Ten reasons to have an Electric Vehicle
Kiwi couple Sean and Imogen Thompson talk about the benefits of owning an electric vehicle.
Owning an Electric Vehicle is becoming more popular and cost efficient. Here are 10 reasons to go electric from a family that knows the benefits.
- Save on costs
Charging their EV costs around $8 a week in electricity compared to $50 a week in petrol to run their old car. “That makes a huge amount of sense financially for us,” says Sean
- Minimal maintenance
With very few moving parts, maintenance costs for electric vehicles are also very low. In fact, Sean says apart from WOF and tyre changes there are very few maintenance expenses. “With a regular car you’ve got your oil changes, your filter changes, you have to have a service every six to 12 months, but with this car there is only 20 moving parts, so very little ever goes wrong with it,” says Sean.
- Save the planet
Low emissions, because of New Zealand’s 85% renewable electricity, means there's little to feel bad about when you hit the road. “From an environmental perspective it’s just awesome to know there are no more emissions going into the atmosphere every time we drive,” says Imogen.
- Easy to charge
A standard electrical outlet is all that’s needed to charge an electric vehicle. If you want, you can take your charging cable with you and plug in at your destination – it’s like having a mobile petrol station, only greener.
- Plenty of range
Your range will depend on the model of car you have, but a full charge on the Thompson’s 2011 Nissan Leaf gives them a range of between 100km and 120km.
- No smell or noise
There are no engine noises or smells, not even a whiff of petrol or oil. “It’s completely silent to drive, so the only noise you hear is the noise of the road under the tyres,” says Sean.
- No car sickness
The Thompson's say an unexpected but welcome bonus of the car is that their young kids don’t get carsick. “They did get car sick in our petrol car, I think just with the movement and the noise and the jerkiness, but in this vehicle … they don’t get sick on the hills or the bends.”
- Staying powerful, while going green
Giving up petrol doesn’t mean settling for a car without any get up and go. Imogen says the power of the EV was what sold her on it. “I test drove it in a hilly area and it was just so steady and powerful going up those hills.”
- Online help on the road
Sean and Imogen didn’t know any other electric vehicle owners when they bought their car last year, but they’ve since plugged into a supportive online community. “There’s a really good network of EV users on Facebook… with information about charging points and things that can be used throughout New Zealand. There are a lot of supportive people when it comes to finding information if you need to find it.”
- You may never have to buy another car again
“We don’t expect the car to ever stop running. The only thing that will slowly wear down is the battery,” says Sean. A battery repair/replacement industry is starting to be developed in New Zealand. Other than the battery, he says electric vehicles suffer less wear and tear. “Having fewer moving parts, there’s less that can go wrong with them, apart from the odd bit of body damage and the usual tyres and brakes maintenance.”
It’s a good thing the Thompson family like the car, as they are expecting to have it for many years to come.