What are the benefits of electric cars?

What is the difference between hybrid and electric cars? | OVO Energy

What are the benefits of electric cars?

They’re just cars that run off batteries, right? Wrong! Electric cars promise to save you money, bless all of us with cleaner air, and (crucially) kickstart a transport and energy revolution. What's more, impressive advancements in electric car engineering have led swathes of car enthusiasts across the globe to be won over by their first-rate performance. Thinking of buying one? Here’s why they’re worth a test-drive: 

  • They drive beautifully
    With their spaceship-like handling, some of the latest electric cars have to be tried to be believed.
  • They save you money1
    Yes, the initial outlay seems high, but running costs are low so you’ll benefit in the long run.
  • They reduce local air pollution2
    Pure electric cars = zero emissions, which means a less polluted environment for all.
  • They’re perfectly peaceful3
    No noisy engine = a more serene commute. 
  • They help fight climate change
    Electric cars are considerably more energy efficient4 than combustion engines.

And what are the drawbacks of electric cars?

Electric car sales are steadily growing, but the charging infrastructure that supports them still needs a lot of work – and it's this fear of 'running out of juice' that's putting some people off an EV purchase. Luckily, improvements are being made rapidly as manufacturers, energy suppliers and charging point companies work to create a solid network. But even without the worry of finding charging points, there are still a few pitfalls to be wary of:

  • They’re costly to buy upfront 
    Although you can take advantage of government grants5
  • The choice of electric cars is still a little limited
    Car manufacturers have only recently caught the electric vehicle (EV) bug, so the choice of models remains limited. That said, car enthusiasts and industry experts both predict that, as demand grows in the next year or so, consumers will be treated to increasingly varied, sophisticated and tempting new EV models7.
  • They can be tricky to charge 
    People who drive long distances regularly are still quite nervous of the ‘range’ of electric cars, which, in a large part, comes back to charging infrastructure. The good news – as we said – is that there are more and more charge points springing up all over the UK6. But if you don’t have off-street parking at home, and there aren't many public charging points in your area, you might need to pop your electric car buying plans on ice for a year or two. Or even consider a hybrid car instead.

Do I want an electric car or a hybrid?

Great question! Hybrids are a halfway house between a traditional petrol car and a pure electric car. They boast both a fuel tank and a battery, making them the car of choice for many people whose driving routines combine city driving, with motorway driving. And who therefore prefer a car with greater 'range'. 

In short: a plug-in hybrid or a range-extended hybrid car might be better for you if you can answer 'yes' to the following:

  • Do you generally make long journeys (greater than 50 miles per day)? 
  • Do you struggle to get easy, dependable access to charge points?

On the other hand, a pure electric car is right for you if you answer ‘yes’ to the following.

  • Do you have easy access to a power socket overnight or a local high performance charging point?
  • Do you want the most ‘green’ or ‘eco’ vehicle on the market?
  • Do you have access to a second car for longer journeys?
  • Are the majority of your journeys quite short (eg. less than 50 miles a day)?

If you’re keen to be green, then pure electric cars will always beat hybrids simply because they don’t produce any emissions. But until the UK’s transport infrastructure is fully geared up for EVs, with increased public charging points, hybrids have their advantages. And it's worth remembering that they're still cleaner and greener than traditional combustion engine alternatives. 

The famous fans of electric cars

Let's face it, if your access to charging points is a problem, you'll hardly be swayed into buying an electric car because of celebrity endorsement. However, the fact that Cameron Diaz loves a Prius, Leo Di Caprio drives a Tesla Roadster and Jay Leno drives a Chevrolet Volt is proof (if ever it were needed) that electric cars have truly arrived. And those guys aren't alone. Justin Bieber, George Clooney, and even Barack Obama are among the A-list elite who've been spotted cruising out and about in their hybrids and electric cars8.

Thinking of buying an EV?

We can help you charge your electric car everywhere, for less. Our EV Everywhere tariff is designed specially for owners of electric (and plugin hybrid) cars, and comes with fixed energy prices for two years, 100% renewable energy and free membership of Polar Plus, the UK's biggest EV charging network.



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Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3-5% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.


1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount.  All rates correct as of 2/3/2018, but may go up or down.

2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas).  All rates correct as of 22/11/2017, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings claims: Saving based on the estimated annual cost of OVO Two year fixed tariff for a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying monthly in advance by direct debit, including online discount. Comparisons made against the average of the Big 6 standard variable tariffs with equivalent features. All rates correct as of 2/3/2018.“The Big 6” are British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, Npower, E.ON and EDF.

4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.

33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.

OVO Interest Rewards: Interest Rewards are paid on credit balances of customers paying by monthly Direct Debit. It is calculated at 3% in your first year, 4% in your second year and 5% in your third year (and every year thereafter) if you pay by Direct Debit. Interest Rewards are paid monthly based on the number of days you’re in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. Full terms apply:

95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Savings based on the average estimated annual costs for all new OVO customers quoted through the OVO website, compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/05/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT.

94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.

uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year 2017: OVO energy was voted and awarded  'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.

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