Overcoming three potential drawbacks to electric vehicles for Carers, the people they care for and disabled drivers
Due to recent circumstances, many people across the UK have been hit with cost-of-living prices rising over the past few months, including the cost of fuel increasing by over 20p per litre since the start of the year. Alongside other factors, such as the impact on our environment, this has led to many people considering switching to electric cars. We are aware that the consideration process for getting an electric car will be much different for Carers and disabled drivers. Because of this we have considered 3 potential drawbacks to electric vehicles for Carers, the people they care for and disabled drivers, as well as coming up with solutions for these drawbacks. We hope this article helps in your decision-making process.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity, and it’s not hard to see why: they’re better for the environment, cheaper to run, and easier to operate than petrol or diesel cars. But while EVs are great for many people, they can present some real challenges for Carers and disabled drivers. Take a look at this guide to overcoming the three biggest drawbacks of electric vehicles so you can make sure your next car is safe and accessible.
Drawback: Charging accessibility
The majority of charging points aren’t designed for wheelchair users – there usually isn’t much space to manoeuvre around. Plus, charging points tend to be too high for someone in a wheelchair to use and access. Payment can also be a problem if someone with a cognitive or visual restriction can’t properly see where or how to pay for charging.
One solution to these problems is to have a charging point installed at home. This will ensure that drivers can always set off with a fully charged battery. However, this isn’t possible in all homes, so the government is also working to improve EV charging standards to make stations more inclusive for disabled drivers.
Drawback: Huge upfront costs
The upfront cost of buying an EV is likely to be the biggest hurdle for disabled drivers who are considering making the switch. The initial cost of an EV is already more expensive than that of a conventional combustion vehicle, but for disabled drivers who need to make adaptations to their cars, this upfront cost can increase dramatically.
To help offset the cost of EVs, disabled drivers can take advantage of the Motability Scheme, which allows those with disabilities to exchange their qualifying mobility allowance for a brand-new car so they can enjoy more freedom and independence. There are a number of hybrid and electric vehicles available on the scheme, and all servicing and maintenance costs are covered, as well as support for installing an at-home charging point and making any necessary adaptations.
Drawback: Lack of information on EVs for disabled people
Another significant drawback to electric vehicles is a lack of information on how they can be adapted for disabled drivers or for their Carers. The main problem is that many organisations don’t train their sales staff or mechanics on how to make EVs accessible. They assume only non-disabled people will buy them, and therefore don’t take any measures to ensure the cars are usable by those with disabilities.
There are a couple of ways that the industry can improve the uptake of EVs with disabled drivers. These include creating campaigns to raise awareness of the technology’s benefits and how EVs can benefit people with disabilities, as well as offering longer trial periods for disabled drivers and their carers who want to try out electric vehicles before deciding whether or not to buy one.
It’s also important for prospective EV drivers to be aware of the many adaptations that can be made to the vehicles to make them easier to use. These include electronic accelerators, hand controls and pedal modifications.