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Discover The World of Electric Driving

Electric cars function by plugging into a charge point and taking electricity from the grid. They store the electricity in rechargeable batteries that power an electric motor, which turns the wheels. Electric cars accelerate faster than vehicles with traditional fuel engines – so they feel lighter to drive.

With the popularity of electric cars rising, and the government plan to manufacturer new electric vehicles only by 2030, here are some of your frequently asked questions about electric driving, answered!
Electric concept car
  • How do electric cars work?

An electric car is just like any other car, except it uses a battery to drive a powerful electric motor. This makes them more economical and with no emissions, better for the environment. And instead of refuelling you simply recharge at home, or at one of the many public charge points.

 

  • Why drive an electric car?

Cheap to run - Because electricity is much cheaper than petrol or diesel, your journey could cost less than a third of what it would in a combustion - engine car. Battery-electric vehicles can also travel for free in the UK’s new Clean Air Zones and London’s Congestion Zone.

Zero Emissions - An electric vehicle doesn’t have a tailpipe, which means no exhaust emissions. This helps improve air quality, particularly in urban areas.

Relaxing Drive - Electric cars are incredibly quiet, making for a more relaxing atmosphere. Driving is easy too, because electric motors produce maximum torque at all revs. That simply means you get maximum power without having rev through the gears, so acceleration is instant.

 

  • How far can an EV travel on a single charge?

Most new EVs have a real-world range of somewhere between 80-250 miles, depending on the model. Smaller cars sit at the lower end, with many family models easily able to cover 110-180 miles on a single charge. Some higher-end models can cover 200-250 miles. Premium models can cover 250-300+ miles on a full charge.

  • How far can a Hybrid vehicle travel?

Typically, PHEVs are able to drive 15-40 miles in electric only mode, depending on the model. When the petrol or diesel engine is used, PHEVs have a range that can easily exceed 500 miles when using both fuels.

  • Are EVs as safe to drive as other vehicles?

Yes - EVs are subject to the same crash testing and safety regulations that all cars and van go through. Many of the UK’s best-selling EVs have been awarded five stars by EuroNCAP.

  • Can I charge my EV at home?

Yes – when purchasing most new EVs you will have an option to buy a home wall point charger; some may even be included in the price and fitted as standard. Imagine waking up every day with a ‘full tank’. Just plug in when you get home, and your car takes care of the rest. You can also get a £350 grant to help you pay for the home charger, too.

 

  • How much does it cost to tax an EV?

100% electric models are not currently charged Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), and plug-in hybrid models get a £10 discount. PHEVs are likely to cost between £0 and £105 for year one (depending on CO2 emissions) and then rises to £145 a year. An EV costing £40,000 is subject to an additional premium rate of £335 for 5 years (starting from the second time the vehicle is taxed).

  • Are there many public charging stations?

There are tens-of-thousands of charging points in the UK. You can search through these easily on designated charging applications, or a general Google search; there are plenty of websites and platforms that can help locate your nearest charging point simply using your location.

 

  • How do electric charging points work?

There are a three main types of EV charge point (slow, fast and rapid) as well as a number of different charging connectors.

Rapid chargers are the fastest and can take between 30 and 80 minutes to charge your car to 80%. Rapid devices supply high power direct or alternating current – DC or AC – to recharge a car as fast as possible. Power outputs include: 50 kW DC charging on one of two connector types, 43 kW AC charging on one connector type, and 100+ kW DC ultra-rapid charging on one of two connector types. Fast chargers are available at most public stations and usually take between 3 and 4 hours. They have an output of between 7 and 22kW and have Type 1 or Type 2 sockets. Slow chargers have a three-pin plug. This is similar to home chargers and can take up to 10 hours to fully recharge EVs at one of these locations.

 

  • Can I take my EV on long journeys?

Yes, but there's a little bit of learning to do regarding long EV trips. The best way to go about long journeys is to forward-plan: sign up for/download charging apps, know that your range may be less than your actual range – factors like the cold weather, air con, heating, uphill climbs, driving with a heavy foot, using electric cabin accessories like phone charging etc. can have a slight effect on your charge. It is always a good idea remind yourself of what charger your car takes, map put charging points/stations in advance, and choose the fastest chargers where possible.

 

  • Should I purchase a new or used electric car?

It really depends on your budget! Used electric cars still provide reliable and cheap green motoring. With the cheapest used electric cars costing only £5,000, compared to £17,000 on average for new, buying a second-hand electric car could save you a fortune.

 

  • Should I be concerned about the battery in a used EV?

The majority of the time, battery’s in used electric vehicles are absolutely fine.

 View the car when it’s fully charged and check what the info screen says about battery health. At the least, count how many of the bars are full and check this against the warranty conditions. You can always get the dealer to check this for you. Even if the battery’s still got life in it, you can restore or even upgrade the battery pack.

Batteries are often guaranteed to have around 70% of their original capacity after seven years. If you’re buying a used electric vehicle from a garage, get clear reassurance on whether the battery is covered by any warranty. If you’re buying privately, check the car’s ownership history carefully and if in doubt, call the manufacturer. It is better to be safe than sorry!

 

  • What is involved in EV maintenance?

Though electric vehicles may still cost more to purchase than petrol/diesel cars, they’re generally cheaper to keep running via affordable home charging and long-term maintenance costs are cheaper than petrol or diesel.

EVs eliminate many mechanical components that would normally require annual service. Services such as tune-ups, oil changes, cooling system flushes, transmission servicing, and replacing the air filter, spark plugs and drive belts are all avoided.

However, an EV is NOT maintenance free. Manufacturers advise that owners must follow a series of periodic checks and services in order to keep the vehicle’s warranty in effect. If you don’t follow the recommended schedule, your car may not be covered. Although you can check the tyre air pressure, topping up the washer fluid, and perhaps changing the wiper blades, much of the EV maintenance comes down to various mechanical inspections which should be performed by a technician.

 

  • How much does it cost to insure an electric car?

Insurance prices vary depending on the car, your driving history and experience, and your circumstances, but, as a rule, electric cars are typically a little more expensive to insure than a petrol-powered equivalent.

However, as more electric and hybrid vehicles have become available and with the government’s 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars, the cost of insurance has begun to reduce and is expected to become cheaper than conventional cars. EV repairs have become more commonplace, and there’s the advantage that they’re less of a target for theft.




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