The UK Government’s announcement to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, a decade earlier than originally planned, has sparked more interest in electric vehicles, which will only accelerate their uptake.
Peace of mind
One of the first things drivers notice when switching to an electric car is the quietness of the vehicle, which creates a comfortable, relaxed driving experience.
A study by the London Electric Vehicle Company has shown that the quieter and more comfortable driving environment of an electric vehicle can have significant mental health benefits.
The research, carried out in collaboration with academics from the University of York, showed that drivers reported that they felt calmer, less stressed, and happier while driving an electric taxi compared to a diesel version.
The results suggest that by removing the engine rumble and other distractions, drivers are in a more concentrated state of mind, more focused and drive in a calm manner, which means they can better spot hazards and take evasive action if required.
As silenced vehicles could be a danger in certain situations, all electric vehicles are fitted with an acoustic vehicle alert system (AVAS), which sounds when the vehicle is reversing or travelling below 12mph, to warn other road users of the vehicle’s presence.
Take a break
Many drivers cite the driving range of electric vehicles as a major disadvantage, however, with a little lateral thinking, this can be advantageous.
While many of today’s EVs achieve more than 200 miles on a single charge, this is still less than a full tank of fuel will take you, but the growing number of rapid chargers deployed across the UK road and motorway networks means there are more opportunities for drivers to take a half hour break to charge their vehicle.
This gives ample opportunity, and a valid excuse, for drivers to rest, reducing the stress and fatigue associated with driving longer distances.
Ready when required
The ability to charge at home is also a growing benefit for many drivers due to the convenience and control over when they charge their car.
By plugging in and charging overnight, drivers can leave home with a full battery every day, with no worries of having enough fuel or finding the time to fill up.
Pre-conditioning cars – i.e. setting the interior temperature remotely and in advance – while the car is plugged in uses energy from the grid, so the energy stored in the battery remains untouched.
This means drivers can start the day with the battery at 100% and without the need to turn the heating or air conditioning to the max, which is energy intensive, thus, thermal comfort goes together with increased range.
This convenience is even more pronounced during winter months, reducing the need to manually defrost and scrape ice from the windows, so drivers can leave home with a clear windscreen (and on time!).
Instant torque from the electric motor gives responsive acceleration, making them ideal for urban driving, and regenerative braking feeds energy back into the battery adds to their efficiency and makes braking easier for a smooth driving experience.
Electric vehicles also come with automatic gears, which means no stalling or having to find the right gear at the right time.
Finally, the weight and distribution of the batteries and low centre of gravity benefits handling, comfort, and, most importantly, safety in the event of a collision, with the Tesla Model 3 having one of the lowest probabilities of injury of any car tested.
More than environmental
As electric vehicles are here to stay and will become a common sight on our roads over the next few years, it’s time to take advantage of all their benefits, not just the obvious ones.
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