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Electric Cars in the UK
In November of 2013 BMW will release its highly anticipated electric car, named the i3. Meanwhile, the auto world has one big question: will BMW be part of a movement that saves the electric car industry? While we can’t predict the future 100%, we certainly can evaluate the current atmosphere. Let’s see where things might be headed.
BMW Betting on the i3
The i3 is BMW’s first mass produced electric powertrain vehicle. It also carries other high-tech features like carbon fibre and plastic bodywork to make the vehicle lighter. This means the i3 can go further on each charge with estimates showing up to 120 miles per charge. Currently the pricing is set to begin at £30,680.
The car has some other incredibly cool features like a single pedal for both accelerating and braking. When you let up on the “gas” the car’s forward momentum gets transformed into electricity through a built in power generator. This process slows the car down. The BMW i3’s design is sporty, and it shrugs off the typical pod shape of other electric cars on the market currently.
Even though BMW is a hugely successful brand, the i3 is a bit of a risk for the German auto maker. A lot of time and money went into the i3’s research and development in a time when the electric car industry appears to be stalling. However, there is a huge international push to promote electric cars. For example, in the UK, you can apply for a sizeable government grant if you buy an electric car – find out more here.
It’s definitely worth investigating the grant because electric cars can be more expensive than petrol or diesel vehicles, due to costs for specialist repair work. Make sure you shop around for the best deals using a comparison site when searching for insurance (be sure to check if the battery is insured too). On the plus side, electric cars are exempt from vehicle tax and the London congestion charge.
Big Changes Seen Around the Eurozone
The European Union is making large advances in the promotion of alternative fuels. The goal is for at least 10 per cent of transport to rely on green energy sources within the next seven years. Strict guidelines and mandatory electric charging points are part of this plan to spur electric car growth. The goal is to lessen the grip that fossil fuels hold on the region.
The increase in taxes and costs on petrol and diesel vehicles has not been enough to stimulate growth thus far. Today, the average consumer is still willing to pay more to drive a car that runs on gas. The limited choices among electric vehicles and the lack of charging stations have been big hurdles. However, with the EU mandates and cars like BMW’s i3, this might all be changing soon.
The Electric Car’s Future
Many estimates show that by 2020 there will be nearly 10 million electric autos out on the EU roads. That means a lot of new charging points must be built to keep up with this growth. Have a look at Zap-Map for more information about the rapidly expanding charging points across the UK.
With fossil fuel prices and fuel taxes increasing, it appears that BMW’s bet might be a good one. Other automakers are certainly watching carefully how the i3 will be received. Still, many large manufacturers, such as Honda and Ford, already are dedicated to the electric car market. This means that the price of electric cars will fall as more competition enters the field. In fact, the Nissan LEAF currently is priced at a reasonable £25,000.
Plug-In Car Grant Incentive
The government offers a £5,000 grant for purchasing certain new electric cars. Currently there are 12 cars on the list, with more to be added soon. Even if you buy a fleet of electric cars for your business you are eligible for the grant on each vehicle purchased.
BMW is making a big jump into the electric car market and the industry is watching. With increased automaker participation and government mandates, it appears that the electric car industry has a bright future.