By now, everyone should be familiar with the environmental benefits of electric vehicles. From reducing local air pollution to easing the global strain on natural energy reserves, they are set to play a central role in decarbonising the transport industry for decades to come.
But this relatively new technology hasn’t just been designed with the environment in mind. There are many more benefits associated with EVs that can enhance the driving experience, particularly for people with certain health issues, and it’s hoped that they can help to close the disability gap in licence holders. According to the latest UK Government statistics, and reported by automotive experts, 83% of non-disabled people above 17 held a driving licence, while just 55% of disabled people owned one.
If you’re suffering with joint pain, the smoother drive that EVs can offer will be a major perk, and could make getting out and about easier. But what other advantages do they have over traditional vehicles? Here are three benefits you may have never considered before.
Filling up a petrol or diesel tank in a traditional car can be a strenuous task for drivers with joint pain. Particularly if you have pain in your hands, having to grip onto the pump can present a challenge. However, filling up an EV will put far less strain on your body, and will be easier to do providing you have easy access to a community charging station. All that’s required is the necessary strength to plug the charger into the socket, where it can be left alone to fill up the tank. This is especially helpful if you can do it from the comfort of your own home.
Drivers of EVs have the added benefit of often being able to use priority or dedicated parking spaces, which are typically situated with convenience in mind. Common types of joint pain, such as in the knees or hips, can often make it more difficult to walk comfortably, particularly over longer distances. As a result, you may find you benefit from these spots, especially if you’re not registered disabled and don’t have access to priority spaces already.
People who are suffering with arthritis are generally advised to drive an automatic car instead of a manual. This is because the constant need to change gears or even use a manual handbrake can make driving uncomfortable, and potentially even worsen their pain. EVs can assist in this way as the vast majority are automatic, which can help to make the driving experience more enjoyable, particularly over longer journeys.
To sum up
In the not too distant future, electric cars are set to be the primary mode of transport on roads across the globe. According to investment bank UBS, by 2040, virtually every new car sold will be electric, meaning drivers may want to start preparing to make the switch.
But why wait? The benefits of electric cars are clear, not only for the environment, but also for your own physical health. Before investing, be sure to take a test drive, and enquire about any adjustments that can be made to the model to make the driving experience more enjoyable for you.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.