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Frequently Asked Questions about Electric Vehicles

Throughout this page we refer to Electric Vehicles as EVs.

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 a home charger, or at a public charger. Yes it really is that simple.

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

There are a wide variety of chargers available on the market. You just need a qualified installer to do it for you. There are also grants available for home and business charging. The grants change quite often, so you'll need to check what's possible at the time you get your charger. Make sure you apply for the grant first, as most will not give you funding if you have already had your charger installed before you apply.

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 a wide range of public car carks, supermakets and 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?

Older second hand EVs will average around 80-90 miles (Nissan /Renault and others say 110 miles plus, but in everyday use 80-90 is more realistic). But newer and higher spec models like the Kia eNiro or Tesla can have range of 250 - 330 miles. 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.

Get an app like ZapMap to help you find chargers all along your journey route.

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

This will depend on your electricity tariff. An average EV returns 4 miles per 1 kWh. So for 400 miles you’ll use 100 kWhs of electricity. On an overnight cheap tariff around 20p per kWh that's about £20 for 400 miles. If you do the same calculation at a peak rate of 30p a unit it would cost £30 for 400 miles. If you have PV solar panels on your roof or your own wind turbine, the cost is even less!

How much does a public charge cost?

Most now ask for a fee per kWh of eletricity and it varies by charging company and council area.

You may require a swipe card or smart phone 'App' to access the public chargers. Most of which are free, but some have a small yearly 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, but you do need to register with TFL.

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 - £130 for a yearly check over. Find your local HEVRA garage at hevra.org.uk.

Life of the batteries in an Electric Car?

Electric car batteries have tended to last well and to outlive the body. It is rare to need to replace the battery.

Yes but...

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

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Cost of Fuel (Pence/Litre):
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Cost of Electricity (Pounds/Charge 47KW):

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

19/05/22 They are a keeper! My son bought his first EV from Eco cars. It was easy, they took all the hard work out of it. They are experts in EV. Good pre-purchase advice. Great after sales care. I will use them again without hesitation. They have an excellent reputation in EV circles, with good reason. If they don't know the answer to an EV question - they know someone who does.
Julian P Leeds

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