Is 2021 the moment to buy an electric car? Express guide

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Is 2021 the moment to buy an electric car? Express guide

Is 2021 the moment to buy an electric car? Express guide


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Electric cars are gaining ground over combustion cars, but what are their advantages and disadvantages? Are there any subsidies for the purchase of electric cars? When will they come down in price? If you are interested in electric cars, this is the article for you.

As the years have gone by, brands have been betting firmly on the electric motor in their vehicles because both society and the regulations have demanded it.

What type of electric cars are there?

The electric car has different formats, so talking about electric cars implies talking about three different types of models, mainly.

100% electric (BEV)

These vehicles are designed to run solely on electric energy and have one or two (electric) motors prepared for this purpose, which convert it into mechanical energy thanks to the appearance of magnetic fields through the bovina. They must be connected to the electrical grid to recharge the batteries, usually lithium batteries, in which the electricity that allows them to operate is stored.

These cars can have energy harvesting systems while driving, so they receive small doses of energy when braking and accelerating. One of the main characteristics inside the passenger compartment with the other technologies is that they do not require gears, while in the combustion cars this is optional.

Extended Range Vehicles (EREV)

These are cars that have both engines, i.e. one combustion engine and one electric engine. The operation is simple; the combustion engine provides the necessary energy to the battery so that it can do the same with the electric motor, whose role is to make the vehicle move. In the same way as electric cars, they can recharge their autonomy by plugging it into a charging point.

They were created to alleviate the so-called "range anxiety", which is nothing more than the fear of being stranded halfway down the road because of the belief (and once reality) that all-electric cars were not capable of driving too many kilometers.

On average, these vehicles reduce CO2 emissions by 20% to 30% compared to combustion vehicles.

Hybrid (PHEVs and HEVs)

These have generated the most publicity in recent years. These are cars with a combustion engine and an electric motor, but unlike the previous ones, they work mainly with the combustion engine except at low speeds or short distances. Normally, however, both engines complement each other, although they are functional autonomously.

There are plug-in hybrids and non-plug-in hybrids, the former being characterized by having the option of being connected to the electricity grid to recharge the battery, while the battery capacity of the latter is of lower capacity and, therefore, their autonomy is much reduced.

How many electric cars have been sold in 2021?

After seeing what an electric car is and what types of electric car there are, let's put the spotlight on the number of vehicles of this type sold in Spain this 2021.

The data indicate that the sale of electric cars has increased in our country by 54% up to August, just over 12,000 vehicles, although this does not represent a significant increase in the number of total registrations: only 2%.

Most of the sales were accounted for by plug-in hybrid versions, with the Peugeot e-2008 in the lead; the Tesla Model 3 is the 100% electric model preferred by buyers.

This figure contrasts with that of other European countries such as France, Germany or Norway, where 60% of sales are of electric cars.

Norway intends to end the sale of combustion-engine cars by April 2022, thus marking the path of Europe's commitment to electric mobility.

When will electric cars come down in price?

The price of electric cars is quite high compared to conventional cars. Continuing with the previous example, we can find Peugeot 2008 models, base, with the combustion engine, from 22,000 euros, while for the same electric model, the Peugeot e-2008, prices start from 36,450 euros, 60% more expensive.

The reason is to be found in the high price of the electric batteries that allow the engine to run. As explained above, these are usually made from lithium, a natural material that is not found everywhere.

Bloomberg reports that in a decade battery prices have fallen by almost 1,200 dollars per kWh, placing the prediction at 125 dollars/kWh for this year, although the trend is affected by a price increase caused by the rise in the price of the other components that make them up, beyond lithium. This problem would mainly affect Europe, as manufacturers are obliged by regulations to produce more and more electric cars and this may force them to end up raising the price of the vehicles that are released.

However, it points to another possible trend, more optimistic, which points to a homogenization of prices of electric and combustion vehicles within three years, in 2024. The reasons for the continued reduction in the price of batteries are to be found in the technological advances that allow brands to be more efficient and the will of battery manufacturers to continue lowering the price so that they become a common and universal product.

Advantages

  • Sustainable mobility: emissions when driving an electric car are reduced to 0, so we will enjoy the 0 label of the DGT that can bring us different benefits in cities like Barcelona, where there is the Low Emission Zone. Another issue would be the waste of generating the electricity with which they move, although thanks to companies like Lumisa you can reduce this impact with the installation of solar panels that will provide the necessary energy to your electric car.
  • Tax advantages: the public administration has turned to electric vehicles and offers various bonuses if you have one of them. We find advantages such as a lower road tax, a reduction in the price for parking in blue zones or important subsidies for their purchase, such as the Moves III plan that we will see below.
  • Less maintenance and more economical: electric cars do not need a fuel to operate that to a greater or lesser extent leaves residues inside, nor pressures in the engine. This translates into fewer breakdowns in the medium and long term. Similarly, the maintenance they require is much simpler than that required by other types of engines, since checking the batteries and the engine is enough.
  • More economical circulation: although the price of electricity has been rising steadily in recent months, the price of fuel, at least in Spain, is still more expensive than that of the kilowatt. The price per 100 kilometres is close to 1 euro in the case of electric vehicles, while the calculation for combustion vehicles is 6 or 7 euros for the same distance covered.

Disadvantages

  • Price: as we have seen above, price is still one of the main handicaps when buying an electric car. When batteries become more accessible, this type of car will also become more affordable. However, thanks to subsidies it is possible to reduce the price considerably, although the power of these cars is rather low.

One of the most economical cars at present is the Dacia Spring. With discounts it can be yours from 9,500 euros, but with a power of only 44 hp.

  • Autonomy: a point in which we have been able to see that it is improving year after year. However, there is still a difference between the classic models and the electric ones, a comparison that the detractors of these models use recurrently to discredit it. Currently, however, there are models, such as the Tesla Model S (one of the most expensive, too) that can run for 600 kilometres on a single charge, i.e. many hours at the wheel. Something that, even if you drive a traditional car, is not advisable.
    The company Newmotion, bought by the oil company Shell to face the new era of electric mobility, points out that the average distance that electric cars can travel is close to 300 kilometres, while with a gasoline engine, it can travel more than 1,000 kilometres before passing a gas station.
  • Battery degradation: as we use the vehicle, the battery wears out and ends up offering less autonomy than when it was new. However, this can be solved by a good maintenance of the car and a good cooling system of the battery. It should be remembered that the battery is one of the most expensive elements of electric cars, so it is worth keeping an eye on the subject.
  • Recharging time: one of the most obvious differences is the long charging time needed for these vehicles compared to a gasoline or diesel car. While in a matter of a minute you can have the car at the maximum capacity of the fuel tank, to recharge an electric battery to the maximum we can need hours, depending on the power of the plug. For this reason, it is interesting to know the different types of charging points, ranging from 2.3 kW to 400 kW. The charging speed will depend on this.

What is the Moves III Plan and how can I take advantage of it?

The Moves III Plan is an aid package for "the purchase of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles such as cars, vans or motorcycles, as well as the acquisition and installation of charging infrastructures for public access and private use" approved by the Spanish Government in April of this year with the intention of encouraging drivers to opt for electric mobility and which will be in force until December 31, 2023.

The Autonomous Communities will be in charge of managing the budget of the Moves III Plan and it is within the framework of the European Next Generations EU funds, a program aimed at recovery after the covid-19 pandemic.

AEDIVE provides users with a tool to find out the amount of subsidy they can obtain.

This translates into direct subsidies of up to 8,000 euros in the case of passenger cars: 4,500 euros for the purchase of an electric car, which can go up to 7,000 euros if it is decided to scrap the old vehicle as long as it is more than 7 years old and, in addition, oblige dealers to pay 1,000 euros for each purchase of an electric vehicle thanks to this plan. In the case of motorcycles, the amount can reach 1,300 euros.

In the case of plug-in hybrids, the subsidy can reach 5,000 euros, 2,500 without scrapping the old vehicle.

But beware, because the aid is only intended for cars that do not exceed 45,000 euros, which rises to 53,000 in the case of purely electric or 8 or 9 seats, so forget about buying a Tesla Model S, for example, with this plan.

The aid may increase by 10% in the case of cabs and accredited residents of towns with less than 5,000 inhabitants.

The plan also takes into account the recharging points and can cover up to 70% of the facilities intended for individuals, self-employed, communities of owners and local authorities.

Companies also benefit, as up to 35% "of the cost of public access charging infrastructures with power greater than or equal to 50 kilowatts and 30% of the cost of infrastructures for private or public use with power less than 50 kW", as explained by the government, with the asterisk for the special cases mentioned (small towns).

The government makes available to users a document where some of the FAQs regarding the Moves II and Moves III Plan are answered.

The process starts directly at the concessionaire. From that moment on, the discount of 1,000 euros will be applied directly and the total amount of the vehicle must be paid. Afterwards, when the Autonomous Community in question presents the corresponding calls for applications, specific documentation must be presented and the amount of the subsidy will be paid, which must be taxed to Hacienda.

The aforementioned documentation includes: license plate or chassis number, make, model and version of the vehicle + the discount by the dealer (1,000 euros). Do not forget to ask for the Moves III Plan concept to appear on the invoice.

Sources:

  • Cargcar
  • Motorpasión
  • Soymotor
  • Gesthispania
  • Opel
  • Foro Coches Eléctricos
  • Híbridos y eléctricos
  • Coches.net
  • El País
  • El Mundo
  • BMW
  • Newmotion
  • Repsol
  • La Vanguardia
  • Bankinter

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