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South Holland getting switched onto the future of electric cars

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that sales of wholly petrol and diesel cars would be phased out by 2030, South Holland is already working to welcome the changes.

As part of the Government’s ambitious ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, the Prime Minister confirmed that the UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, ten years earlier than originally planned.

Instead, road users will be encouraged to use electric vehicles and Adam Brand, of MG dealership WH Brand in Whaplode Drove, says that there has been a significant shift in the number of enquiries about electric cars already this year.

An electric car in charging on the street. (37458846)
An electric car in charging on the street. (37458846)

He said: “We have definitely seen more demand for electric cars. In fact, during lockdown we’ve had more enquiries on electric cars than anything else - people definitely seem more interested in them.

“At the minute, price wise they are more expensive than diesel or petrol cars but you need to look at it over a few years.

“You won’t be paying for petrol or diesel, services will be cheaper and you don’t have to pay any road tax either, so when you take into consideration all of the savings over a period of five years, for example, it doesn’t work out that bad at all.”

Councillor Anthony Casson, South Holland District Council; Sam Illsley, Vattenfall with one of the new charging points at Priory Road. (26381776)
Councillor Anthony Casson, South Holland District Council; Sam Illsley, Vattenfall with one of the new charging points at Priory Road. (26381776)

Adam says that services will cost significantly less for electric cars because there’s much less to examine and replace, thanks to the absence of an engine.

But, putting costs to one side, the big question is how do we charge our electric cars and how far can we travel without having to stop for more power?

Adam explained: “For charging at home, it’s best to get a home charge point installed although I know this isn’t going to be possible for everyone as it’s needs to be close to the home.

Adam Brand (40187422)
Adam Brand (40187422)

“The Government are currently giving grants towards charging points and they cost around £500 to install - but you need to take into consideration how much cheaper a home charger is than charging while out and about.

“Having said that, there are several charging points which are free to use and they’re still cheaper than filling up with petrol and diesel.

“There are rapid chargers out there which charge the vehicle up to 80% in around 30-40 minutes which is great when you’re out and about but home chargers aren’t as powerful.

“It’s a bit like charging your phone overnight - if you can get into the habit of hooking it up at home at night there’s a lot of people who will get cheaper electricity at night so you can take advantage of that.

“Mileage tends to vary from vehicle to vehicle but the MG model we have can do 214 miles in one charge.

“There are models which do travel further in one charge but they do cost more - you need to think about how often you would need to go that far to see which models would be best suited for you.”

Electric vehicle charger points have already been introduced within the visitors’ car park at South Holland District Council’s offices on Priory Road along with the Vine Street and Victoria Street car parks in Spalding.

SHDC is currently working with Vattenfall and BMM Energy Solutions to install InCharge electric vehicle charging stations at various locations across the district.

The Government is currently offering a grant of up to £3,000 on a number of eligible electric cars, along with further grants on other low emission vehicles, to make them cheaper to buy and incentivise more people to make the transition.

It is also offering up to £350 (including VAT) off the cost of installing a charger at home through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme and with a rise in popularity and availability, plus the Government grants available, Adam suggests that now is a time to seriously consider an electric car.

He said: “We’ve been seeing this year that a lot of people are spending more time online doing their research rather than visiting showrooms, so they tend to know a bit more about the cars than they usually would.

“But we also speak with people who have never had anything to do with electric cars and need a bit more information - my advice would always be to call if you would like some more information.

“I would also say that if you are considering purchasing an electric car, now might be the best time as the grants are available and at the moment we aren’t sure how long they will go on for. This is a learning curve for all of us but if you can think of all of the savings you will take from buying an electric car in the long term it’s worth consideration.”

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