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6 Reasons Why Urban Drivers Should Buy Electric (And 1 Why They Maybe Shouldn’t)

6 Reasons Why Urban Drivers Should Buy Electric (And 1 Why They Maybe Shouldn’t)

There are some whose dream is a quiet house in the country. In their day dreams they fantasize about a stone cottage high on a hill where the only neighbors are the birds who stop by to feed from the bird table and fill the garden with their harmonious song, a place with clean air, solitude and the scents of nature drifting gently on the breeze. And then there are some for whom nothing could more closely resemble Hell.

If you’re the kind of person who only feels safe if they’re within walking distance of a franchised coffee outlet, a trendy wine bar and a wide range of restaurants with vegan and gluten free options, city living is the only option for you. If the suburbs would make you feel strangled and the country would make you go cuckoo, there’s a lot to love about city living. Aside from better job opportunities, there’s the range of cool food, drink and attractions are on your doorstep, you can always find something going on within walking distance and no matter what time of day or night it may be you never feel alone. It’s a great life, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Urban rents tend to be sky high with heavy taxes and city center apartments are often well appointed but a little on the cosy side.

Many city dwellers don’t own car since most conurbations have a pretty good system of public transportations but there are some circumstances under which urban workers simply have to own a car either for work or to get their kids to school. When car shopping, it’s difficult to find a car that ticks all the right boxes.

Of course you need something that’s compact. Urban parking lots tend to be underground with spaces that aren’t really conducive to reverse parking. Moreover, you’ll need something that can navigate the busy cityscape with speed, efficiency and safety. For all these reasons, and a lot more besides, city dwellers should seriously consider buying electric.

Fuel savings

Driving through a busy city center is potentially pricey enterprise. If, however, your day involves a lot of driving, say, between clients or from one office to another, you can waste a lot of fuel (and therefore money) with the relentless stop and start of city center traffic. Your vehicle will spend a lot longer travelling in lower gears so although you’ll be travelling more slowly your engine will be working harder and burning through gas at a rate that is far from conducive to your household budgeting. Going from pump to plug means that you’ll forego this expense. It also means that you’ll be insulated from soaring gas prices and the whims of oil markets.

Less change of vehicle damage

Gas and diesel fueled vehicles do not enjoy short journeys. They like long journeys on the highway on which they can stretch their (metaphorical) legs and kick up their (equally metaphorical) heels. A long run is needed to free up the oil and get it working correctly and shorter journeys wreak havoc with the cleaning system in a vehicle’s exhaust. Thus, shorter journeys take their toll on fossil fueled vehicles over a period of years. If you live in a city center do not buy a diesel vehicle unless you’re likely to take it on a long run at least once a week. Shorter journeys make bigger deposits in the vehicle’s Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). This is normally purged while driving but it will only purge under certain conditions. You need to travel for around 20-40 minutes with your engine performing a steady 2,000-2,500 RPM in order to purge your DPF. If this does not take place, your DPF will become clogged with soot and will have to be cleaned out (with may affect your manufacturer’s warranty) or replaced (which will cost a lot of money).  

Modern conveniences

Since electric cars are a relatively new phenomenon you can be sure that your new electric vehicle will be kitted out with a variety of mod cons to make driving easier and more pleasurable. Many models currently come with GPS and Bluetooth connectivity as standard so you’ll be able to navigate the busy streets and be entertained without the distractions which could prevent you from perceiving the many hazards of busy urban roads. Many vehicles even have their own in car Wifi setup so you can burn through your Spotify playlist without burning through your data plan.

Safety features

Again, since electric cars tend to be newer, they’re rigged with sophisticated technology to aid driving and hazard perception that are of particular benefit to urban drivers. Parking sensors can be a Godsend in narrow urban parking lots and lane assist technology can help you to avoid accidents caused by merging vehicles. Some of these technologies may not come as standard but they’re worth it if you don’t want to spend your working day dealing with your car accident lawyer. The reduced risk of injury and expensive damage to your vehicle make it a no brainer.  

They’re quiet

There’s enough obnoxious noise in busy cities without your vehicle adding to it. Don’t be surprised if you turn heads and draw admiring glances as your car whips noiselessly through the sprawling urban jungle.

They’re agile and quick off the mark

Timing is everything in the busy dash through rush hour traffic to get the kids dropped off at school and get your butt to your desk before you draw disapproving glances from your boss for being late. Electric engines don’t rely on internal combustion so they’re able to move quicker off the mark which is of paramount importance when you’re racing from one set of traffic lights to the next.

But… Charging them can be tricky in an apartment

Here’s the rub. Charging your vehicle overnight can prove problematic when you don’t have a garage in which to charge it. Moreover, most apartment buildings are either at or reaching their power capacity meaning that even if building owners wanted to incorporate charging stations they may not necessarily be able to. This paradigm may be short lived, though. New SmartPower solutions are finding ways around this to enable even condo dwellers to charge their vehicles while they sleep.


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