As more and more people switch to an electric vehicle, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. While owning and driving an electric vehicle isn’t too dissimilar to running a fuel-powered one, it can seem daunting to take that step.
Here’s our guide to your most frequently asked questions about electric vehicles (EVs).
What is an electric vehicle?
Some of you may already know what electric vehicles are and how they run, but not everyone does. An electric vehicle is one that uses an electric motor to run, rather than being powered by fossil fuels, such as petrol or diesel.
At the moment, there are two main types of electric vehicles on the market. The first is pure electric vehicles, also known as battery electric vehicles (BEVs). These vehicles are powered solely from electricity and need to be recharged in order to run.
The second type is plug-in hybrid vehicles. These run on both an electric motor and fossil fuels. Most of the time, plug-in hybrids will have a shorter electric range (50 miles or so) and then will start running on the petrol or diesel. You can charge plug-in hybrids and top them up with fuel.
Do electric vehicles drive differently?
Driving an electric car for the first time can certainly feel different, especially if you’re jumping from a manual petrol car to an electric one. The most notable difference is the silence of driving an EV. Unless you’re driving at motorway speeds, you probably won’t hear a peep out of your EV.
After a few days or weeks of driving an electric car, you may notice another difference. When driving an electric car, you often only have to use one pedal – acceleration. The refined driving of an EV allows the vehicle to come to a stop once you lift your foot off the acceleration pedal. Most drivers find themselves using the brake pedal less than they would have in a conventional car.
Other than that, electric vehicles drive very similarly to conventional vehicles. They’re super fun and easy to drive. Plus, the acceleration on an electric vehicle is always fantastically responsive.
How far can EVs travel on a single charge?
Most new electric vehicles have a real world range of somewhere between 100 – 300 miles, depending on the model. Smaller electric vehicles, like the BMW i3, can travel roughly 120 miles before needing to be charged. However, bigger family style vehicles, like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, can travel up to 250 miles. Meanwhile, premium models, such as the Tesla range or Jaguar I-Pace, can travel over 300 miles before needing to be topped up.
As we said earlier, plug-in hybrid models have a much shorter electric range. But, they can be topped up with fuel too. This means plug-in hybrids can easily exceed 500 miles when using both motors.
Are EVs as safe to drive?
To be quick, yes. Electric vehicles have to adhere to the same safety regulations as all other vehicles. Alongside this, many EVs have been awarded five star ratings by Euro NCAP, who independently rank a vehicle’s safety. In 2021, the Polestar 2, Volkswagen ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron all gained five stars for their adult and child safety features.
How do I charge an electric car?
Charging an electric vehicle isn’t nearly as confusing or complicated as it may sound! While there are a range of different charging cables available, most electric vehicles in the UK come with a Type 2 connector. We’d recommend having a look at ZapMap’s guide to charging an EV to see what charger your car needs.
You can charge an electric vehicle at home, work or on the go. If you’re thinking seriously about owning an electric vehicle, it’s likely that you’ll do most of the charging at home. There three main types of EV charge points; slow, fast and rapid.
Slow chargers are usually capable of around 3kW – 6kW. The most common example would be a standard three pin plug. Yes, the same plug socket you’d charge your phone in! In case you couldn’t tell by the name, these aren’t the most convenient methods of charging. They’ll get the job done, but it’ll take a while.
We’d recommend opting for fast charging most of the time. These will have an output of between 7kW and 22kW. If you choose to have a charging point installed at your home, it’s likely it will be capable of at least 7kW. These can charge most electric cars within 6-8 hours!
Whereas, rapid chargers are the kind you would find on the UK’s public network. These have a much bigger output of between 50kW and 350kW and can charge an EV in as little as 20 minutes. Perfect for speedy on-the-go charging!
Take a look at our YouTube video showing how to charge a BMW i3 for more details!
How do I insure an electric vehicle as is it more expensive?
Car insurance is a legal requirement, no matter what type of vehicle you’re driving. If you own or drive a vehicle in the UK, you must have some level of insurance on it. Insuring an electric vehicle is pretty similar to insuring a petrol or diesel vehicle. You simply choose your provider and policy and pay! That’s literally it.
Previously electric vehicles would be more expensive to buy and insure, however that boat is slowly sinking. While EVs still carry the hefty price tag, insuring an electric vehicle can actually be cheaper.
Research from HeyCar in 2021 examined insurance trends from GoCompare and MoneySuperMarket and found those driving conventional cars could be paying up to 70% more on insurance policies. On average, motorists paid £394 per year to insure the all-electric Nissan Leaf. Whereas, motorists insuring the much smaller Ford Fiesta were charged £550 per year on average.
Of course, there are lots of factors that will play into your insurance costs but it’s not always certain that EVs will be more expensive. With reduced running and maintenance costs, plus potentially cheaper insurance policies, EVs drivers could save themselves some cash.
What happens if I break down in an EV?
Once again, this is exactly the same as if you were to break down in a conventional vehicle. You can choose to take out breakdown cover with any UK provider as normal. However, some providers, like the AA, do have specific cover for electric vehicles.
Don’t forget, if you hire an electric vehicle from EVision you’ll benefit from our EV breakdown cover for free!
We’re very pleased to announce that EVision Electric Vehicles have received Travel and Hospitality’s Award for Excellence in Service of the Year! We’re super proud of this award and hope to continue to provide a 5* service to our customers across the country!
* All information correct as of 18/04/2022.