How far can a car travel with a single charge?
This essentially depends on the features of the vehicle in question. For example, a mid-range Japanese vehicle is able to drive an average of 120-130 km on a single charge under ideal circumstances, while a Tesla’s range extends to 350-400 km. It may seem that this range limits mobility when compared to a petrol or diesel-powered car.
However, experience has shown that 90% of people do not drive more than 100 km in their everyday commute. In fact, many drive less than 40 kms. Thus, it depends on what the car will be used for.
This is why electric cars are an ideal choice for regular commutes, such as driving to and from work, or picking up the children from school. For the 3-4 trips a year that are longer, there are other options such as renting a traditional car, or travelling by electric vehicles using the soon-to-be-available quick charging network.
Is it worth buying an electric car?
Cars are expensive tools that recoup their cost through the utility they provide. A midrange electric vehicle is currently priced at around HUF 10-12 million. While this may seem like a large sum compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines, the maintenance of electric cars is substantially cheaper. Some of the operating costs, such as road tolls, parking etc. are negligible or non-existent due to state subsidies. For more details, see Subsidies. Currently, charging is free for registered users, but is also substantially cheaper in the long term compared to petrol or diesel. Moreover, it can be made even more cost-efficient e.g. through using night-tariff electricity for charging. Servicing costs are also much lower, as the engine of an electric car is considerably more durable. Thus, the higher initial cost can be recouped through the minimal operating costs.
Particularly for those who drive 50-100 km a day, electric cars can recoup their purchase cost in 3-4 years. This means that until the nation- and Europe-wide establishment of infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, electric cars are the ideal choice for approximately 50-70% of drivers. High-end Tesla models are already capable of driving 350-400 km on a single charge, and as such, are less dependent on a charging network that is yet to be completed. However, due to their cost, these high-end models are realistically only available to a small group of consumers.
Why should anyone switch to electric?
The two main arguments for electric cars are environmental protection and lower operating expenses. Today, opting for this particular method of travel is still slightly inconvenient for longer trips, as they involve numerous stops, making the trip relatively long. But as electric cars and charging infrastructure are developed further, this mode of transportation will become increasingly convenient. Currently, it makes sense to choose an electric car as the second vehicle in a two-car household that already has a traditional car with an internal combustion engine, as the other car always remains an option for longer trips.
Which countries cater to e-mobility?
In the Central European region, much as in Hungary, the establishment of nationwide charging networks is expected to be completed by 2020.
The infrastructure in Western Europe is better developed. For instance, a high-end electric car can be driven from Amsterdam to the Alps or the Italian seaside without any issues. With 20-minute stops to recharge, a Tesla S model allows the driver to go anywhere, particularly through Germany, where the EV station network is increasingly comprehensive.