EVs Explained - 10 Helpful Tips for New Electric Vehicle Owners.

EVs Explained - 10 Helpful Tips for New Electric Vehicle Owners.
Are you thinking of adopting an electric vehicle, but you’re not sure where to begin? There are so many questions to ask when considering transitioning from a fuelled vehicle to a fully electric vehicle. Some of the most important factors to consider include the cost of owning an EV, tax and car insurance, how long your battery will last, charging with solar energy, and choosing the right charging cable. In this article, we aim to answer ten of the most frequently asked questions by new electric vehicle owners.

1. How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

When working out the costs of charging your electric vehicle, you will first need to consider where and when you want to charge. Charging from home is the cheapest and most popular option for most EV drivers, as you can easily leave your car to charge overnight. Whereas public charging points vary in their costs. One way that you can work out the average charging cost beforehand is to calculate the price per kWh. In their recent article: how much does it cost to charge an electric car Which? explained that “the typical annual mileage is 8,100 miles according to our latest survey and these costs use the current average energy price per unit of 34p per kWh.”

2. Electric car leasing, or buying new and used

The decision to buy or lease an electric vehicle will likely depend on the costs involved with running the vehicle. It can be expensive to buy new, but fortunately, there are many options available for buying used EVs as they become more widely used. One important factor to consider is whether the vehicle you are viewing includes a battery in the price. Currently, leasing an electric car can prove to be a costly endeavour month on month, although there are certain benefits. These include being able to easily upgrade your car, and the insurance. Furthermore, maintenance and mileage are included in the monthly charge.

3. Home electric vehicle charging vs public charge points

A home EV charger is cheaper and more convenient to use compared with public charge points and can also increase the value of your property. Choosing to have a charger installed at home offers you the peace of mind of constant availability when your mileage becomes low. In some areas there a free public charge points available at locations such as supermarkets and retail outlets, however the majority of charging stations are pay-to-charge. Certain locations such as service stations offer rapid charging stations which can fully charge compatible vehicles in under an hour. In the near future, many local councils plan to install more community chargers in residential areas. In fact, the UK government have recently announced £56 million of public and industry funding for new EV charge points.

4. Where can I find a public charge point?

Whether you are driving locally, or embarking on a road trip, finding a public charging station has never been easier. For example, a recent update to Google Maps now includes all public electric vehicle charge points. Many newer EVs now come with charger-finding technology built into the vehicle. If you are planning a long trip and you know you will be charging away from home, you might like to take note of charging points before you set off. You can also download Zap-Map’s EV charging app which is available for both Android and iOS.

5. Do I have to pay tax and insurance for an electric car?

Currently, all battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are excluded from paying road tax or vehicle excise duty (VED), however, this is set to change in 2025, when all pure EVs will be required to pay the standard rate from 1st April 2025. Just as it is with a fuelled vehicle, it’s a legal requirement for an electric vehicle to be insured. Insurance costs can vary depending on the model of your chosen vehicle, with average EV insurance in the UK ranging anywhere between £400-£1000 per year.

6. Which EV charging cable do I need?

Most UK vehicles use a Type 2 to Type 2 charging cable, which is standard for UK and EU charging plugs. Type 2 cables come with 7-pins and provide charging rates between 7kW and 22kW, depending on whether a single-phase or three-phase cable is being used. Certain EVs See our article on electric vehicle charging types and phases for more information.

7. How long does an electric vehicle battery last?

Electric vehicle batteries can last anywhere between 15 and 20 years in a car. In a similar fashion to older fueled vehicles, the expected range and general performance of EVs will deteriorate slightly over time, although this effect will differ depending on the make and model of the vehicle. EV batteries can be utilised beyond their expected lifespan in a vehicle as a home energy source. Check out National Grid’s helpful article on what happens to old electric car batteries for more information.

8. Does my electric car need an MOT?

Yes, just like fuelled vehicles, electric cars are also required to have a yearly MOT. Although, they are slightly different from petrol and diesel MOTs, as electric vehicles do not need an emissions test. MOTs for electric cars will include checking the following areas: the battery, tyres, wheels, brakes, body, charging outlets, steering, lights, seatbelts, and windscreen.

9. What are the most common issues with electric vehicles?

  • Climate Control decreasing your vehicle’s range – usually during winter your car may not be as efficient.
  • Crashed display screen - if you encounter a crashed display sometimes the oldest trick will work – try turning it off and on again.
  • Cable locked in charge point – if you find your charging cable is locked into the public charge point and won’t come loose, then it’s a good idea to try resetting your vehicle, and if the problem persists contact the charging operator.
  • Seal faults – this can lead to water leaking onto your vehicle’s electronics, so it’s a good idea to check the seals regularly.

10. Can I charge my EV using solar panels?

Yes, all electric vehicles can be charged from home using solar energy, if you have solar panels on your roof. This works in the same way as charging through an energy provider, except you independently provide the energy yourself. More solar powered EVs are becoming available, where vehicles provide a certain mileage from the sun, as well as being able to charge via an EV charger. Are you looking for a new EV cable? Why not browse our range of EV charging cables.
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