a Nissan Leaf it is £4,900. However, these prices will likely rise in the future.

As for taxes and other municipal costs, EVs are currently favourable as they attract no taxes, and in regions such as London, you don’t have to worry about congestion or ULEZ charges. However, this may change in the future.

The Government recognises that as more cars on the road switch to EVs, their tax receipts are already falling due to people buying less fuel and not having to tax their cars annually. There is discussion, although none of it is confirmed for now, that the Government may have to introduce new forms of road taxes that include EVs in future to make up for this shortfall, including ‘pay per mile’ and other new taxes.

EVs also used to benefit from big subsidy incentives, but these have been cut back in recent years. Now when buying an EV you can expect a £1,500 discount on a new EV if it’s worth less than £32,000 new.

Finally, you’ll also need to take lead times into consideration. With global supply chain shortages, customers currently find themselves waiting up to six months for a new car. While this is also true for some fossil fuel new cars too, the used car market still has plenty to offer.

Of course, with such long lead times, the prices of used cars have skyrocketed too, making it an expensive time to buy a car either way, and definitely worth considering whether the car you’ve got right now can be repaired and cared for until prices come back down to earth.