DRIVERS have been issued an urgent warning regarding serious problems with electric cars.
Electric vehicle technology is improving at a rapid pace, with a wider choice of cars and advancements in overall range, battery efficiency and public charging availability.
But although electrification of the UK's vehicle fleet brings less pollution, there is also cause for concern.
Not enough public chargers
It was revealed that ministers are set to miss their target of installing 300,000 new electric chargers by 2030.
Figures from the Department for Transport show that less than 9,000 public charging devices were installed last year.
According to official data, there are now 30 electric vehicles for every charge point, compared with 16 at the start of 2020.
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Ginny Buckley, founder and CEO of Electrifying.com, said to The Sun Online: "Electric cars are easy to drive, simple to charge at home and reliable, so owning one should be a hassle-free experience.
"But the hard fact is that our national charging infrastructure rollout isn't keeping pace with the numbers of car buyers making the switch to an electric car."
Too expensive to buy for most families
Three-quarters of Brits think the government should be doing more to encourage the switch to electric vehicles – by offering consumer grants.
A poll of 2,000 adults found 63 per cent consider the retail price to be the biggest downside of EVs.
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Just 15 per cent of those who don't own an EV are 'likely' to make the switch within the next 12 months.
But 60 per cent would be more inclined to go electric if the vehicles were cheaper.
This comes after Fiat launched its own electric car grant, Fiat E-Grant, offering £3,000 towards the all-electric 500e and 500e convertible.
Higher rate of VAT if charging in public
Recharging electric cars at major public points has soared to nearly £50 — making them more expensive to run than petrol motors.
Oil giants BP and Shell — which oversee the UK's biggest networks — charge 79p and 85p per kWh respectively.
The price has been creeping up to reflect soaring wholesale electricity costs.
Meanwhile, the price of petrol has dropped to around 144p a litre, meaning it costs about £72 to fill up a typical motor.
As a result, the cost per mile for the electric VW ID.3 is 21.43p — compared to 13.03p for the Golf 1.5L, VW's petrol equivalent.
This disparity is worsened by unequal rates of VAT.
Those who charge using public infrastructure pay 20pc, according to the Telegraph, compared to 5pc at home.
Lose their exemption from vehicle excise duty
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt revealed drivers of electric cars and vans are likely to have to start paying road tax bills before 2025.
Electric vehicle owners currently don't pay the tax because they produce zero emissions – but the Treasury are considering making them pay vehicle excise duty (VED) from the 2025/26 financial year.
A Whitehall source claimed the new law for electric vehicles was inevitable and it will happen "at some point".
The proposed plan could however cost every household £14,700 according to new reports.
Not enough vehicles being made to meet demand
Britain's car production rose for a fourth straight month in May, driven by higher demand for electric vehicles, according to an industry body.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Friday a total of 79,046 cars rolled out of factory gates in the UK last month, an increase of nearly 27% year-over-year.
While easing supply chain snarls have boosted vehicle production, Britain's car industry continues to grapple with post-Brexit export rules.
Under the trade deal agreed when Britain left the European Union, the origin rule requires a rising proportion of electric vehicles' parts to be made locally to qualify for trade without tariffs, starting 2024.
One of the first issue motorists raised is the fear of being left roadside with a flat battery.
There are 35,000 electric charging points in the UK, which is more than people might realise but is still sees them much less available than petrol.
Depending on your route, charging points can be quite far apart so if one is broken you could be left relying on your roadside assistance cover.
This has a knock-on effect on your insurance premiums as most EV models can't be towed, meaning they require specific and, often, more expensive cover.
There is also no law covering compensation if you are left out of pocket by a broken charging point, making it a major fear among EV owners.
Not enough power in the national grid
The national grid's current demand stands at 334.2 TWh.
This means that the UK would need to increase its electricity production by around 100TWh to meet the demands of electric vehicles.
This is a big increase, especially when you consider that almost 40% of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030.
EV motorists could be able to sell their surplus power from the battery of their parked vehicle back to the National Grid, The Sunday Times reported.
The idea aims to balance surges in the UK's power supply – preventing blackouts when electricity runs low for example.
Ofgem predicted the number of fully electric cars in the UK will boom in the next decade – from 500,000 in total today to 14 million by 2030.
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Tapping into all of these batteries' spare electricity would export the same amount of power generated by ten large nuclear power stations.
National Grid ESO even forecast that a third of peak electricity demand by 2035 will come from EVs charging their batteries.
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