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Frequently Asked Questions about Electric Vehicles

Throughout this page we refer to Electric Vehicles as EV's.

What sort of Electricity does an Electric Car use?

Were often asked this ...its 'normal' electricity that you have in your house.

Where can I fill up an electric car?

From your house with a 3 pin plug, or an street charger yes it really is that simple.

free home electric car chargerHow can I get a home charger?

Yes as of today you can ask for a 16 and 32 amp wall mounted home charge unit, contact me for details. Be quick as the Government has limited funding at 75% of the total cost (circa £1000) and it will run out! You do have to own an EV to now qualify for a charger.

How fast does an Electric Vehicle charge?

This can be confusing at first, I will keep it simple.

They come in 3 basic levels of rate of charge;-

1. Type 1 . This is via a 3 pin wall socket and most EV's have a 3 pin charger with the vehicle. We call this a 'Granny cable' as its slow (sorry to all granny's out there !) and you can use it at your Granny's when you go to visit ! This will charge at 10 amps--which means that in 1 hour you will have 9-10 miles of range added to the battery. A Nissan Leaf at home will recharge in 7-8 hours at 10 amps (ideal for cheap rate overnight tariffs)

2. Type 2 . This is a cable that fits into chargers at city car parks and street chargers and charges at 16 amps. Some EV's are equiped to take 32 amps and again most street chargers can recognize these EV's and allow 32 amps into the vehicle. This gives 18-20 miles of range added to the battery in 1 hour at 16 amps , or around 30 miles per hour at 32 amps. This is also the same 16/32 amps charge rate as a wall mounted home charge unit. Buy your cable here.

3. Rapid charge This is available at Nissan dealers and Ikea stores and Welcome Break service stations, and at around 110amps can completely charge your car (to 80%) in around 25 minutes.

Watch this great video on how to use a rapid charger

How far can I drive My Electric Car?

On average around 80-90 miles (Nissan /Renault and others say 110 miles plus, but in everyday use 80-90 is more realistic) Your driving style will also affect the range ,driving an EV does make you a more relaxed driver, and its great seeing how you can increase your range whilst you drive too.

With Ecotricitys Electric Highway (Ecotricitys Electric Highway), its now possible to drive from London to Kinross in Scotalnd via Welcome Break service stations and the fast charge network (an ongoing roll out of a nationwide network of fast chargers)

public electric car chargin pointHow much does it cost to charge my electric car at home?

On an overnight cheap tariff around £1.80 ! We do not notice it on our electricity bill at all, and if you have PV (solar panels)on your roof ,the cost is even less ! We get an income of around £1000 a year from our PV (with the Feed In Tariff payments) to 'fuel' a Nissan Leaf for 12,000 miles costs around £400 in electricity, so our fuel is on our roof , with £600 in change !

How much does a public charge cost?

Most do not charge (as in ask for money !!) as the amount in £'s is so small. For example, in the case of Welcome break, with 25 minutes on hand you will probably buy a coffee, in which case Welcome break have earned some money from your spending!

You may require a swipe card to access the public chargers, most of which are free (Ecotricity's card is free) some have a small yearly subscription (Chargeyourcar.org.uk is £20 a year subscription ).

Will I need to pay the Congestion Charge in London for my electric car or van?

No,electric vehicles are 100% Congestion Charge exempt ,I will happily fill in all the forms for you.

I live over 100 miles away, how can I get to you at Eco Cars?

If you've watched the video tour of the car you'd like , and spoken to me, them I'm happy to transport your EV to your door with our 4x4 and trailer. Simple!

delivery of your new electric carI also collect customers from East Midlands Airport (a number of EV's have gone to Ireland and customers have flown in, then driven the EV back to Ireland)

Service costs for an Electric Vehicle?

Very, very low, as there's no oil,clutches,pistons,spark plugs, belts etc. Most EVs require a yearly check on the brakes, tyres, lights and a pollen filter change (this keeps the inside of the car smelling nice!) All it costs is around £100 for a yearly check over.

Life of the batteries in an Electric Car?

To date I've yet to read of any modern EV's requiring new batteries , most vehicles have a modulare set up. The Nissan Leaf consists of 48 modules and each module contains four cells, a total of 192 cells. If the range starts to drop, all that is required is to replace the module or cell that's causing the problem. It's a myth that the whole battery will need replacing.

Costs of battery replacement in an electric vehicle?

As battery technology improves, costs are reducing. In years to come it may be possible to retrofit a set of batteries to increase the range and performance of the vehicle.

You can read of an Taxi company in Cornwall C & C Taxis and their 100,000 mile Nissan Leaf which they've covered in 2 years (Nissan leaf with over 100,000 miles) There has been no loss in range or power. There are also UK Nissan Leaf owners with over 70,000 miles covered and the cars are still running fine.

Yes but...-

You still have lots of questions? That is understandable ! Owning an EV is not like owning an ICE (internal combustion engine) car. I've just covered the basics here , so call me anytime if you have more questions.

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Thanks to c-zero.info for the calculator
what people are saying

19/02/18 Leaf purchase and road trip - great experience! Highly recommend Just bought a Nissan Leaf from Eco-Cars, and we love the car! Living near London we were initially hesitant about buying a car from a dealer as far away as Orkney, but Jonathan made the whole buying process a pleasure - and I've never said that about buying a car before! He took time both before and during the sale to make us feel comfortable with the car, and as first time EV drivers this was really valuable. Although Jonathan offered to drive the car down south for us, we decided instead to fly up to Orkney to pick up the car from there, then drive it ourselves the 600 miles back home. It was the best decision we could have made - Jonathan gave us a route map with charging points, and there's nothing like a 600 mile road trip to get used to the car and its range, and to work out how to get the most mileage from it! That's why there's now a Leaf driving around Hertfordshire with an Orkney flag on its rear windscreen :)
Nick & Linda London

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