We round up the latest news from the ever-changing world of electric. This week we cover; the introduction of green number plates for EVs, the hundreds of EVs flying off the production line by 2021, electric cars in the rain, the 10 best range-busting electric cars and take a look at Google's latest foray into the EV sector.
New EVs to get green number plates
New information from ZapMap suggests that EVs will be marked on the road with green number plates. The government began consultation on introducing green number plates for EVs in October this year, with a design and initial rollout date expected in early 2020.
The key aim of the initiative is to allow local authorities to better identify EVs and provide greater incentives to EV drivers such as free parking, access to bus lanes and exclusivity in specialist clean air zones. The plan's secondary aim is to normalize EVs on the roads and give them greater visibility among motorists to encourage take-up and hit the 2040 road-emission goal.
Hundreds of new EVs to hit production by end of 2021
New data released in a graph from the Transport & Environment Agency predicts that the number of EVs available in Europe will have more than doubled by the end of 2021, as the market enjoys the most substantial growth period in its history.
The data also estimates that there will be almost 350 EVs (including Hybrids) available by the end of 2025, with the bulk of arrivals coming from the Volkswagen Group, who are set to undertake heavy investment in the sector over the next few years. As the largest manufacturer in Europe, VW's new I.D range is being predicted as a huge turning point for the green car revolution.
Electric cars spark safety fear
A recent report published in iNews suggested that up to a one-fifth of combustion engine drivers will not drive an EV, because they believe the vehicle lacks safety credentials in a lightning storm. The report backed up original research published in The Mirror and conducted by Liverpool Victoria, which revealed a staggering one in ten drivers still believed electric vehicles couldn't be driven in the wet or heavy rain.
Despite public fears, senior figures at Jaguar and Hyundai have been quick to dismiss the claims.
Sylvie Childs, senior product manager at Hyundai Motor UK, said: “It’s been fascinating to hear about some of the misconceptions that people still have about electric vehicles.
“We’ve all been told you don’t mix electricity with water, but when it comes to EVs there’s absolutely no extra risk of driving in a lightning storm - they are just as safe as a petrol or diesel car."
The data highlights how major manufacturers still have plenty of work to do in order to convince and educate a cautious buying public. Read more about how Hybrid and Electric cars work in our dedicated guide.
Range anxiety - a thing of the past?
Range anxiety is one of the biggest obstacles for many potential EV drivers to overcome. Fortunately, that particular fear is becoming a thing of the past - with many of the most popular EVs on the market now offering in excess of 200 miles on a single charge.
Say goodbye to the fear of running to a stop - here's ten of the best range busting EVs:
1. Tesla Model S - 379 miles
2. Tesla Model 3 - 348 miles
3. Tesla Model X - 314 miles
4. Jaguar I-Pace - 292 miles
5. Kia e-Niro - 282 miles
6. Kia Soul EV - 280 miles
7. Hyundai Kona Electric - 279 miles
8. Mercedes EQC - 259 miles
9. Audi e-Tron - 248 miles
10. Renault Zoe - 245 miles
The Tesla trio lead the way and the Model S, 3 and X in their 'Long-Range' trim, remain the only EVs on the market capable of more than 300 miles from just one charge. The gap has been closed in recent years though, with the Jaguar I-Pace capable of a very credible 292 miles and the 2019 What Car Car of the Year? the Kia e-Niro completing the top five with 282 miles to its name.
Google Maps Capitalise on EV Charging Market
New data uncovered in car website Jalopnik shows Google is making big moves to cater for the growth of the EV market. As yet, no major navigation app has looked to cash in on the desire many EV drivers have to easily cover their charging costs.
Google look set to introduce functionality that would do just that. In October 2018, Google introduced the ability to allow drivers to find charge points near them within the Google Maps app, similar to the way you'd find a local restaurant or cafe. It is rumoured Google are developing a much more substantial service giving them a large slice of the EV charging market. Drivers will be able to find their charge point and pay for it at the touch of the button within the Maps app.