Could electric vehicles be the safer way to travel during COVID-19?
Electric cars may be a safer way to travel this summer as motorists can top up their cars “contact free” without needing to visit busy fuel pumps.
Electric cars can be charged for over 300 miles from the comfort of your own driveway meaning road users do not need to visit packed petrol stations. The contact free trips mean road users can top up their car without any risk of picking up any germs from fuel pumps or other motorists.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles said motorists would also be able to charge at numerous other areas away from traditional petrol stations.
She said the growing infrastructure has meant motorists can top up while staying in hotels and even at parks.
Ms Howarth told Express.co.uk: “With the ability to safely charge at home and complete up to a 310 mile trip on one charge, electric vehicles make contact free trips possible this summer.
“If you do need to charge while you’re out, the growing UK charging infrastructure means you can charge at National Trust properties or even stay in numerous hotels and apartments where charging is available on site, avoiding more crowded traditional stops.”
Public Health England have said petrol pumps are no worse than other surfaces in spreading coronavirus germs.
However, they have urged road users to always wear gloves and wash their hands after using pumps in forecourts.
A statement said: “Petrol pumps are no worse than other surfaces, although we do recommend people use gloves and wash their hands after using them.”
This was backed by the Irish Petroleum Industry (IPI) who said mororeoasta should wear protection when using fuel pumps.
IPI garages confirmed garages were now providing extra hand sanitiser and paper towels at garages for motorists.
An easing of the lockdown and cheap fuel prices may also spark a resurgence of trips to fuel stations which could prove a social distancing headache for road users.
Although electric charging stations are used a lot less, there could still be a risk of transmission through coming into contact with other road users.
However the invention of home charge means motorists can protect themselves and others by charging at home.
Alongside this, road users could save up to £7,000 over the years by making the switch through fuel savings, car tax breaks and congestion charge savings.
Many electric car firms offer to install a portable rapid charger on your driveway after making a purchase meaning motorists would be able to enjoy the benefits with little added cost.
For firms who don’t offer the service, grants are available to make installing the technology more affordable.
This often covers the installation cost with road users only needing to pay for the device which can be found as cheap as £400.
Home charging equipment will top up your car between 30 and 60 percent more than a traditional mains electricity supply.
Alongside developing home charging, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has committed extra funding to installing extra charging points across the UK.
Sales of electric cars have slowly risen over the past few years as more motorists opt to make the switch.
Car tax changes which came into effect in April are also likely to see a surge in electric vehicles on the road.
The changes saw benefit in kind rates completely axed with up to eight in ten business people saying they would be arrested in making the switch.
Author: LUKE CHILLINGSWORTH
Disclaimer: This article was not originally written by a member of the Safer Highways team.