The ultimate guide to electric PCO cars

With rising fuel prices, the expansion of clean air zones and increasing concerns around the environment, electric vehicles are now gaining significant traction. 

This trend goes beyond private vehicles, and now also includes the use of electric PCO cars. With recent licensing changes from TFL, all private hire vehicles licensed for the first time must be Zero Emission Capable.

Electric PCO cars have certainly come a long way since their early days. As well as environmental benefits, you’ll also find that models nowadays are both stylish and spacious.

So, as a PCO driver, should you be making the switch? As you read on, that’s exactly what we’re going to explore.

The Benefit of Electric PCO Cars

Before you’re tempted to ditch your petrol or diesel PCO car, you’ll want to have a deeper understanding of just what the electric alternative has to offer.

Here’s a rundown of the top benefits:

  1. No Need to Fear Rising Fuel Prices

    One of the most obvious benefits of electric PCO cars is the fact that worries linked to rising fuel costs become a thing of the past. Ongoing global issues means that fuel costs are unstable and in general, they tend to move upwards, as we have already experienced this year . A move to electric brings welcome relief.

    The reality is that charging an electric PCO car is far more cost-efficient than petrol and diesel alternatives. When you consider cost per mile, an electric car will cost between 8p and 12p. With petrol cars, you’re looking at up to 20p per mile .
  2. Reduced Maintenance

    When it comes to electric cars, the reality is that the makeup of these is much simpler than that of petrol or diesel alternatives. Thanks to fewer components in electric cars, there is less risk of wear and tear and less chance of needing costly repairs. Not only does this save you money in the long run, it also helps to keep you on the road and earning.
  3. Electric PCO Cars are Surprisingly Affordable

    You only have to look back a few years to find electric cars with price tags that were unobtainable. As the technology was still in its infancy the prices reflected this. Along with these high prices, there were also limited options as many manufacturers weren’t quick off the mark with releasing their own range.

    Today, the prices of these vehicles have reduced significantly. As technology has progressed, car makers are able to produce the required parts in mass, leading to electric cars that are much more affordable. Along with the change in affordability, there has also been a huge increase in the number of cars to choose from.
  4. Protecting the Environment and the Health of Londoners

    For many drivers, the rise of electric vehicles is all about the benefits for the environment. As we know from petrol and diesel cars, the lower the CO2 emissions coming from your exhaust, the less damage is being inflicted on our planet. The obvious way to achieve this is to make the switch to electric.

    Electric PCO cars are not only great for the environment, but they also benefit us as individuals. We’re now more aware than ever of the damage that car exhaust emissions can bring to our health. Back in 2018, it was suggested that every single petrol/diesel car in London was costing the NHS £8,000 per year because of the negative impact on health.  By moving to electric cars, drivers are improving living conditions and ensuring that future generations are safe from the risk of breathing problems.
  5. Impressive Range to Choose From

    We’ve already touched on the choices that you now have when it comes to selecting an electric PCO car. However, it’s worth taking a closer look at this. While Tesla is still the biggest name in the industry, there are now a range of other options to consider. The likes of Kia, VW,  Hyundai, and Skoda now have some attractive models to choose from too.

    When considering reviews of electric cars , Tesla will still often come out on top, but competitors are certainly impressive, and more choice can only be a positive.
  6. ULEZ Charges No More

    It can’t have escaped your attention that the ULEZ area has expanded of late. What that means for drivers of petrol and diesel vehicles is that they are now more likely to face the charge. On top of this, there is also the congestion charge to consider, which covers central London. Right now, electric vehicles are exempt from this charge too, but this is set to change in 2025.

    It’s worth noting that charges are also being introduced elsewhere. Places, such as Birmingham and Portsmouth, have their own schemes, and you can be sure that more are on the way. In time it could well be that these are a feature of every major city.

    With electric PCO cars, you’re exempt from paying ULEZ charges. That’s because these cars fall into the zero-emissions category.
  7. Even More Savings with Electric PCO Cars

    We’ve already seen that switching to electric can reduce costs on the likes of fuel, maintenance, and tax, but there are even more savings beyond these. Features such as car preconditioning, cruise control, and regenerative braking all ensure that your driving experience is an economical one.
  8. Appeal to More Customers

    By switching to electric PCO cars, you’re making a statement. You’re showing that you care about the environment and that you care about your contribution to the health of residents near you. It makes sense that this resonates with your target market and that they will be sure to come your way.
  9. A Peaceful Drive

    If you’ve ever driven a diesel car, you’ll be well aware of just how noisy those engines can be. Even with petrol engines, there are times when the noise is uncomfortable and leads to a less than enjoyable experience. With electric PCO cars, the experience is a relaxing and quiet one. Not only will you benefit, but so will your customers.

Considerations When It Comes to Electric PCO Cars

While it’s clear that electric PCO cars offer a host of benefits, it’s worth bearing in mind that they have not yet reached a level of perfection. So, if you’re considering the switch, here are some of the top points that you’ll need to mull over:

  1. Range Anxiety

    While the charging network is certainly growing and batteries are developing all of the time, electric PCO cars are still associated with that dreaded feeling of range anxiety.

    The reality is, however, that this can easily be worked around, with just a little bit of planning. Be sure to plan your route so that you know just where charging stations are. Make charging a way of life and build it into your routine. Be sure that breaks are utilised effectively so that charges can take place.

    These simple steps do away with any fears of your charge running out, and, as a PCO driver, there’s a good chance that your routes are already well-organised and planned.

    With that being the case, range anxiety becomes a thing of the past.
  2. Charging Infrastructure

    Closely linked to range anxiety is the perceived charging infrastructure that exists. In order to beat range anxiety, drivers need to have confidence in the fact that a charging station is never too far away.

    It’s worth noting here that there has already been a massive investment in the charging infrastructure. While there are regional variations, London has seen the number of charge points increase hugely and drivers are unlikely to ever find themselves in a situation where they can’t charge.

    Of course, it’s also worth remembering that the use of home chargers can help here. This needs a driveway or parking space, but it allows drivers to fully charge their cars before the day ahead.
  3. Time Needed to Charge

    One consideration when it comes to electric PCO cars is the time that it takes to fully charge your battery. When you’re used to petrol or diesel cars, you know that it’s just a case of pulling into a fuel station and you can have a full tank within a matter of minutes. That being said, with an electric PCO, the development of chargers means that this no longer needs to be a concern.

    While a standard charger may take all night to fully charge a battery, rapid chargers can do this in around 30 minutes . This means that it becomes easy to build charging into your daily routine.
  4. Upfront Costs

    While we’ve looked at plenty of benefits that can save you money, the truth is that the upfront cost of electric PCO cars is generally higher than petrol and diesel equivalents.

    That being said, the long-term savings that we have looked at mean that, over time, this all balances out and you’re soon back in the red. There are also government incentives to explore that can help with the upfront costs and bridge the gap. Also, the secondary market is likely to be much stronger when compared to petrol/diesel PCOs as more areas look to follow London and phase out non-electric vehicles.
  5. Depreciation

    While the upfront costs can be high, further consideration needs to be given to the resale value of electric cars.

    While potential owners may have concerns that this market is still in its infancy, it’s worth comparing it to that of petrol and diesel alternatives. As more and more areas phase out the use of these PCOs, their value will plummet while electric PCOs grow in popularity and retain their value.

    The increased reliability of electric PCOs, compared to traditional cars, also means that they are more likely to hold their value.
  6. Battery Degradation

    Electric PCO vehicles obviously use batteries and, just like all other batteries, their performance can be affected over time. As the battery degrades, it brings issues with the charge time, and can also lead to a gradual decrease in range.

    Yes, these batteries are designed to last for years, but when it does come to a replacement, these are far from cheap.
  7. Insurance Costs

    Linked to the cost of replacement batteries, generally speaking, you’ll find insuring an electric vehicle is more expensive than insuring a petrol or diesel car.

    The worry held by insurance companies is that an accident can potentially destroy the battery and, as we have already said, replacements are far from cheap.

Additional Tips for PCO Drivers Considering Electric Vehicles

PCO electric car charging at station

Before taking the plunge and opting for an electric PCO car, here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Research: Thoroughly research electric vehicle models available in your market, considering factors like range, charging speed, passenger space, and cargo capacity.
  • Test Drive: Take electric vehicles you’re interested in for a test drive to experience the driving dynamics and assess suitability for your daily commute.
  • Charging Options: Evaluate your charging options at home and work. Consider installing a home charging station for added convenience.
  • Plan your Trips: With electric vehicles, planning trips becomes more crucial. Utilise apps and online resources to locate charging stations along your routes.
  • Utilise Off-Peak Charging: Whenever possible, charge your vehicle during off-peak hours to potentially benefit from lower electricity rates.
  • Consider Weather Conditions: Extreme weather conditions, like very hot or cold temperatures, can affect the range of your electric vehicle.

Final Thoughts

The transition to electric PCO cars presents a significant opportunity for both drivers and fleet operators.

While there are considerations like range anxiety, charging infrastructure, and upfront costs, the long-term benefits are undeniable.

Electric PCO vehicles offer a path towards reduced environmental impact, lower running costs, and a positive brand image.

As battery technology advances, charging infrastructure expands, and government incentives continue, electric PCO cars are poised to become the dominant force in the transportation sector.

Choosing electric PCO vehicles can also contribute to a wider societal shift towards a cleaner and more sustainable transportation ecosystem. This not only benefits the environment but also fosters a healthier living environment.

With growing public awareness about climate change, electric PCO cars can play a vital role in aligning your business with eco-conscious consumer preferences.

The transition might require some adjustments to daily routines and route planning, but the environmental and economic rewards make electric PCO vehicles the future.

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February 9, 2024

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