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Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular as more manufacturers are beginning to provide electric and hybrid options across their range of models.

Still unsure whether to make the switch to an eco-friendly car? Throughout this page we cover the benefits of driving an all-electric vehicle, provide information on electric charging points and answer some FAQs.

Different Types of Electric Vehicle

  • Mild hybrid electric vehicle battery

    Mild hybrid systems improve fuel economy harvesting energy that is normally lost when braking, storing it in a battery until required, assisting the engine when accelerating. The engine has the ability to shut down when stationary, also saving fuel.

  • Hybrid electric battery

    HEVs combine a conventional combustion engine with an electric motor and battery pack, charged through regenerative braking. HEVs are capable of travelling short distances on electric power alone, with the engine cutting in and out as required.

  • Plug in hybrid electric

    Working in a similar way to an HEV – combining a combustion engine with an electric motor. The difference; a PHEV has a much larger battery pack, meaning it can travel much further on electric power only, but needs to be plugged in to charge fully.

  • Plug in battery electric car

    BEVs only use an electric motor and battery pack for power. There is no combustion engine. BEVs produce zero tailpipe emissions and need to be charged using an external power supply, preferably a dedicated electric car plug-in charge point.

Benefits of electric cars

  • Electric cars run purely off their batteries and therefore burn no fuel; resulting in zero CO2 emissions, which is ultimately better for the environment. This benefit results in avoiding charges in low-emission zones of cities and free road tax!

  • Despite being more expensive to initially purchase, EVs are more cost-efficient in the long-term compared to conventional cars due to the price of charging the EV in comparison to filling up with traditional fuel.

  • Expect a quieter driving experience in electric cars, compared to a traditional car, due to fewer moving parts. They also benefit from instant torque resulting in brisk acceleration.

  • Electric cars often boast a futuristic exterior look, which is consistent throughout the interior of the vehicle resulting in modern technology and infotainment systems.

Electric Car Charging Points

Recently there has been a significant increase in the number of charging stations located around the UK, with over 17,500 chargers located in over 6,000 location; charging your vehicle whilst out and about has never been so simple.

Many public EV charge points are free to use, however, the majority of fast and rapid chargers do require payment. There are websites and apps that can assist you with locating an electric car charging station such as Zap-Map of Pod-Point.

Alternatively, EV charge points can be installed at your home but often require you to have off-street parking due to ease and safety. Charging your vehicle at home is the most convenient and cost-effective method and Government grants are available to support with the installation of home EV charge points.

charging

The time it takes to fully-charge an electric vehicle varies depending on the vehicle's battery size and the speed of the charging point. There are three main types of EV chargeSlow chargersrs, each representing different power outputs and therefore charging speeds.

  • Slow chargers provide up to 3 kWh of power are best suited for overnight charging; taking between 6 and 12 hours to fully charge the electric vehicle.

  • Fast chargers provide power from 7 kWh to 22 kWh and will fully charge a car in 3-4 hours depending on the battery size.

  • Rapid chargers provide power from 43 kWh and will charge the majority of EVs to 80% in around 30-60 minutes.

Electric Ranges Available at Stratstone

Electric Car FAQs

Electric and hybrid cars are still relatively new in the market and therefore it is normal to have many questions when considering to make the switch from a conventional car with an internal combustion engine (ICE). We have covered some of the most frequently asked questions below to make the switch easier for you.

How far can electric vehicles go?

Advances in technology have resulted in electric vehicles that are more capable of driving longer distances with an increased range but the true range is dependant upon the vehicle. Furthermore, public charging stations are becoming increasingly common meaning you can give your car a boost in charge whilst doing your weekly food shopping or stopping at a service station for a coffee, abolishing the concern of running out of charge on a long journey.

Where can I find a public charging point?

Finding your local electric car charging station is simple as websites and apps such as Zap-Map or Pod-Point exist to show you all the locations of charging points within a certain distance of your postcode. Heading out on a long distance journey? Fear not, you can plan your trip and locate charging points in advance so you don't need to panic about running out of battery charge to power your vehicle. Charging points are frequently appearing at supermarkets, service stations and workplaces; making charging your vehicle a much easier process.

How do charging points work?

Electric cars currently utilise multiple standards of connection which can prove difficult to understand, however, you will be pleased to know it is nearly impossible to use the wrong connection. Using the wrong connection doesn't compare to accidentally filling your diesel car up with petrol, worst-case-scenario would be that the duration of charging is longer than if you had used the correct connection.

What is the cost of charging an electric vehicle?

The most convenient and cost-effective method of charging an electric vehicle is with a home charger. In 2019 the average domestic electricity rate is just over 14p per kWh, so if the car has a 60 kWh battery it would cost around £8.40 to charge from completely empty to full. Furthermore, if you're fortunate and have an Economy 7 meter installed in your home you can expect the cost to be even less if you charge your vehicle overnight, when the cost of electricity is lower.

However, if you do need to charge your vehicle at a public charging station you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that many EV charge points are free to use but these do tend to be the slow chargers. If you require speedier charging with a fast or rapid charger, these often require payment. The rates of charging are often displayed as £ per kWh or £ per hour. Some charging points require a subscription account whereas others can be paid per single use.

How do you charge at home?

When switching to an electric vehicle it is definitely recommended to install an EV charging point at your home, however, it is often a requirement that you have off-street parking, for ease and safety. Home chargers are often the slow or fast type with the higher powered chargers being more expensive but Government grants are available for the installation of home EV charge points.

How long do electric batteries last?

Just like a battery in a mobile phone or a laptop, batteries in electric vehicles will gradually lose some of their capacity over an extended period of time. Car manufacturers are aware that battery longevity is a large concern to potential buyers which is why many now offer warranties on car batteries to provide the buyer with peace of mind that they are covered for so many years or miles. The life of a battery is largely dependent on how it is cared for; overheating, overcharging, deep discharge and high discharge can all impact the the battery's condition.

Are electric vehicles boring to drive?

Simple answer - no! Electric vehicles have unique qualities that make the driving experience the complete opposite to boring. Powerful yet silent; electric vehicles benefit from instant torque from an electric motor, resulting in rapid acceleration, faster than the acceleration from a petrol or diesel car.