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 be zero emissions, which makes an EV the perfect option.
As interest in electric cars goes up, we've looked at the top questions asked about EVs and put the answers together - all in one place. If you want to know more about EVs' charging, range or costs - read out handy guide below.
1. How long does it take to charge an EV?
Most EVs fully charge overnight, which is great if you're charging 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 30,000 public charge point connectors at over 12,000 locations and these numbers go up every year!
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 to use electricity when it's cheapest to do so. We've joined forces with PodPoint to offer fast and reliable home car charging points.
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.
2. What is the range of an EV?
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 journey. 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 stop 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 make sure you’re on the best EV tariff for you 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? Short answer is yes, it seems so!
An electric car costs around 4p per mile, compared to a petrol car that costs 10p per mile. These figures are based on current average costs for electricity and petrol, and new car fuel consumption data from 2018.
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 when it comes to 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 and it'll give you peace of mind.
Get the EV thoroughly checked in a similar way to a petrol or diesel car. Make sure 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.