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The Electric Age is Here at Last – When Will You Join?

Electric cars have been long promised – but at last, they are a clean and viable alternative. It’s time to join the revolution.

Thirty years ago, electric cars were a laughing stock. There were two types available – the milkfloats that crawled along the nation’s suburban streets at the speed of a bicycle, or the unmistakable, baffling and incredibly dangerous brainchild of Sir Clive Sinclair, the C5.

Both have their own sort of 1980s charm, but neither would ever replace the good old family car. Electric vehicles that had any sort of practicality remained somewhere in the future.

Then along came the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius, bringing the future along with them. A few short years later, every manufacturer has electric vehicles in its range, and the UK has said petrol and diesel will be phased out entirely by 2040.

The future is here, and if the time has come to find a scrap car quote and send your old car off to its final resting place, perhaps you should embrace the technology and go electric.

Why choose electric?

There are already numerous financial reasons why it makes sense to go electric. Vastly reduced running costs, zero road tax and exemption from the London congestion charge are just three of the benefits, and you can expect a whole host more to appear over the coming years, as the government seeks to reward those who make the change and penalise anyone who insists on sticking to petrol and diesel.

Of course, financial reasons are compelling, but there is the broader issue that you will be contributing to a greener world and a cleaner atmosphere by ditching your gas guzzler.

Hybrids lead the way

We mentioned the Prius and Insight as the cars that really made electric a viable option, and brought electric out of the “concept” arena and into mainstream production. These early hybrids still made heavy use of fossil fuels, but the point was that they provided a starting point that the R&D gurus could refine and perfect. It was not long before all-electric offerings started to hit the dealerships and forecourts. A few short years later, we see charging points appearing overnight like weeds, in shopping centres, filling stations and supermarket car parks.

Today, there are different types of hybrid cars. Let’s take a look at them.

Series hybrids

To all intents and purposes, a series hybrid is an all-electric car. These are designed for short distances, and are perfect for city use. You recharge them at the charging point, but they do have a small internal combustion engine as a back up, to provide extra range should you need it.

Parallel hybrids

Power is predominantly provided by the petrol engine, with the batteries delivering extra help when needed, to save fuel. While parallel hybrids can run on electric alone, they have very limited range due to smaller batteries.

Mild hybrids

How is a Toyota Prius like a Formula 1 car? Both are mild hybrids. They use petrol, but have the electrical energy to provide a power boost.

Plug ins

This is the future of electric cars. The plug in works on the same basis as the parallel hybrid, but the batteries are better and can also be charged from the mains. As the technology improves still further, the need for the petrol engine will be ultimately eliminated altogether.