Written evidence from Mrs Joyce Hulls (ELV0017)


                                                        EV CARS

Question 9

In 2021 my sister and I both owned rather elderly cars which could do with replacing. On checking the prices of secondhand cars we discovered that prices had significantly increased since our last purchase. The price of new cars was not much greater than the secondhand ones. This situation seemed to have arisen due to the lack of components resulting in a shortage and long delays in acquiring new vehicles. In the circumstances and as we were not in that much of a hurry we decided to opt for new cars.

We now had a choice to make. Should we do the right environmental thing and go for EVs?  We opted for petrol engines. Why?

  1. Cost. There didn’t seem to be any realistically priced EVs.
  2. Charging at home. My sister lives in a terraced cottage. Her front door opens onto the pavement. To charge an EV would require laying a wire across the pavement and risk someone tripping over it. There were no public charging points in her village. I have a drive so could charge via a socket in my garage.
  3. Charging on a journey. My sister doesn’t make many long journeys but I own a caravan which is a 200 mile journey away. I also regularly visit 2 of my children who live a 2 hour and 4 hour journey away. A new EV would not be capable of making the journeys without charging on route. My eldest son and his partner who are enthusiastic environmentalists already owned an EV but they made few long journeys. They did visit me but that journey necessitated a stop at a service station to charge it up.  Charging was slow and they invariably went for a coffee. I like to get where I am going without wasting time. If I am running out of petrol, a 5 minute stop is all that is needed.

The current situation does not seem to have improved. In fact I would have more reservations about buying an EV now than I did then. Earlier this year I was unable to drive whilst awaiting a cataract operation and my son took me to the caravan. It was painful. We had to stop 3 times to charge up. As the service stations had plenty of Tesla chargers but only 2 for general use, we always had to wait. Not all chargers were working. Once connected it was slow. The journey which should take 3 – 4 hours at most took over 6 hours. My son explained that the batteries deteriorated with age and he needed to get a new car. However his car is only about 6 years old.  I could not afford to keep replacing cars at that rate and buying a secondhand EV is obviously not practical as the batteries will be worn out.

Some of the chargers required the use of a Smart phone (which I do not have). Some used cards. They were all expensive and the cost of the journey exceeded my normal petrol cost. What is the point of paying more for a car which then costs more to use.

There has been more and more publicity about EVs setting on fire on the motorway. A petrol car on fire is not too bad but an EV on fire causes a major incident. My other son who is a retired fireman says it is not easy to put out a lithium battery fire. Why would I want to risk such a problem.

If I run out of petrol, the breakdown people will bring enough petrol in a can to get me to the nearest garage or tow me in. This is not the case for an EV.

There has been little progress in putting in charging points. My sisters regular trips to babysit her great grandchildren require a 40 minute journey. There are still no chargers on route. My caravan site does not allow parking next to the caravans. The parking is in a central area. There is no sign of any chargers being put in.

With only a few years left before the Government deadline, I really do not think we will be in any position to change to EVs.


Question 10

I have seen nothing to indicate the Government is doing anything.


Question 15

Unless batteries can be replaced economically, there will not be a market for second hand EVs as they will be as useless as my sons car.