Electric Vehicles FAQ

With the number of electric vehicles available on the market increasing along with their range, EVs are becoming a more viable option for many.

Here are some FAQs to help you on your EV journey.

A. EV stands for Electric Vehicle. An Electric Vehicles is driven used electricity and doesn’t rely on any combustible fuels such as petrol or diesel.

A. ICE stands for Internal Combustion Engine, such as petrol or diesel.

A. EVs are becoming increasingly more viable to many drivers across the UK, but of course every individual has to factor in their own personal needs and situation. We have created a tool to help answer some the key questions to assess whether an EV might be the right choice for you, take a look here.

A. Just like an ICE vehicle, the range of an EV depends varies between make and model.

However, according to the latest WLTP figure, some EVs can go up to 340 miles on a single charge- and this performance is improving all the time. All pure electric vehicles can comfortably drive around 100 miles before they need recharging- that’s from London to Portsmouth, or London to Leicester.

Range is also influenced by a variety of factors, in the same as in an ICE vehicle. These factors include driving conditions, weather, load, tyres etc.

A. It all depends on what type charger you are using, there are 3 types of charging

  1. A 7kW home charging wall box: Best for overnight charging, usually take between 6 & 12 hours.
    2. Fast chargers (7kw- 22kw), usually take around 3-4 hours to fully charge a vehicle
    3. A 50kW rapid charger can charge an EV to about 80% in 30 minutes

A. Again this depends on the vehicle make & model, but most manufacturers offer an eight year or 100,000-mile warranty for EV batteries.

A. The simple answer is yes. You will need to have an Electric Charging Point installed to do this though. Not all homes are suitable for an EV charging point, but most providers in the UK will provide an estimate to install a charge point, and this will include an assessment of whether it’s possible.

A. The network of charging stations in the UK is growing extremely quickly- in fact there are currently more electric charging points in the UK than there are petrol stations. You can use this interactive map to see where all the charging stations in the UK are: https://www.zap-map.com/live/

A. If you are charging EV at home, it will cost under £4 for a full charge. Charging points at public places such as supermarkets or car parks are often free to use for the duration of your stay. So while you are nipping round the supermarket doing your weekly shop, you can be topping up your vehicle while its parked in the car park. Rapid charge points which are generally found at motorway services generally cost around £6-7 for a 30-minute charge. Many workplaces are also installing EV charge points for staff to use too, meaning you can charge your vehicle whilst doing your 9-5!

A. EV Manufacturers have built in precautions so that you can’t overcharge your EV.

A. There isn’t yet a universal connector for electric vehicles and the different chargers, but most EVs and EV chargers in the UK are compatible. For non-rapid charging you will usually have to supply your own cable- this comes with and is stored inside the vehicle.For non-rapid charging, EVs will either have the above Type 1 or Type 2 inlet socket. Your EV will be supplied with a cable that has the plug it requires, and at the charger end, the cables are all compatible.

Rapid chargers use tethered cables which are permanently connected to the charging unit. In the UK most rapid chargers have two cables providing the two most popular rapid charge connectors (CHAdeMO and CCS) so you simply select and use the one that fits your EV.

A. Like a petrol or diesel vehicle, your EV will warn you when its running low in battery- many will also switch automatically to an energy-saving mode as well. Most EVs also have charge points programmed in to their navigation system, to help you find a nearby charging station when you are running low. If you do run out of charge, your vehicle, just like an ICE vehicle will need to be recovered and either taken home or to a nearby charge point. The RAC is the first breakdown assistance company in the UK to introduce a mobile charging unit for electric vehicle owners who have run out of charge.

A. An electric motor is much more simple that an ICE engine as there are less moving parts. A petrol or diesel engine is complex, requiring many additional components to operate correctly – exhaust systems, starter motors, fuel injection systems, oil, radiators, gears.  Pure electric cars, on the other hand, have just three main components – the on-board charger, inverter and motor – and fewer moving parts than cars with an internal combustion engine. This means there are less things requiring maintenance and servicing is simpler. All of which could significantly save money. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) can also be cheaper to maintain than ‘traditional’ petrol or diesel-powered alternatives. Whilst these have a petrol engine that needs regular servicing, the electrical motor requires little maintenance due to far fewer moving parts, which leads to less wear and tear of the petrol engine component.

A. Yes! There are a number of reasons which make EVs really fun to drive. Not only will you notice how much quieter they are when driving, but on the whole they are also better to handle too due to the fact that their heavy batteries are mounted in the chassis creating a low centre of gravity! Electric vehicles also provide instant torque from zero revs, making them extremely fun to drive. And finally the regenerative braking when easing off the accelerator, which feeds energy back into the battery adding to their efficiency.

A. Put simply, yes. Unlike petrol and diesel vehicles, electric vehicles don’t have multi-speed gearboxes.

A. Yes, the Government has put in place a number of incentives and grants to help encourage drivers and businesses to switch to EVs. This includes home charging incentives, as low as 2% Benefit in kind tax for company car drivers,  workplace charging. You can find out more about all of the different incentives and grants on our website here.

A. Although we all know not to mix electricity with water, when it comes to EVs there’s absolutely no extra risk of driving in a rain or a lightning storm – they are just as safe as a petrol or diesel car.  EVs also undergo the same rigorous testing and meet the same safety standards required for petrol or diesel fuelled cars.

A. The Government has approved a change to driving licence legislation designed to make it easier for people to use electric vans. The new rule came into force on 24 July 2018 after a consultation a year earlier and is designed to make it easier for manufacturers to sell alternative fuel vans in the UK and take the hassle out of applying for more complex licences. Essentially, it means van operators can drive a heavier-than-normal van with a conventional driving licence – providing it’s powered by something other than petrol or diesel.

Motorists with a Category B licence – the conventional type you get when you pass your car driving test – are already allowed to drive most normal vans that weigh no more than 3500kg; however, the new legislation allows Category B licence holders to drive alternative fuel vans that weigh up to 4250kg.

But there are some conditions. Category B licence holders are not automatically allowed to drive the vehicles in question. Before they can get behind the wheel of a heavier alternative fuel van, they must first complete a minimum of five hours’ training at the helm of such a vehicle with a registered instructor.

A. The Department for Transport (DfT), which is responsible for the legislation, stipulates that alternative fuel vans must be powered by “electricity, natural gas, biogas or hydrogen or [a combination of] hydrogen and electricity”. Basically, the new legislation applies to vans that are not powered by petrol or diesel and weigh between 3500 and 4250kg. Batteries that power electric vehicles are heavy, so it’s often difficult for manufacturers to fit them to LCVs and keep the weight beneath the traditional 3500kg level. They also need to factor in an acceptable amount of weight allowance for carrying cargo.

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