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PUBLIC CHARGING POINTS

With an increasing demand for the plug-in hybrids, public charging points have rapidly grown in recent years, from motorways to shopping centres - they can be located through apps such as Zap-Map.

If you don’t have a domestic charging point, they are often the best soltution to top up, especially for long journeys. They offer rapid, fast and slow charges. You’ll find most EV charging points are free of charge, but if you are looking for rapid and fast charges they are likely to require payment.

COST OF FUEL

Free or paid, it’s much cheaper than visiting a petrol or diesel pump to fill up. The cost of energy is far lower than the fuel required to fill your tank.

According to drive-green, it can cost as little as 2p per mile to fuel an electric car, but up to 14p per mile for a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle.

CHARGING AT HOME

Charging at home is the cheapest and easiest way to restore energy to your battery. You can use a 3-pin plug, typically taking 6-8 hours to charge.

Invest in an electric charging infrastructure and you can reduce this time down to 3 hours, dependent on the power of the station.

They often come in 3 KW or 7 KW, the latter incurring a higher cost due to offering a faster charge.

GRANTS FOR ELECTRIC CHARGING AT HOME

If you are investing in a chargepoint for your home, it’s worth knowing that a grant from the government can help bring your cost down. You can apply for the grant through the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

If eligible, the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) can fund up to 75% towards the cost of installing an electric chargepoint at homes across the UK.

SAVE ON ELECTRICITY USAGE

Charging at home means you will naturally incur higher electricity bills, so you’ll want to search for the cheapest tariff possible. However, it’s worth shopping around providers as some will offer tariffs that reward you for off peak charging.

You can calculate the cost of how much your electric car is estimated to cost using Zap Maps home charging calculator.

SAVINGS

Driving an electric vehicle saves you money in many ways. You are exempt from paying any road tax and are immune from congestion charges in London – both of which you will need to claim back. Additional savings come in the form of discounted or free parking.

However, it’s worth knowing that cars that initally cost over £40,000 incur a £310 surcharge for years two to six of ownership.

For the time being, electric vehicles are exempt from road tax, but as motorists begin to favour electric vehicles over their conventional ones, the government may look to review tax on EVs to avoid a loss of revenue. Nothing has yet been confirmed though.

SERVICING

An electric vehicle is constructed with only two or three moving components, far less than a conventional car. Tyres, brakes and air filters are the three components that require replacing, which makes for simpler servicing and avoids the hefty service costs that conventional vehicles can incur, such as a new clutch or oil change.

THE VERDICT

Concerns around carbon emissions has been a key catalyst in driving awareness around electric vehicles and is heavily encouraged by the government. Many car brands are already making commitments to be more green, by expanding their electric car offering in ranges.

Both the commitment from the government and brands, as well as the rapid increase in electric vehicles in recent years, clearly shows the industry and many motorists on the road are transitioning to electric vehicles.

SO IS IT WORTH INVESTING IN AN ELECTRIC CAR?

It’s clear that the initial investment in an electric vehicle is more expensive than buying a petrol or diesel car, but once you have made the transition they have reasonably low running costs. You can also reduce the initial investment by buying a second hand electric vehicle.

If you have already made the leap into buying an electric car, we’d love to hear about your electric experience. Was it worth your investment? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Alternatively, visit your local Allen Motor Group dealership for more information on electric vehicles.

Our Bright Sparks look forward to helping you!

CHARGE

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR?

There are many public charging providers, most of which have two different costs for use – one if you are a member of that network, and one for visitors. Members can usually benefit from lower tariffs.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING POINTS

There are lots of great websites and apps available to help you find your nearest charging point that allow you to filter by different connector types, networks, location, access and payment options – including free to use chargers:

ZAP MAP (CHARGER LOCATION APP / MAP)

BP PULSE

IONITY

SHELL RECHARGE

INSTAVOLT

GRIDSERVE

SMALL EDIT ON GRIDSERVE AND LOCATIONS.....

DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHARGERS

There are three main types of charger:

SLOW CHARGERS

Slow chargers use alternating current (AC) rather than direct current (DC), which is then converted to DC by the vehicle’s onboard charger.

Charging speed:

3kW – 6kW

Time to charge:

Overnight

Electricity source:

Traditional three-pin socket.

FAST CHARGERS

Fast chargers (or type 2) also use alternating current (AC) which is then converted by the vehicle to direct current (DC). These are the most common type of charger.

Charging speed:

7kW – 22kW

Time to charge:

2–5 hours*

Electricity source:

Public charging stations

and home wall boxes.

RAPID CHARGERS

Rapid chargers use direct current (DC) meaning it’s quicker to charge the vehicle.

Charging speed:

50kW +

Time to charge:

80% in 50 minutes

Electricity source:

Public charging stations

ULTRA-RAPID CHARGERS

Ultra-rapid EV Chargers also use direct current (DC) and can charge your vehicle in 15 minutes. These high-powered charging systems can input 100 miles of range into your electric vehicle in just 10 minutes.

Charging speed:

100kW +

Time to charge:

1hr

Electricity source:

Public charging stations

*(depending on charger type and based on a car that’s powered by a 30kWh battery)

CAN ANY ELECTRIC CAR USE A FAST OR RAPID CHARGER?

Fast chargers can be used by all electric vehicles using their type 2 connector. Rapid chargers use a type 2 connector too, but some electric vehicles can’t transfer power to their batteries fast enough to support rapid charging and your car will automatically limit the power intake to its maximum capacity so it won’t harm your battery.

WHAT IS THE EXPECTED LIFE OF AN ELECTRIC CAR BATTERY?

The average battery in an EV will usually last for around 10 years, although you may find some with a lifespan of close to double that. Their longevity will depend on several factors, however.

For example, if your battery is consistently exposed to extreme temperatures or is routinely overcharged, you may find its efficiency and shelf life is dramatically reduced. It’s believed that you can extend your battery’s life by keeping it charged at somewhere between 20-80% and trying not to let it fall below 50%.

HOW LONG DOES AN ELECTRIC CAR BATTERY LAST BEFORE RECHARGING?

The answer to this question will depend on various things – primarily the make and model of your EV. For example, the BMW i3 boasts a range of around 150 miles, whereas something like the Audi Q4 e-tron claims to be able to cover approximately 315 miles between charges.

Of course, recharging may be required more frequently if your car has been driven at higher speeds for longer periods. For example, driving on the motorway is bound to use up a greater amount of power than a short journey to take the kids to school.

HOW MUCH DOES AN ELECTRIC CAR BATTERY COST?

You may have the option to lease your battery, although this could be a choice reserved largely for those scouring the used electric car 404 market. With technological advances being made with each passing year, most manufacturers no longer lease their power units when it comes to sales of new EVs 404.

There is no set price for batteries – it depends on their power and range. However, the good news is that costs have been falling over the past few years and look set to continue to do so.

WHAT KIND OF BATTERIES ARE USED IN ELECTRIC CARS?

Electric cars use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which have a greater energy density than lead-acid or nickel-metal alternatives. They’re also safer, lighter and take up less space, so they offer plenty of advantages to drivers and manufacturers alike.

Some brands are also in the process of developing solid-state batteries, which are claimed to offer improved range and faster charging times. It’s also thought these alternatives could be relatively cheap, although mass production is unlikely to be a realistic achievement for a couple of years yet.

WHAT ARE ELECTRIC CAR BATTERIES MADE OF?

EV batteries are made of lithium ions, metal oxides and other elements such as carbon and graphite. The ions are passed through the electrolyte between the positive and negative electrodes. This movement creates an electrical current, which powers the battery and causes the wheels to turn.

WHO MAKES ELECTRIC CAR BATTERIES?

Some well-known manufacturers such as Nissan and Tesla produce EV batteries, as do the likes of Panasonic and Sanyo. But other companies might not be such household names – for example, LG Chem produces batteries for Volvo, Renault, Hyundai and more.

ARE ELECTRIC CAR BATTERIES BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

There’s no doubt that in terms of emissions electric cars compare favourably to petrol and diesel models. However, there is still progress to be made when it comes to the recycling of batteries.

In the United States, for example, it’s estimated that only 5% of lithium-ion batteries are recycled. It’s also predicted that around 12 million tons of power units will come to the end of their shelf life over the next decade, which will leave a colossal amount of electronic waste.

When you take into account the raw materials that need to be mined for their production, it’s clear that the zero-emission qualities of an EV battery are offset to a certain degree during the manufacturing process.

WHAT HAPPENS TO USED ELECTRIC CAR BATTERIES?

It is not easy to dispose of EV batteries without impacting the environment. The lithium-ion cells contain hazardous substances and must be dismantled carefully to avoid the risk of explosion. Meanwhile, some of the other raw materials can be ground down to be used in future production.

With electric vehicles set to become increasingly commonplace on our roads over the next few years – especially given the impending ban on new petrol and diesel models – manufacturers are committed to finding ways to put old batteries to good use.

For example, the likes of Renault, Volkswagen and Nissan have all launched wide-scale recycling projects, while the latter two brands are reusing old power units in their factory machinery. The aim is to reduce the amount of waste that gets sent to landfill.

FIND THE EV THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU WITH ALLEN MOTOR GROUP

Hopefully, you’ve now got a better understanding of how long electric car batteries last, how much they cost and what steps are being taken to further limit their environmental impact. So, if you’re thinking about joining the electric revolution, why not get in touch with a member of the Jardine Motors team today?

Alternatively, you can always pop down to your local dealership where one of our Bright Sparks will be able to talk you through your options and even take you out for a test drive.