Frequently Asked Questions

Range Anxiety

What affects the range?

Range can be affected by a number of factors, including external temperature, operating the heating or cooling systems and the speed at which you are driving.

If the battery runs out of charge, will the car just stop?

For All-Electric Vehicles, If the battery completely runs out of charge, the vehicle will eventually stop. However, most have a battery management system which provides energy information as your range depletes. Commonly, sat-nav systems will allow you to find the nearest charging point.

For Plug in-Hybrid (PHEV) and Hybrid (HEV), If the battery completely runs out of charge, the combustion engine kicks in.

Will driving with my lights on reduce my range?

Most vehicles feature LED headlights which are incredibly energy efficient, so driving with your lights on will not make any noticeable difference to the vehicle’s range.

Does temperature affect the battery?

Batteries can be stored as low as -40, but must be plugged in and heated to -20 before driving. In long-lasting hot or cold temperatures an electric vehicle’s range is reduced because energy is required to keep the battery at an efficient operating temperature. Energy is also needed to warm up the cabin when the temperature is low.


Plug-in Hybrid & All Electric Charging

How much does it cost to charge?

According to Pod Point, charging an electric vehicle overnight at home will cost around £3.64 for a full charge. If we assume a typical range of 100 miles, that equates to less than 4p per mile – around a third as much as a very economical petrol or diesel car.

Many public charging points in supermarket and town centre car parks are still free, although you may have to pay for rapid chargers – such as those found at motorway service stations – which can cost around £6.50 for a 30-minute charge.

Can you overcharge an Electric Vehicle?

Manufacturers have already built in precautions so you cannot overcharge, over-discharge, or over heat your electric vehicle.

Can I charge my vehicle in the rain?

Charging equipment shall be completely weather-proof, so you can install a socket or Wallbox on exterior wall without concern.

Will driving with my lights on reduce my range?

Most vehicles feature LED headlights which are incredibly energy efficient, so driving with your lights on will not make any noticeable difference to the vehicle’s range.

I live in an apartment, what can I do about a charge point?

If you live in an apartment but are considering buying an All Electric/Plug-in Hybrid vehicle, you can ask the landlord or building owner to consider installing a public charging station for use. You may end up paying some or all of the costs, but the good news is that you may be able to split the cost with other residents who own electric vehicles or are considering buying one.

What is a Wallbox?

The term Wallbox refers to the wall-mounted charging point for an All-Electric or Plug-in Hybrid vehicle.


Government Grants

Can I get the electric car grant if I’m buying on finance?

Yes, the grant will be deducted from the total price, which will reduce your monthly payments.

How do I claim the grant?

You don’t need to do anything. The supplying dealer does it on your behalf and automatically reduces the price of the car by the value of the grant.


General

What’s the difference between a Plug-in Hybrid and a Hybrid?

A Plugin-in Hybrid requires an outside electrical source (such as a Wallbox) to charge its battery, whilst a Hybrid’s battery is self charging. A Plugin-in Hybrid covers a much greater range off the electric battery than a Hybrid vehicle can. A Plugin-in Hybrid mostly runs off the electric battery engine, whilst a Hybrid is mostly powered by its combustion engine.

Does it cost more in servicing and repairs?

Electric cars have far fewer moving parts than a petrol or diesel engine, so there is less to maintain and repair. Regenerative ‘engine’ braking means brake discs and pads last longer, too.

Electric cars still need regular servicing according to the manufacturer’s schedule, although there are fewer parts to fix. And in terms of ‘more tech’ a lot of these issues would likely be software related and can be fixed remotely by some EV manufacturers.

They use no oil or filters, for example, and have no conventional clutch. Until the battery needs replacement, your biggest outlay is likely to be new tyres.

Why are electric vehicles cheaper to maintain?

Electric cars are cheaper to maintain, no oil to change, no gaskets to replace, etc. Electric vehicles are generally more reliable if only because of the fewer moving parts. It means much lower maintenance costs.

Do I have to pay Vehicle Excise Duty?

Following changes to the rates of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in April 2017, zero-emissions are exempt from ‘road’ tax in the UK. However, if your electric vehicle has a list price of more than £40,000, you have to pay a £310 a year supplement for five years from the second time the vehicle is taxed.

How does the performance of an electric car differ?

Electric motors produce their peak pulling power from a standstill. That means there’s no need to rev the motor for swift acceleration, unlike a petrol or diesel car.

Can the electricity transmission network handle the increasing number of electric vehicles?

Car manufacturers are working with governments and energy providers to ensure that increases in electric vehicle usage do not cause issues with electricity networks.

What does Kilowatt-hours mean?

Kilowatt-hours are a measure of how much energy can be stored in a battery. For a given vehicle, a battery with greater capacity - more kWh - will have greater range and/or performance.