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Drive electric

Low emission vehicles will be crucial in the transition to our low-carbon future. The next time you’re thinking about purchasing a car, consider an electric vehicle (EV) – your purchase will significantly reduce your carbon pollution and improve local air quality. You can also look to the latest Euro6 emission standard which represents the highest standard in carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions for a vehicle.

Instead of burning fossil fuels, EVs are powered by a battery, which is charged by electricity. Since electricity is becoming gradually “cleaner”, as the proportion of electricity in the national grid produced by renewables increases, switching from petrol to electric cuts your carbon footprint by two thirds.

All sales of new petrol and diesel cars are stopping from 2030, with some hybrids allowed until 2035, so it’s a question of “not if, but when?”.

Fully Charged “Maddie goes electric” series

Get Started

READ: Our blog “The Road to My First EV: I’ll never buy an electric car!”

LISTEN: to this special #CountdownToCOP Radio Verulam podcast talking about Driving Electric Cars

Fully Charged is a website and YouTube channel with lots of videos about everything to do with electric cars. It’s a great place to find reviews and guides.

A brilliant place to start is their series “Maddie goes electric“. This follows presenter Maddie learning all about electric cars and the reality of driving and charging one. There are 6 x 25 minutes episodes or one summary, 20 min “super cut” version of the series.

Exploring Different Models

Not sure what models are suitable for your needs? Use the EV Database to filter all available models by multiple filters; for example than you want a range of 200 miles, 5 seats, and a price of less than £30k.

Visit the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre in Milton Keynes to see and test drive multiple different kinds of electric vehicles.

Find your local dealerships.

Buy or Lease?

Like a petrol car, you can buy new EVs from dealerships or you can buy them secondhand, from sites like Autotrader or from local garages such as the St Albans Car Centre. Filtering by fuel type will give you a feel for what’s available.

There is also the leasing option, through sites such as Wevee and OnTo. This can allow you to try a car out for a while, if you aren’t sure about purchasing.

Ask your employer whether they offer a salary sacrifice scheme: your company leases the EV, but you pay for it with a monthly deduction from your pay – before income tax and national insurance – making it a cheaper option for you.

Understand about Charging

Anyone thinking about an electric car is thinking about range and about charging. Range is becoming less of an issue, since newer models typically have 200 miles on a single charge now.

There is guide to charging on the ZapMap site, or watch the Maddie goes electric video above.

If you have a driveway, then you could consider a home charging unit (you can learn about home chargers with Charging At Home). Public chargers are all shown on ZapMap and St Albans Council is expanding the network of public charging points, including at Westminster Lodge.