The Ultimate Guide to Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are set to be the fuel of the future. Motoring is going through an important shift, and the UK Government is introducing new schemes, such as the EV Homecharge Scheme (due to end April 2022), to support the purchase of ultra-low-emission vehicles over traditionally fuelled cars. With this in mind, many major manufacturers are changing their focus from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles. As part of the Government’s green initiatives, all combustion engines are to be banned from sale after 2030.

The majority of drivers on the road today are still using diesel and petrol engines, and the switch to electric vehicles is a challenging one for many. Whether you are considering buying or leasing an electric vehicle, there are a few things you need to know. At Pure Vehicle Leasing we are experts in electric cars and vans, and have put together this information hub to answer some of your EV questions.

Are Electric Vehicles Suitable For Personal And Business Needs?

A lot of drivers are concerned about the suitability of electric vehicles for their everyday lives. Both personal use and business use needs to be considered when looking at how viable an electric vehicle would be for your requirements. Whether you are running a busy company and need a fleet of vehicles for your team, or you are considering an EV for your own personal use, there are a lot of things to take into consideration.

Ultimately if an electric vehicle is going to be suitable for your personal and business needs, you need to determine exactly how you are using the car or van. These are some of the most commonly asked questions for electric vehicles, to help you decide if it is the right choice for you.

How Much Does It Cost To Run An Electric Vehicle?

The running costs of electric vehicles will vary depending on the model and make you choose, just like with diesel or petrol cars. On average, an electric car with a 200 mile range can be charged for around £8 using an at-home electric vehicle charger. If you choose to use public charging points then the cost is likely to be a little more. The cost of public electric vehicle chargers will depend on the type of charger and the power output. Overall, the cost of running an electric car is always going to be far cheaper than a petrol or diesel engine.

Purchasing an electric vehicle is often a bigger investment than a combustion car, so this is an additional cost to consider. Over time, the savings in running the vehicle can counteract the initial cost of purchasing an electric car or van. Many drivers, for both personal and commercial use, choose to lease electric vehicles as opposed to buying them. This gives them the running costs, without the upfront spend.

What Range Can You Expect From Your Electric Car?

One of the most common questions for both personal and business drivers is how long an electric car will last on a full charge. A lot of drivers worry about having to charge their vehicles at inconvenient times, or even midway through a long journey. This has become known as range anxiety and it is a common conversation with the experts at Pure Vehicle Leasing.

When electric vehicles first came about, the range of them was not the greatest. However, technology has come a long way in recent years and electric cars are great for most people’s day-to-day activities.

Every electric vehicle will have a slightly different range as it depends on the model and make. The average range for an electric vehicle is around 250 to 300 miles before they need to be recharged. Generally, this is more than enough for most drivers, and anyone who is driving more than this in one go will benefit from a break while charging the car.

How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car?

Just like the range and cost of charging, the charging time of an electric vehicle varies depending on the exact model. Most EVs can charge fully overnight with an at-home charging point. There are also rapid chargers available for public access in a lot of locations around the country. It is common to find these in service stations, shopping centres, and other popular driving spots. Rapid chargers can recharge an empty EV battery back to 80% in just 30 minutes.

Are Electric Vehicles As Quick As Combustion Engines?

The whole point of having a vehicle is to get you from A to B quickly and safely. No drivers want to compromise on speed when choosing an electric vehicle, and luckily there is no need to.

When it comes to acceleration, electric cars are generally the faster option because of the improved technology. Petrol and diesel vehicles often have a higher top speed than their electric counterparts, but electric vehicles can still reach top speeds in excess of 120mph.

Lifetime Of Electric Vehicles vs Petrol And Diesel

How long you can expect a new vehicle to last is an important consideration, especially if you are thinking of buying a vehicle as opposed to leasing. Electric and combustion engines work in very different ways, and so the life expectancy of each does vary. With an electric vehicle, the lifetime depends mainly on the battery, and once the battery reaches the end of its life, the vehicle does too. Because of this, a lot of drivers assume that electric cars will not last as long as a petrol or diesel option.

A few years ago, electric vehicles and their batteries might not have lasted as many years as a combustion engine, but with advances in technology, this is no longer the case. The batteries in electric vehicles now last a very long time, usually staying in good working order for around 200,000 miles. With an average of 12,000 miles a year, this means an electric vehicle will likely last 17 years. As for combustion engines, the average lifetime is 12 years, but this can vary depending on care and maintenance. Generally speaking, a petrol or diesel car has a lot more potential to go wrong than an electric car.

Running Cost

How much it will cost on an ongoing basis to run an electric car compared with a petrol or diesel is also vital to consider. This is the factor which will impact your everyday life the most, so it is important to properly weigh up your options. When you choose a petrol or diesel car, you will need to fill up your tank with fuel, and the cost of this can fluctuate dramatically. Diesel engines are generally more efficient than petrol, but compared with electric they are both an expensive choice in terms of running costs.

The only running cost for an electric vehicle is the cost of charging up the battery regularly. How much it will cost to fully charge the battery will depend on where you are charging and the type of charge point you are using. The cheapest option is an at-home charge point, which will typically fully charge an electric vehicle for about £8. For most electric cars a full charge will give a range of roughly 200 miles. Filling a petrol engine costs on average £55 and this price can vary greatly depending on current fuel prices. The range for a full tank of fuel will vary depending on the make, model, and driving style.

In addition to the day-to-day fuel costs, you should also consider other outgoings for owning a vehicle. Road tax and congestion charges can soon add up to become quite expensive, particularly for older diesel and petrol engines. At the time of writing, electric vehicles are currently not subject to congestion charges or road tax, which can be a considerable saving on an ongoing basis.

Accessibility Of Fuel

One concern that a lot of drivers have is whether or not they will easily find somewhere to charge an electric vehicle when they need to. In the past, electric vehicle charging points were scarce, and if you didn’t have one at your home then you could struggle. Now, there are thousands of EV charging points across the country.

Most major shopping centres, service stations, and supermarkets have electric car charging points readily available for drivers to use. Petrol and diesel are still often easier to come by, with petrol stations dotted every few miles across the entire country. Traditional fuel is still more accessible than electric charging, but EV charge points are quickly becoming the norm.

Vehicle Maintenance

The maintenance of a vehicle is a vital consideration and often a lot has to go into maintaining a car or van. Petrol and diesel vehicles have internal combustion engines (ICEs) which have thousands of working parts, such as fuel pumps, spark plugs and pistons, that require care and maintenance and they could potentially go wrong or need replacing.

Electric vehicles generally require less maintenance because they have fewer working parts. There are fewer opportunities for parts to become worn or damaged with time, so repairs and maintenance are less of a concern. If you want a vehicle which is reliable and requires less maintenance, an electric

Upfront Cost

The final thing to think about when deciding between an electric vehicle and a combustion engine is the upfront cost. Depending on your budget, this could be one of the most significant factors in your decision. An electric car is likely to be significantly more expensive than a petrol or diesel option. The majority of the time, petrol cars are cheaper to buy upfront. You should keep in mind that the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle can be quickly offset through the huge savings on running costs.

Many individuals and businesses are now choosing to lease electric vehicles as opposed to buying outright, as they can benefit from the cost savings without having to make a large investment in one go.

What Are The Different Types Of Electric Vehicles?

Electric vehicles are not all exactly the same, and if you are thinking about buying or leasing one, it is important to know the difference and how electric vehicles work. The main types of electric vehicles are:

  • Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs): Battery electric vehicles are completely electric, so the only power source comes from a rechargeable battery. There is no combustion engine as with a petrol or diesel engine which means the usual constraints of a car do not exist. For example, the battery pack can be positioned all across the floor of the vehicle, improving weight distribution for the vehicle and improving its efficiency. BEVs do not produce any emissions, making them far better for the environment than combustion engines. Battery electric vehicles must be recharged when the battery runs out, and they can be charged using at-home charge points or public charging stations.
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs): A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has a mid-size battery as well as a diesel or petrol engine. The battery powers the vehicle alongside the combustion engine and the two work together to drive the car. The plug-in part of these cars is critical because it means the car must use a suitable charging point in order to replenish the battery. These hybrid options are a good step toward fully electric cars, while also keeping a few of the benefits of a combustion engine. The batteries used in these cars are a lot smaller than those used in BEVs, therefore the range is significantly less when using the battery alone. Most PHEVs have a range of up to 50 miles from the electric power and, after this, the traditional diesel or petrol engine will take over. For short, regular journeys PHEVs can be a great option.
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs): Hybrid electric vehicles are similar to PHEVs but cannot be plugged in to a charge point to recharge. They have a small battery alongside a diesel or petrol combustion engine, but instead of being charged externally, they self-charge. Hybrid electric vehicles will typically have enough electric power for up to 20mph and after this the combustion engine starts to work. While cruising, the diesel or petrol engine powers the generator and produces electricity which is stored in the battery for later.
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