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Electric cars are quickly catching up to their internal combustion counterparts. Here's why you might consider making the switch now.

Category: Car Buying Advice


Two facts stand out at Kia's launch of the Niro EV - the starting price of $183,999, and Cycle and Carriage's decision to launch the car in two phases, to cater to fleet and corporate customers first.

Electric vehicles (EVs) clearly still command a premium over the petrol counterparts, but the necessity to attend to fleet sales first means that someone has cast aside all the emotional attachment associated with buying a personal car, crunched the numbers and decided that there is a solid business case for operating an EV in spite of that initial cost - these corporate customers clearly believe in the financial  benefits of running electric cars in the long run.

The difference in lifetime costs between electric and conventional petrol cars may be smaller than many imagine, but even if you don't end up covering as many miles as a hire car, there may be many other reasons that make going electric a sound investment.

1. Cheap and easy to refuel (charge)

SP Group is targeting to install a total of 1,000 charging points by 2020
Investment projects become more attractive the faster you can recuperate your outlay. Buying an electric car will reap you financial returns from the first charge. With charging costs at 41.4 cents per kilowatt hour at SP Group's charging stations, drivers can see at least 50% cost savings per kilometre compared with those who drive a petrol car.

But that's not all. SP Group is targeting a total of 1,000 charging points by 2020, and BlueSG also committed to opening up to 400 of its stage-one charging stations to the public by the same year. With these facilities, charging could even become as convenient as driving to the petrol station.

2. Cheaper and easier to maintain in the long run

An electric car's powertrain consists of maintenance-free components, you should not have to perform any servicing or repairs for its useable lifetime
While EVs utilise advanced technology unlike its fossil fuel burning counterparts, they actually consist of much fewer components, and are less complicated. Unlike an internal combustion engine that requires many components such as radiators, fuel injection systems, exhaust systems as well as regular maintenance, EVs do not require any of them.

An electric motor is practically maintenance-free throughout its lifespan. And while there are general concerns over the lifespan of batteries, the long warranty period these days offer much reassurance. With an electric car, not only do you save money, but you also save time that would otherwise be spent at workshops, maintaining and repairing your internal combustion vehicles.

3. There's an electric car for everyone

The Nissan Leaf is an excellent entry-level electric car
With manufacturers all keen on joining the electric car game, the market is seeing expanding options. Whether you are looking for something that gives you the best bang-for-buck, or a top-end luxury electric car, there is something for you. Likewise, when it comes to body styles, electric cars are also available in a wide variety.

For low to middle priced options, you get to pick from cars such as the Renault Zoe, the Hyundai Kona Electric, as well as the Nissan Leaf. If you want something outright extravagant, there is the Jaguar I-PACE as well as the various offerings from Tesla.

4. Electrifying performance

The Volkswagen ID.R prototype electric race car broke the all time record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed!
Traditional internal combustion engines are only able to put out the maximum torque and power at a specific range of engine speed (RPM). Electric motors, on the other hand, produce peak torque from a standstill, with a much wider effective range of power. This makes them perfect for usage in urban areas such as Singapore where there is plenty of stop-start traffic.

Without the delay in response that is often found with internal combustion engines, electric motors are great for performance applications as well. At the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed event, the Volkswagen ID.R electric race car managed to break the previous record set by a Mclaren-Mercedes MP4/13 F1 car back in 1999!

5. Silent commuting

Take an electric car such as the I-PACE for a spin and you will be pleasantly surprised by the lack of noise
Internal combustion engines are inherently noisy - there are literally thousands of explosions happening per minute! There's only so much one can do to keep the engine noise in check. Even with extensive soundproofing, it is impossible to totally get rid of the noise.

With electric motors, however, there is significantly less noise produced. Instead of the raspy mechanical roar from a revving engine, you get the slight whine of an electric motor, much like a radio-controlled car.  Within the confines of the car's body and with some soundproofing, you will barely hear a thing. The silent operation of electric cars makes driving less stressful, certainly a plus point in our books!

6. Saving the environment

Something's missing on this I-PACE... the exhaust!
Without an exhaust that is emitting greenhouse gasses, electric cars whizz around the streets without polluting the air. You might be thinking, hey, where does the electric come from in the first place? Wouldn't burning fossil fuels for electricity make electric car emissions a moot point?

Well, unlike internal combustion engines, there are renewable and cleaner energy sources for producing electricity. Meanwhile the reduced exhaust emissions on the road directly affects the air quality in the particular area, especially in cities with heavy traffic such as, you guessed it, Singapore!

7. Range anxiety no more

Recent electric cars such as the Kia Niro EV not only boast an excellent range of 455km, but also charges rapidly!
When the idea of electric cars was in its infancy, battery technology was far from what it is now. Naturally, range surfaced as one of the biggest issues.

In the past, the full range of an electric car is often not much more than 100km, charging times were long, and the charging infrastructure was hardly developed.

These days, electric cars with range upwards of 300km are becoming the norm. Charging times have also been greatly reduced - the Kia Niro EV can be charged from 0% to 80% in 54 minutes with a 100kW fast charger.

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