Mobility

8 things to consider when switching to an electric vehicle

January 20, 2021
With the start of 2021, the new CO2 tax came along with it to encourage the switch to more environmentally friendly vehicles in order to respond to the sustainability goals of the Grand-Duchy. In recent years electric vehicles became more and more popular but have not yet become the first choice of most Luxembourgish citizens. Currently, electric vehicles only account to 0.7% of all vehicles registered. Most critics doubt the potential due to the limited range, choice of models and infrastructure. Nonetheless, there are various benefits switching to an electric or an hybrid vehicle and here are some factors that should be considered.

1. Which use for an electric car ?

According to a study, a Luxembourgish resident drives an average of 13 km from home to work while cross border workers commute an average of 34 km one way (Luxmobil, 2017). The smallest range capacity of an electric car is around 100 km per charge and can currently go up to 400km (Tesla Model S Long Range, 2020). Hence depending on the purpose of use and your average daily journey, most common electric vehicles with a range of around 100 - 150 km are perfect for shorter distances and urban use, especially in regard to their comfort of automatic driving throughout the daily traffic in Luxembourg. On the other hand, longer range vehicles can comfortably be used for extended distances.

2. How to charge your electric car at home ?

On the other hand, if you do not feel like making long distances or using public charging points, multiple options exist to charge your car at home It is best to check beforehand if you have a plug in the garage at your house or apartment complex that you can use or inform yourself about its installation if needed (How to make my place of residence ready for my electric vehicle?). Furthermore, a variety of charging infrastructures for your home are available and should be considered as it helps to significantly reduce the overall charging time in comparison to standard plug-in cables that come with your car.

3. Where to charge your electric vehicle in Luxembourg ?

In Luxembourg, the infrastructure for electric vehicles  has seen a considerable increase in 2020 and has been extended to 1600 charging points across 96 communes which are most commonly distributed close to public places. Thus charging while doing your shopping, getting food or just going for a walk has become easier.

4. Where to charge your electric vehicle outside of Luxembourg ?

In addition to an increasing number of charging points in urban areas throughout Europe encouraged by the common directive to move towards a more sustainable future, more and more fast charging points are installed along the highways. This technology makes it possible to charge your car within half an hour, thus after having used up your range, your lunchbreak can subsequently be used as a charging break and you will have a full range again to continue your journey. You will only have to plan ahead in order to avoid running out of battery before arriving at a charging station as well as to inform yourself about available charging stations around your final destination. In order to use those charging points, various cards, such as Enodrive Zen by Enovos, easily give you access across Luxembourg and abroad, while offering an interactive map on your mobile phone highlighting the different charging stations.

5. Which electric vehicle to choose ?

Even though electric cars are still considered as expensive and the choice is limited, those factors become less of an issue and there are good reasons to switch this year. Almost every big car manufacturer has already released an electric car or will do in 2021. New releases in 2021 vary from 17.000€ to over 100.000€ with a total range of minimum 95km and up to 400km (Tesla Model S Long Range, 2021) 

6. Financial aid with the purchase of an electric vehicle

Until march 2021, the Luxembourgish government grants a substitute of up to 8000€ for electric cars that can be applied for in the first 7 months after the registration. Subsequently, the gap between the cost of acquisition for an electric vehicle in comparison to combustion powered vehicles becomes smaller. Additionally, you can also benefit from financial aid for the installation of a private charging point in your home.

7. What about the battery of an electric vehicle ?

The battery is still the most expensive part of the vehicle. It is bought with the vehicle. However, there is a guarantee that goes up to 7 to 10 years on average, from 150,000 kms to 200,000 kms and to a specific percentage (between 70 and 80%) of the battery's capacity. 

8. What are the costs of an electric vehicle?

Furthermore, the highest cost occur upfront while buying the vehicle but customer are saving in the long term as an electric car has in average 2/3 less expenses in the long term in regard to petrol and maintenance as you don’t need to replace the motor oil, filters or exhaust pipe while no damage can be caused due to internal fuel combustion.

Electric vehicles have evolved considerably in recent years, in terms of their range, their price and the charging options available. As the choice becomes more diverse, it is necessary to carefully analyse the different options in order to find the best match for your own needs and adapted to your lifestyle. Considering the ambitious targets of the EU to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the next 2 decades and present financial support from the government, it is best to seriously think about switching to an electric vehicle in the near future.

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