Our Electric Vehicle guide for first-time buyers

Our Electric Vehicle guide for first-time buyers

20 April 2021 | Kate Kozlowska | 8 min read

With the UK Government banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars & vans from 2030 and hybrids from 2035, many UK car drivers and businesses started switching to electric vehicles (EV). This is great news not only for the environment but also for the EV buyers themselves - EVs offer a wide range of benefits when compared with traditionally fuelled cars and vans. 

Electric Vehicle Driver FAQs

Electric vehicles are still very new to us and many of our customers have some questions they need to be answered before deciding on an electric van or electric car deal. We'll try to answer them in this handy EV buyer's guide.

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 top the battery up. 

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 meter and some also have a range meter showing how many miles are left. Some EVs come with satellite navigation that is able to work out whether it's possible to reach your destination without re-charging and if not, the Sat Nav will show you the route to the nearest charging point. There are also mobile apps that connect to EV 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? 

There are different connectors and charging systems available so it's really important to use the correct one - most now feature Type 2 connector. When leasing your electric vehicle with CVC, you can always ask us to confirm which type of cable is included as 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 hence they can charge most of the electric cans and cars. The exception is Tesla superchargers,usually found at motorway service stations, which will only work with Tesla car

  • Plugs on home charge points 

You need to check if a home charger connector type matches your vehicle. There are universal chargers that can charge multiple EVs, which can be very useful.

  • Plugs at 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 charging 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 charge 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. 

Is driving an EV different to driving petrol or diesel? 

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. Especially the city driving is much easier in an EV plus it saves a lot of electricity and can noticeably prolong the life of the brakes. Our customers who leased an electric vehicle from us often say how simple, quiet and relaxed it feels to drive an EV.

Are electric vehicles slower? 

EVs typically accelerate faster than traditional vehicles due to 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 EVs safe?

In several crash tests carried out on electric, petrol and diesel vehicles, the EVs tend to do better as the battery pack are built into the base, which makes the structure studier.  Many EVs also feature autonomous braking and accident avoidance.  Because the EVs are quieter than the normal vehicles, there was a worry about the pedestrians but EVs actually give out audible alerts when travelling at low speeds so they still can be heard.

Is it true that EVs 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 produce any CO2 at the point of use, however, there may be some carbon impact which depends on how the electricity is produced in the first place but more and more of the UK's energy is now being generated by sustainable methods. The CO2 emissions from EVs are still significantly lower than diesel and petrol vehicles. As more sustainably generated electricity is being produced, the CO2 emissions for electric vans and electric cars will continue to reduce. In fact, electric vehicles are already having a positive impact on pollution levels resulting in better urban air quality. 


Contact us if have more questions about electric vehicles or need help choosing the right one for you.


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