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General Electric Car Questions

All your electric car questions answered - or feel free to <a href="/contact-us>give us a call</a>!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can you charge an electric car?

If you have off-street parking you can charge your car at home using an ordinary three-pin plug or a specially installed home charging unit (for a faster charge).  Otherwise use the charging station at your workplace or a public charging point that's close to you.  These can be found on-street, in car parks, shopping centres, supermarkets, petrol station forecourts and many other places.  They're very easy to find.  Use the ChargePoint app on your phone, your car's satnav or app or another Live Map app to find your nearest available charger quickly and easily.

What's the electric car driving experience like?

As they have no gearbox, clutch or combustion engine, electric cars offer a smoother and quieter ride than petrol or diesel cars.  Their lower centre of gravity and different 'skateboard' chassis mean easier handling and greater flexibility too.  Instant torque and a simpler powertrain give electric cars the advantage when it comes to taking off from a stop position.  This means that 0-60 figures can be exceptional and hill starts are never a problem.  Some of the fastest cars in the world are electric cars.

How long do electric cars last?

Electric car manufacturers are now offering warranties of up to eight years and 100,000 miles for batteries.  Some predictions give electric batteries a lifespan of at least 200,000 to 300,000 miles.  As for the rest of the car, the length of the warranty will depend on the manufacturer but as a general rule these will range from three years and 60,000 miles to seven years and 100,000 miles.

What if I'm going on a longer journey?

If you're travelling on a journey which takes you beyond your electric cars range you can use its satnav, the ChargePoint app, your EV's app or another Live Map app to find a Rapid Charger on your route.  This will charge your battery to 80% in roughly 20-40 minutes, depending on your car – faster than it takes to eat!

What are the running costs like for an electric car?

Running costs are far cheaper than those for a car with a traditional petrol or diesel engine.  When it comes to charging, a rough estimate (which assumes you charge your electric car at home at the cheapest overnight rate) puts the cost of charging a fully electric vehicle at 2p per mile compared with 16p per mile for the average petrol or diesel car.  However, charging costs will be even cheaper, of course, when you use your first year's prepaid ChargePoint card or take advantage of the free charging offered at some supermarkets, workplaces, shopping centres and at many other public chargers nationwide.  Also as electric cars have far fewer moving parts than traditional cars, they are far cheaper to service and repair and are far less likely to break down.  The numerous government incentives on offer also make an electric car cheaper to run.  These include free parking in many places and exemptions from Road Tax and Congestion Charges.

What does Wh/mi mean?

A watt-hour (or Wh) is a unit of energy – one watt of power used over one hour of time.  Wh/mi (watt-hour per mile) is the amount of energy consumed by an electric car per mile and thus equivalent to the 'miles per gallon' measure of efficiency used for cars with traditional engines.  To work out your electric cars 'miles per gallon', divide the amount of energy in a gallon of petrol (36,650 Wh) by your car's Wh/mi figure.  If your electric car has 300 Wh/mile, divide 36,650 by 300.  Your electric car has the equivalent or 122.2 miles per gallon! 

What if I can't find a charge point or it's busy?

This is very easy.  Use the ChargePoint app on your phone, your EV's satnav or app or another Live Map app to locate your nearest available charger in real-time. 

Are electric cars safer to drive?

In a word, yes.  Most electric cars have received the top (5*) rating from the European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) and, for example, all Tesla models have a 5 star rating in every category from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US.  Electric cars can be safer in accidents because they're protected from front-end impact by the absence of an engine at the front of the car (which leaves room for protective energy-dispersing structures) and because the battery's position under the floor strengthens the car against side impacts.  Without a combustion engine and flammable fluids on board, Electric cars are less likely to catch fire or explode and they have a multitude of safety features built into the battery itself.  In addition, most electric cars come with other advanced safety features such as automatic emergency braking ), airbags, lane intervention and advanced driver assisted systems.

What kind of range does an electric car have these days?

Range varies from model to model, of course, but the average range of a smaller electric car nowadays is between 100 to 200 miles with luxury vehicles averaging 250 to 350 miles.  (Please note that the range will vary according to weather, load and type of driving).

How many chargers are there nationwide?

The network of electric car chargers in the UK is extensive and growing rapidly by the day.  At the time of writing there are over 10,330 public charging locations in the UK with more than 28,000 connectors.  Approximately 25 new charging stations are currently being installed every day.*

* statistics supplied by https://www.zap-map.com 

Are there government incentives for electric company cars as well?

Yes indeed!  UK government incentives to encourage the use of clean energy vehicles as company cars include a low BIK (Benefit in Kind) tax rate, exemption from Car Fuel Benefit Charge, a Salary Sacrifice scheme and Class 1A National Insurance contributions as well as a 100% First Year Allowance!

Where can you charge an electric car?
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What if I can't find a charge point or it's busy?
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What's the electric car driving experience like?
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Are electric cars safer to drive?
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How long do electric cars last?
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What kind of range does an electric car have these days?
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What if I'm going on a longer journey?
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How many chargers are there nationwide?
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What are the running costs like for an electric car?
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Are there government incentives for electric company cars as well?
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What does Wh/mi mean?
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Did you know?

There are now more electric charging stations in the UK than petrol stations.