As the general public has become more aware of the environment, they are now starting to look for ways to help reduce pollution. Along with the Government pushing the issue as well as general awareness of the electric vehicle industry is booming and is only going to get bigger. More and more people are interested in using electric cars or vans on a day to day basis. But there are a lot of questions that people need answering about making the move to electric. Here at Wessex Garages we have you covered, we thought it was only right as one of the biggest stockists of electric vehicles in Wales and the South West to help answer anything and everything regarding electric vehicles.
Which electric car should I buy?
There are some things to consider when choosing an electric car such as charging, emissions and road tax. We want to make sure that you choose the car that’s best suited to you and your needs.
If you opt for electric driving, you’ll have three main choices:
This all depends on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point. Charging can take anywhere between 30-minutes and 12-hours. A typical electric car with a 60kWh battery would take 8-hours to fully charge the car’s battery from empty to full when using a 7kWh charging point.
The majority of electric car drivers never charge their battery from empty. They normally top up the batteries' power regularly which would speed up the charging process. This would mean hooking up the battery through the day when parked at work or a shopping centre or charging your car overnight. The majority of electric cars can be charged within 35-minutes with a 50kWh charging point to provide a range of up to 100-miles.
As you can see, the bigger the battery and the slower the charging point is that you are using. The longer it will take to charge your car’s battery.
You can buy a home charging point as this offers the best solution to charging your electric vehicle at home. It offers a faster and safer solution to charging your battery and offers the flexibility to charging you cars battery overnight. You can use a standard 3-pin plug with an EVSE cable (electric vehicle supply equipment) to charge your car but this is not recommended as a permanent solution, this should be only used when no other option is available.
There is an OLEV Grant (office for law emission vehicle) is available for home charging solutions. The grant's name is ‘Electric Vehicle Homecharging Scheme (EVHS), as the name suggests it’s to provide financial relief to the cost of adding a home charging point to your home. This grant currently provides up to £500 off the cost of the purchase and the installation of a home charging point.
You can claim for a 1-charging point per eligible vehicle but you are only allowed up to 2 eligible vehicles per household. If you live in Scotland your able to get access to an additional grant, this is up to another £300. This grant is available through the Energy Savings Trust Scotland.
We would advise you to always enlist a professional to install your home charging point. The reason we give this advice, to install a level-2 charging point that uses 240 volts. You need the correct circuit breaker installed to your home’s circuit board. You will then need to run a newly installed 4-strand cable to your chosen charging location to connect to your charging pod. If you don’t understand any of what we’ve said here, please have a professional to install your charging point at home.
Can you get an electric car grant, you ask? The answer is YES, with some stipulations. To be eligible for a plug-in car grant you must have purchased a new electric car. But this can’t be just any electric car, it needs to be an electric car that qualifies for the grant. A qualifying electric vehicle must have a range of at least 70-miles.
You can get up to £3,500 off a new electric car that qualifies for a grant. To clear up this confusion take a look at the Plug-In Government Grant page, here they clear up which cars qualify as well as give you the full information about the grant.
There are many new electric cars in the automotive market in the UK, every year a new car brand will launch a brand new model or an updated model. Car manufacturers are constantly working on solving the issue of battery range. In the current electric car market, there are the following cars that are ranked by the longest range.
1 - Tesla Model S - 375-miles
2 - Tesla Model 3 - 348-miles
3 - Tesla Model X - 315-miles
4 - Jaguar I-Pace - 292-miles
5 - Kia eNiro - 282-miles
6 - Mercedes EQ C - 280-miles
7 - HyundaiKonaEV-279-miles
8 - Audi e-Tron - 249-miles
9 - Nissan LEAF e+ - 239-miles
10 - BMW i3 - 193-miles
11 - Renault Zoe - 186-miles
12 - Hyundai Ioniq - 174-miles
Electric charging points free
There are many free EV charging points available around the UK. To find where these free charging points are you need to take a look at Zap-Map Live (available as an app or as a desktop version).
Make sure to ‘filter’ your results by ‘Payment’ and apply the ‘£ Free to Use’ filter. This will give you a map of the UK full of free EV charging points in the UK. It is worth noting that the majority of fast and rapid chargers will require payment.
There is no one answer that covers this question. It all depends on if you charge your EV at home, work or use a public charging station. We will base our answer on a typical electric car that uses a 60kWh battery, with a range of 200-miles. For the electricity rate, we will use a UK average of 14p per kWh charge to show you what your EV car could cost to charge.
Home Charging: Full charge at home costs £8.40
Work Charging: Full charge can be obtained for free, as many employers will install a workplace charging point.
Rapid Charging Point: normally you wouldn’t use a rapid charging point to charge your battery to full. EV drivers would normally use these charging points on the motorway at the service stations. This is where you’ll place your EV on charge and go grab a coffee or some lunch. An average cost would be £6.50 for 30-minutes that will provide your battery with a 100-mile range.
Is it cheaper? Let us breakdown a typical costing of a typical EV car vs Petrol/Diesel car.
The quick answer is NO.
The full answer is that electric vehicles do not have a traditional multi-speed gearbox like the well-known petrol or diesel gearbox where you will have a minimum of 5 gears to select through. EV vehicles only have a single gear that provides impressively quick acceleration.
There are several ways to find the nearest charging point to you.
Google: just add a query ‘electric charging point near me?’. You will be presented with a map of results.
In-Car Navigation: your in-car navigation will have the option to show only electric charging points when you are on the move.
Zap-Map: this company offers an app for Android and iOS and a desktop version. They log every new charging point added anywhere in the UK. So it's very handy when travelling.
When comparing EVs against your standard combustion engines (petrol and diesel) there are several benefits.
When buying a new electric car you are more than likely going to receive a battery warranty with your car package. These are normally for 8-years or up to 100,000-miles, whichever comes first.
Currently, there are no actual facts to prove the length of a batteries life span as the technology is so new. We have seen a few high mileage electric cars that haven’t really suffered a small amount of degradation.
You are normally looking at charging points in public locations been free of charge. However, if you need to use a rapid charging point at say a service station on the motorway there is a charge. On average you are looking at a cost of around £6.50 for a half-hour charge.
There are many different calculators online that will help you figure out the cost of charging an electric car. Take a look at Zap-map, it is one of the best car charging calculators available online right now. Below is the link:
Zap-Map: Public Charging Calculator for EVs