What is a full electrical vehicle?
A full electric vehicle, also called an EV, only uses a battery and a motor to drive the engine. It is powered by a battery that you charge via a charging point (whether this is at home, the workplace or a public access point).
How many miles can I drive on a fully charged battery?
This depends on the battery size and efficiency of the vehicle. Generally speaking, you can drive 125 to 150 miles on a fully charged 40 kWh battery. However, if you drive sensibly, you can go even further. Vehicles with a 64-kWh battery have a range of 200 to 250 miles.
Speed is the biggest drain on the battery, so it’s worth keeping to speed limits. Other factors that can influence your driving range include:
- High or low temperatures (as you may be using the air conditioning/heating more)
- Driving into a strong headwind
- A fully loaded vehicle
- Driving uphill for a long period of time
How long will it take to charge my vehicle?
There are several different types of charging options available in the UK. Rapid DC points use tethered cables, which are attached to charging unit. It is important that you know what types of charge-point your vehicle can use.
If you are charging a car with a domestic three-pin power socket or 3kw charger, it will take around 12 hours. With a 7kW fast charger (such as home/public chargers) it takes around three to four hours. If you use the rapid AC/DC charges found at motorway services, your battery will be 80% charged in approximately 30 minutes (though you need to remember that fast chargers are more expensive than standard charging stations).
Types of charge-points include:
Does an electric vehicle need different maintenance to a petrol or diesel vehicle?
It needs less maintenance, as the engine has fewer moving parts and no exhaust or gears. You also won’t need to change the oil and the brakes should wear less thanks to regenerative braking.
How safe are electric vehicles?
The automotive industry is heavily regulated, ensuring all products are safe. Beyond statutory standards of electric car safety there are Euro NCAP ratings, providing an “out of 5 star” rating. Like conventional vehicles, in the event of a collision, there is a small chance that a vehicle part may receive an active charge, or that short-circuiting could cause an electrical fire, but safety precautions and construction in addition to the statutory standards, as outlined above have limited this risk to an absolute minimum.
Are electric vehicles easy to drive?
Yes. They are a similar to driving with automatic transmission and in some cases, even simpler. You just choose drive or reverse, as with an automatic, but you don’t have to brake as often. This is thanks to the regenerative braking system that slows down the car when you take your foot off the accelerator.
Are electric vehicles as well equipped as conventional vehicles?
The equipment is the same for comfort, safety and technology. Electric vehicles may also have added features to help you manage your journey, such as a connected navigation system showing charge points or a smartphone application to control your charge from your phone.