Answers to 8 electric vehicle questions you probably won't have thought of

Answers to 8 electric vehicle questions you probably won't have thought of

For most of us petrol and diesel vehicles are all we’ve ever known. So, it’s no surprise that when faced with switching to a completely new fuel type it can feel a bit intimidating.  

Is the charging infrastructure in place? How much do repairs cost, and where can I find a reliable mechanic? To keep you in the know, we answer eight common electric vehicles (EV) questions. 

1. What kind of EV should I buy? 

The first consideration when looking for an EV is the charging range. Some electrics travel further than others on a single charge, and this naturally increases the price. You’ll also need to consider if you want to go for a fully electric or a hybrid, which allows for both charging and refuelling.  

The answer to this comes down to the charging points in your area. If you decide to go fully electric, a home charging point is incredibly valuable. If this isn’t possible, make sure there’s a good number in your area or near your workplace. If you’re worried about the lack of access to a charger, a hybrid model might be the better option. 

2. What if I can’t afford a new EV?  

If purchasing an electric vehicle is out of your price range, an alternative solution is leasing. An increasingly popular option for motorists, paying monthly allows those on lower incomes to afford the transition to electric. Often maintenance packages are available to help with repairs. Plus, if the vehicle is less than three years old you won’t need to worry about taking the vehicle for an MOT. 

A growing concern amongst drivers is the cost of the battery and at prices around £5,000, it’s no surprise this is a worry for some. If a replacement is required, unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done. However, this shouldn’t put you off. EVs generally come with a battery warranty for around 8 years or 100,000 miles. Most manufacturers guarantee the battery will last for 5 years. 

3. How do I charge my EV at home? 

Charging at home is a far cheaper alternative to using public chargers, so it makes sense to have one installed. A dedicated smart charger is a much safer option than a three-pin plug as they have many built-in safety features and the smart, app-controlled nature of most chargers takes advantage of off-peak electricity tariffs. To get started all you need is a private parking space, such as a driveway or garage. A good charger supplier such as VCHRGD makes the process easy with qualified installers. 

If you’re renting, it’s important to get permission from the landlord first. To help cover the cost, renters and landlords may be entitled to up to £350 from the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV)

4. How do I charge my vehicle? 

To charge your electric vehicle you first need to find the charging port. This will look similar to a fuel cap but if you’re struggling, the location can be found in your owner’s manual.  

There are four main charging speeds you need to know about: slow, fast, rapid and ultra-rapid. Rapid and ultra-rapid are commonly found on motorways and the slower options are usually home chargers that make use of overnight charging. 

For mid-journey charging, it’s important to point out, that you will need to supply your own charging cable, so always keep one in the car. Plug your cable into the charging point, public chargers will require a payment, and wait for your vehicle to gain charge. 

5. What happens if I move house? 

If you move to a new property without a charger, it’s possible to uninstall the charger and take it with you. But it’s worth considering that the charging point could increase the property’s value and attract potential buyers. 

6. How do I recharge my EV away from home? 

If you’re planning a long journey, we recommend looking for charging points on your route first. You can check this on apps such as PlugShare, Zap-Map, and Charge Point. You’ll also be able to choose which has the best charging costs and plan your journey around your vehicle’s range. 

Most supermarkets and service stations have chargers, as well as some public car parks, restaurants, workplaces and hotels, but their charging speeds and prices vary so it’s always best to check first.

7. Will my usual mechanic be able to repair my EV? 

As more drivers make the switch to electric the number of garages that can repair them increases so it should be easy to keep on top of your vehicle maintenance. It’s possible your usual mechanic will be able to help to depend on the repair, but it’s always best to check with them before making a booking. If they can’t, you could book in with a specialist who should have the parts and know-how for any repairs you need. 

8. Can owning an EV save me money? 

There are some ways EVs can even save you money. Currently, they’re exempt from road tax, however this is set to change in April 2025, when drivers will be required to pay the standard rate (currently £165 per year). In addition to this, energy supplies often have cheaper tariffs for EV charging and some public car parks offer free spaces for electric cars. For drivers who need to use on-street parking, some councils offer reduced or free permits.

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