We are still very new to electric vehicles in the UK. Many of our customers are still researching EVs and have questions they need answered before deciding on an electric van or electric car. Let's try to answer them.
How long does the EV take to charge?
Charging time depends on the vehicle, the type of charger used and if you're charging from zero or there was some charge left in the battery. Usually, a home charger will fully charge your electric vehicle from 0% to 100% overnight. EV fast chargers that you can find at your workplace or public areas take approximately 4-6 hours for 80% charge, while rapid EV chargers (i.e at motorway service stations) can take less than 30 minutes for the same level of charge. Are you wondering why not the full 80%? The answer is simple - the last 20% takes longer as it 'trickles in' to recharge the battery.
What if somebody unplugs the EV while it's being charged in public?
Nobody can unplug your charging vehicle because the charging lead locks into the charge point when the vehicle is plugged in. You as a driver need to be present to unlock the vehicle or stop the charge.
How to work out when the EV needs to be charged?
It's not difficult at all. Most electric cars and electric vans have an electricity metre and some also have a range metre showing how many miles are left. Some EVs come with satellite navigation that can work out whether it's possible to reach your destination without recharging and if not, the Sat Nav will show you the route to the nearest charging point. Additionally, there are mobile apps that connect to EVs and monitor the battery and charging. The app will let you know the remaining range and it can also precondition the vehicle, schedule charging and lock the vehicle.
Are all EV charging cables and plugs the same?
It's critical to use the correct connector and charging system as there are different types of connectors and charging systems available. Most chargers now have Type 2 connectors. When leasing your electric vehicle with Commercial Vehicle Contracts, you can always ask us to confirm which type of cable is included. This is because some cables are optional extras and need to be added to your vehicle order.
Plugs at public chargers
There are many EV apps showing EV charge point types across the UK and also if they're suitable for your vehicle. Most public EV charging points have more than one cable type so they can charge most electric cars and trucks. The exception is Tesla superchargers, usually found at motorway service stations, which will only work with a Tesla car.
Home charging points
You need to check if the home charger connector type matches your vehicle. There are universal chargers that can charge multiple EVs, which can be very useful.
Dedicated charge points
A tethered charge point is where a charging lead is already connected so if it's the right connector for your vehicle, you won't need your own EV charging lead. While these points are convenient to use (for example, at work), they usually can only charge certain vehicles.
Can an extension lead and a normal 3-pin plug be used to charge the electric vehicle?
We always recommend using only bespoke home or workplace charge points. Even though some electric cars may be provided with a 3-pin plug lead, these shouldn't be used for day-to-day charging but rather for occasional use, such as visiting someone at their home. It will take much longer to charge though and the cable can get warm so be careful! An extension lead must never be used to recharge an EV because it places too much load on the electrics. You should always refer to your vehicle's instructions for charging guidance.
What is the cost per mile to drive an EV?
Typically, the average cost per mile is around one-third of the cost of driving a diesel vehicle. Your energy tariff will determine the actual cost, though. Make sure you ask your energy provider about EV tariff so you can benefit from low energy rates at night. It can make a huge difference!
Is driving an EV different from driving a petrol or diesel vehicle?
No. Electric vehicles are very easy to drive. Driving an e-car or e-van is just like driving an automatic version of a standard vehicle but without any gear changes. The driver only needs to operate the accelerator and brake pedals. When you lift your foot off the accelerator the vehicle will slow down pretty quickly due to regenerative braking, which charges the EV battery. City driving is much easier in an EV, and it saves a lot of electricity and extends the life of the brakes. Our customers who lease an electric vehicle from us often say how simple, quiet and relaxed it feels to drive an EV.
Are electric LCVs slower?
EVs typically accelerate faster than traditional vehicles due to their high torque and lack of gears. Most electric cars and vans can achieve 0-60mph in less than 8 seconds so there really shouldn't be any negative driving experience when it comes to EV speed.
Are electric vans safe?
As EVs are built with battery packs in the base, they tend to do better in crash tests than their petrol and diesel counterparts. This is because their structure is stronger. Many EVs also feature autonomous braking and accident avoidance. Because EVs are quieter than normal vehicles, there was a concern about pedestrians. However, EVs actually give out audible alerts when travelling at low speeds so they still can be heard.
Is it true that e-vans are better for the environment?
They are! They produce no emissions at the tailpipe and the entire lifecycle of an EV produces fewer carbon emissions than a petrol and diesel tailpipe alone. EVs also don't emit any CO2 at the point of use. However, there may be some carbon impact which depends on how the electricity is generated in the first place but more and more of the UK's energy is now being generated by sustainable methodsEVs emit less CO2 than diesel and petrol vehicles. CO2 emissions from electric vans and electric cars will continue to decrease as more sustainably generated electricity is produced. In fact, electric vehicles are already having a positive impact on pollution levels resulting in better urban air quality.
Are you ready to switch to an electric van?
We can help you decide if an electric van is right for your business by asking a few simple questions. The final decision is always yours but we will always give you our honest expert advice. Get in touch today to discuss your electric van leasing requirements.