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Top 6 Electric Car Questions Answered

By Marta Moses | Posted August 12, 2020

If you're thinking about purchasing an electric car, you're not alone. These eco-friendly alternatives to traditional petrol and diesel-powered vehicles are gaining popularity, and there are a lot of questions that drivers have about them. Below, you can find answers to the most important questions you should ask when considering an electric car.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are a great alternative to petrol cars. They help lower your carbon footprint, and they're easy to run. By 2040, all new cars sold in the UK must have zero emissions, which makes an EV the perfect option.

With the increasing interest in electric cars, we have compiled a guide to answer the most common questions about EVs. If you are curious about matters such as charging range or costs associated with electric vehicles, you can find all the relevant information in our comprehensive guide below.

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1. How long does it take to charge an EV?

Most EVs fully charge overnight, which is great if you charge at home. 

A public rapid charge point can return an exhausted EV to 80% of its range in just 30 minutes. While that's not as quick as filling up with petrol or diesel, if you've driven far enough to need a recharge, chances are you'll want a short break anyway. In the UK, there are more than 61,000 public charge point connectors at over 22,000 locations, and these numbers go up yearly!

At home, all charge points have to be smart these days. This means you can set a scheduled time for when you want your car ready, and the charger can ensure you use electricity when it's cheapest to do so. We've joined forces with Pod Point to offer fast and reliable home car charging points.

2. What is the range of an EV?

If you decide to buy and install a home charger, you'll be glad to know that you can apply for the UK government's £350 OLEV Grant to help with the costs.

Find out more about charging your at home, in public and charging times.

The range an EV has on a single charge depends on the make and model.

Most modern EVs have a range that comfortably suits most people's daily journeys. This means you can charge your car at home or at work without impacting your routine.

For longer journeys, it's a good idea to use rapid chargers to top up, as they're the quickest way to charge your EV. You can often find them at motorway service car parks, petrol stations, larger shopping centres and supermarkets. This nicely ties in with a comfort break on a long journey.

There are specific long-range electric cars available on the market, too.

3. Are electric cars expensive to run?

Electric vehicles run on electricity. So, to keep your costs as low as possible, it’s wise to ensure you’re on the best EV tariff for your needs. Discover our exclusive EV tariff with half-price off-peak electricity.

No doubt a question on many minds is: are electric vehicles cheaper to run than petrol cars? The short answer is yes, it seems so!

Charging an EV off-peak on a dedicated tariff means an electric car costs around 3p per mile, compared to a petrol car that costs 10p per mile. Depending on the size and model of the vehicle and the location and tariff of the charger, these costs can go up. The figures used are based on current average costs for electricity and petrol and new car fuel consumption data from 2022 and bench-testing by consumer firm Which? Based on July 2023 prices. 

Learn more about electric car costs.

4. Do electric cars break down more?

Not, they don't.  An electric vehicle is less likely to break down than a petrol or diesel car because it has fewer moving parts.

This is also great news regarding EV maintenance costs. EVs don’t have familiar car parts like a gearbox, clutch, exhaust, starter motor and more. Even the brakes on an EV get much less wear and tear because electric cars use regenerative braking.

For example, according to Nissan, to service, a Nissan Leaf costs just £159 per year. Tesla says that it can perform many servicing functions remotely via software updates.

5. Can you drive and charge an electric car in the rain?

Of course, you can drive or charge an electric car in the rain. You can drive through puddles safely and take your EV through a car wash whenever you like.

EVs are built to cope, even if you get caught in a flood. For example, the Jaguar I-PACE has a wading depth of 500mm and features safety systems designed to deal with a flood situation.

6. Can you buy or sell second-hand electric cars?

You can buy or sell a second-hand electric car, just like you would any other type of vehicle. However, there are a few things to look out for when purchasing an EV second-hand.

The first thing to check is how well the battery keeps its charge. You can also check the battery warranty – this usually lasts longer than the car warranty, giving you peace of mind. 

Get the EV thoroughly checked in a similar way to a petrol or diesel car. Ensure all functions and electrics work and the wheels aren’t too worn down.

You should also check if the EV has a lease plan that goes with it.

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