The Younger Generation’s Views on Electric Vehicles

In a world that is constantly striving to find more environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions, the prospect of electric vehicles has not only become an exciting goal, but a very attainable one too. The concept of electric vehicles is simple: It aims to use the energy stored in its rechargeable batteries, which are recharged by common electricity. Unlike a ‘traditional’ car—which is fuelled by petrol and uses a battery and motor to improve efficiency—an electric car is powered solely by electricity. Other than being a healthy alternative for cars, this presents a very healthy solution for the environment, as CO2 emissions are lowered substantially, hence reducing air pollution. The first electric car was designed in 1884, and present tremendously low maintenance and running costs. Electric cars are not only beneficial in reducing air pollution, but noise pollution too, as they are significantly more silent than traditional vehicles.

At Franklin Energy, we provide Electric Vehicle charging points in 11 cities in the United Kingdom. Through our charging points, we aim to lead an electric ‘revolution’. We realise, however, that the younger generation is fundamental to leading this revolution. Thus, we wanted to gauge younger people’s views on electric vehicles, and their thoughts on the solutions, or threats, that it might present in the future. In a survey conducted with a small number of students at Lancaster University, over 90% respondents viewed electric cars as a potential solution to reducing the threat of air pollution, and they also thought that it is a realistic goal.

Lancaster University LogoIn an aftermath to the short survey that was conducted, Yoshi, a second year student at Lancaster University, stated that he believes electric cars are more convenient compared to traditional cars. He suggested that the biggest advantage to transport powered by electricity is that it is very environmentally friendly – however, he voiced a concern about the potential high costs it would incur to younger generations. However, he expressed a silent optimism: even though the idea of electric transportation is still in its introductory stages, he hopes and believes that the use of electric cars will increase in the future, and he hopes to be able to afford a such vehicle if it becomes the norm, as he is a big fan of the idea.

Lancaster University LogoJason, who is also a student at Lancaster University, also expressed optimism. He views the prospect of electric vehicles as very realistic and positive – as long as it is implemented in countries with the adequate infrastructures to support electric cars (such as the United Kingdom). He believes that electric solutions provide environmentally-friendly opportunities, however he showed a concern regarding the potential of low battery life for cars, coupled with a limited number of charging stations available, and high costs. Regardless of these drawbacks, Jason states that the environmental benefits electric vehicles provide would suffice for him to purchase an electric car in the future. Both students, who are 21 and 18 years old respectively, view electric cars as a very positive solution, and they hope that the use of such vehicles will increase. The general concern amongst young people appear to be the higher costs that electric vehicles present when compared to traditional vehicles, which are fuelled by gasoline. Both Yoshi and Jason, however, believe that electric cars are the future – and that even service solutions such as Uber, which is based on peer to peer car sharing, could introduce electric cars. They both said that this would reduce the use of traditional cars even more, which would be even more beneficial.

The prospect of electric vehicles is very exciting for younger generations. As mentioned in this blog entry, there is an ongoing optimism about the positive effects these vehicles will have on the environment in the future. Electric vehicles certainly feed the need younger people feel to protect the planet. However, despite the positives that are presented by electric vehicles, there is a worry that high costs act as a barrier to be able to afford these electric cars. Despite this, however, there is immense excitement and optimism for the future, which will hopefully see a huge rise in the use of electric vehicles.

How do you charge an electric car?

How do you charge an electric car?

With fuel cost rises showing no signs of slowing down, sales of electric vehicles (EVs) continue to grow in the UK – they were up 29% in 2016 – and are forecast to reach 1 million by the end of 2020.

Whereas in the past drivers were concerned about the ease of charging vehicles outside their homes, charging points have become far more widespread (with more than 11,000 publicly-accessible across the country now). Electric vehicles also now do an average of 100 miles on a full battery – and UK drivers drive just 25 miles each day on average, so are well within range of charging points.

If you’re thinking of buying an EV, essentially, you’ve got three options:
• electric car charging at home
• on-street car charging
• workplace and commercial EV charging

The vast majority of EV drivers – 90% of them – still charge their cars at home overnight, according to Go Ultra Low – a government/industry campaign designed to encourage motorists into zero-emissions vehicles. A standard domestic 13amp plug is all you need – you’ll need an outside plug that’s close to where you park your car – NEVER use an extension lead. And make sure that your wiring is up to the task: EVs do take a high electrical draw, so we’d always recommend getting a qualified electrician to check – you might need a separate circuit for the charger, to avoid overloading your domestic power supply.

With a standard connection (up to 3kW), for an EV with a range of 100 miles, you’re looking at around six to eight hours; install a home charging unit (it’s likely to cost in the region of £800-£1,000), and you’ll be able to charge your EV around two and a half times faster.

However, 40% of use don’t have off-street parking at home, so January 2017 saw the introduction of a £2.5 million On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, designed specifically for areas lacking off-street parking. It’s been created so that electric vehicle owners can apply (to their local council) to have a plug-in point installed on their street, addressing long-standing concerns about the public infrastructure for EVs.

If residential access hasn’t reach you yet, the best option is to top up at work, on-street, or in a public car park. Franklin has a programme in place with Q Park, to provide charging points in their car parks nationwide; we also work with the public sector – like the City of Salford, and Transport for London – to provide on-street charging points. On-street charging bays are marked by a dashed line, with ‘ELECTRIC’ clearly written on the street side of the bay – ZapMap will help you find your closest one.

The government’s Workplace Charging Scheme also provides quick charge stations that are compatible with a variety of EVs. The wall-mounted type two 7kW charger is the most common installation for businesses, which fully charges a vehicle in three to four hours. Rapid AC and DC connections are also available, but largely found in commercial organisations – these will get your battery charged about 80% in just half an hour.

Wherever works best for you, the good news for EV drivers is that consumer demand is forcing rapid change, and local authorities, commercial organisations and employers are taking note.

Where you can charge a car currently in the UK?

Where you can charge a car currently in the UK?

While sales of EVs continue to grow – one car was registered every 13 minutes in the first quarter of 2016 – the majority of electric vehicle drivers continue to charge their cars at home. But off-street parking in the UK is available to only 60% of households, prompting government to step in and focus on infrastructure, that – without being addressed – could threaten the future viability of EVs.

Access to charging points is the main concern holding back drivers from switching to electric vehicles, and – as sales rise – consumers will come to expect EV infrastructure as standard in car parks, with an estimated 75% of car parks hosting charging points for EVs by 2025.

January’s £2.5 million On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme is targeted at areas – especially urban environments – without access to private charging points. Andrew Benfield, Group Director for Transport at the Energy Saving Trust says: ‘Not everyone can install a charger at home because they don’t have a garage, or perhaps live in a flat. This infrastructure is vital to help people make better choices about the car they drive and to do so without any difficulty.’

The scheme subsidises three-quarters of the capital costs of installing charge points in an area, ensuring that charging points keeps up with demand for vehicles. Electric cars will be cheaper to own than conventional cars by 2022, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which pinpoints the falling cost of the car’s batteries as the tipping point in bringing EVs to the mass market.

Analysing trends covering both the growth in EVs and decline in traditional petrol stations, Nissan has claimed that EV charging bays will outnumber petrol stations by summer 2020.

If you’re out and about, you’ll find charging points in almost 11,000 publicly-accessible locations, according to Go Ultra Low, and that number is only set to grow. ZapMap can help you find your closest one, either via the website, or by downloading the ZapMap App. It’s recognised as the most comprehensive and accurate charging map, but there’s also the facility to add a charge point if you’re aware of one that’s not listed, growing the network for other users.

As costs are driven down, the network is growing exponentially and the balance is due to tip within the next five years. Are you ready?

Electric car charging at home

With the uptake of electric vehicles on the rise, conscious consumers are always on the lookout for ways to justify investing in an ultra low emission vehicle, in order to get the most out of their money. From 2016 onwards, the UK government has committed to a nationwide charging infrastructure strategy for low emission vehicles. However, many drivers have opted for electric car charging at home in order to quell range anxiety once and for all.

Installing a home charging station is a great way for motorists to quickly, safely and efficiently charge their electric vehicle to a full charge, via their household power source.

Of course there are limitations as to who is eligible for a home charging station; for example the house must have off-road parking, such as a driveway or garage in order to safely install the electric car charging station. There must be a power source available nearby, and it is recommended that all home wiring and the main household fuse is checked by an electrician, and upgraded if necessary. Once all of the necessary checks have been made and approved, an electric car charging point can be installed in the property, drawing its power from the existing main household supply fuel.

There are many benefits to installing an electric car charging point at home. The first benefit being the speed; home charging units charge vehicles over two times faster than a standard UK power socket, and they’re much safer too. Some charging units have an inbuilt scheduling system which allows drivers to programme a specific time slot for their vehicle to charge – generally overnight, taking advantage of the off-peak electricity tariffs. This is a much cheaper, and more ecological way to charge an electric car, than during daylight hours. Furthermore, certain charge units allow users to remotely control the charging station; changing the settings and turning the charge on and off, at the tap of a mobile app.

Funding for home charging points has been made available by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and will apply to eligible homeowners. Created through a partnership between the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, OLEV aims to reduce the greenhouse gases and air pollution on UK roads, and place the UK firmly at the forefront of electric vehicle development, manufacturing and use.

Many electric vehicle manufacturers would recommend investing in an approved home charging station due to the range of safety devices and features available on modern devices.

Here at Franklin Energy, we specialise in home charging points for electric car owners and all of our installations have a three year manufacturer and installation warranty included. Call us today, and let us see how we can help you.