They’re expensive! They’ve got no power! There’s nowhere to charge them!
These are just a few of the misconceptions Mike Sheaff has encountered when talking about electric vehicles.
But the general manager of Sheaff Vehicles in Mount Maunganui says these days there’s an electric vehicle for everyone.
“Many people don’t realise you can actually charge them at your house,” says Mike.
He says an EV like the Nissan Leaf will take around six-to-eight hours to charge to full from empty, plugged into the wall socket in your own home.
“With a caravan plug, though, you can cut that time in half. And if you take it to one of the fast charge stations around town, it will only take around half an hour.”
While they take longer to ‘fill up’, they’re far cheaper to run – five-to-eight dollars to fully charge, says Mike.
Since there’s no engine, there is also less to go wrong.
“A normal car might have around 2000 moving parts, while there are only around 200 in an electric,” he says.
Despite this, when you hit the road they accelerate quickly and quietly and maintain speed just as well as any petrol equivalent. And it tells you how much further you can travel on the current battery life, with the estimated distance dropping when you switch on the air conditioner, or increasing when you apply eco mode.
At the moment, most used EVs can travel around 120km – but newer models can reach up to 300km on a single charge, and Mike says when they enter the second-hand market they’ll be quite affordable.
“As a commuter who travels mostly around town, though, these vehicles are the best option,” says Mike.