Understanding Your EV
WHAT IS AN EV?
‘EV’ is an umbrella term for any vehicle that runs on electricity stored in a battery or electric motor, as opposed to a petrol or diesel engine. This includes battery-only pure electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV).
In recent years, EVs have gained popularity, largely due to their lack of tailpipe emissions appealing to increasingly eco-conscious users, as well as government-backed initiatives encouraging drivers to switch to electric transport.
WHAT IS A CLEAN AIR ZONE?
Clean Air Zones (CAZ) are areas in the UK, often in large cities, where restrictions have been placed on vehicles with high tailpipe emissions, to discourage their use within these zones. Cars with high tailpipe emissions will be required to pay a fee when driving in a CAZ. The aim is to reduce the levels of pollution in cities and improve air quality.
However, electric vehicles are exempt from this charge as they do not produce harmful tailpipe emissions.
DO EVS REQUIRE LESS MAINTENANCE?
The battery in an EV has fewer moving parts than a traditional internal combustion engine has, meaning they tend to need maintenance less frequently. The batteries themselves have service lives of between 12-15 years in moderate climates, so the majority of maintenance needed will involve changing tyres and replacing fluids.
However, it is important that you do not neglect regular MOTs and services.
DO EV DRIVERS STILL NEED TO PAY ROAD TAX?
No – all pure electric vehicles are exempt from road tax costs, though this is set to change from 2025.
This is intended to incentivise people to switch to cleaner, greener, electric transport. However, you will still need to tax your vehicle, even if it does not cost anything to do so.
WHAT IS REGENERATIVE BRAKING?
Regenerative breaking is a technology found in electric and hybrid vehicles that converts some of the energy lost during braking, into electricity to be stored in the battery, prolonging the remaining range of the charge.
HOW LONG DO EV BATTERIES LAST?
Generally, EV batteries will last between 10-20 years, depending on their usage, before they will need replacing. To help prolong the life of your battery, you should avoid using rapid or ultra-rapid chargers as your main source of charging and store your vehicle indoors, out of extreme temperatures, where possible.
CAN EVS USE REGULAR TYRES?
Although EVs can technically use regular tyres, it is not recommended. Due to the increased weight of EVs, regular tyres wear down around 30% faster on EVs than they do on regular ICE vehicles.
Special EV tyres are built to withstand a greater weight, whilst also providing better grip on the road, as they can accelerate and brake much faster than other vehicles.
WILL MY EV LOSE BATTERY WHILE NOT IN USE?
Technically, yes. But only a very small amount. Most EVs will only lose around 2-3% of their charge per month, while not in use.
Avoiding storing your vehicle in extreme temperatures can help minimise this loss.
WHAT KIND OF CONNECTOR PLUG DOES MY EV CHARGE POINT NEED TO HAVE?
The most common connections between the charge point and your vehicle are known as Type 1 and Type 2. Increasingly, vehicle manufacturers are standardising the use of Type 2 connectors. If you purchase a tethered charge point (one with the cable built into the unit) then it is important you select the right type. If you purchase an untethered unit, you will be able to utilise both Type 1 and Type 2 cables as required.
You will likely find that your EV requires a Type 2 connector.
Why Switch To EV
ARE EVS BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT THAN TRADITIONAL CARS?
EV’s such as battery-only vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions and therefore are considered to be much more sustainable. They also have the potential to be charged using renewable energy sources, making them even less impactful on the environment.
ARE EVS GOOD FOR BUSINESSES?
There are many ways in which introducing EVs can be advantageous for your business, whether you want to switch your current company vehicles to electric or offer EV charging to staff and customers.
Check out our blog on the benefits of EVs for small businesses to find out more.
WILL HAVING AN EV SAVE ME MONEY?
Although many EVs are more expensive to purchase new than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, the projected savings over time with an EV make them a very financially viable choice.
With an EV, you will no longer have to worry about fluctuating fuel prices, although you will need to pay if you wish to charge your car in public spaces and with home charging, your energy bills will increase slightly. This can be minimised by charging your vehicle overnight during ‘off peak’ hours when energy is cheaper. Therefore, the day-to-day running costs of EVs are considered much cheaper than those of ICE vehicles.
You should also consider potential savings on additional costs such as road tax, congestion charges and ULEZ fees, from which EVs are exempt.
You may also be able to make savings on your maintenance costs. As EVs do not have an ICE, they have fewer moving parts, which means there is less potential for things to go wrong, requiring expensive maintenance.
WILL INSTALLING EV CHARGE POINTS BE GOOD FOR MY BUSINESS?
There are many potential ways that your business can benefit from installing EV charge points, for example:
- Lowered carbon footprint
- Bonus stream of income when charging staff and customers to charge their vehicles
- Increased customer dwell time – customers are likely to spend longer on your premisses (and spend more money) if they are changing their vehicles
- A more eco-conscious business is a more attractive business to potential customers
You can read more about the benefit of EVs for small businesses here.
ARE THERE ANY ROAD TAX EXEMPTIONS OR DISCOUNTS FOR EV DRIVERS?
Currently, pure electric EVs are completely exempt from road tax. You will still need to pay if you own a hybrid, though this charge will be lower than that of an internal combustion engine vehicle.
WHAT GOVERNMENT GRANTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR BUSINESSES INSTALLING EV CHARGE POINTS?
The UK government are trying to encourage as many people as possible to switch to electric to help meet our 2050 Net Zero targets.
To help with this, they have introduced a number of incentives and grants to help both business owners and domestic users with the cost of installing charge points on their premises. Check out our government grant guide or use our grant checker tool to see what help you could be eligible for.
WHAT INCENTIVES ARE THERE TO SWITCH TO EV?
The UK government are currently aiming to reach net zero by 2050; part of this plan involves banning the sale of new ICE vehicles by 2030. Therefore, they are offering multiple incentives to drivers to encourage them to switch to electric.
- Zero road tax – EV drivers are exempt from road tax costs
- Free parking – some local councils offer free public parking spaces, reserved for EVs (though this is dependent on location, so it’s always best to check before parking)
- Installation grants – there are a number of government grants allowing EV users to claim a percentage of the installation cost of a charge point back
Charging Your EV
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO FULLY CHARGE MY VEHICLE?
Your average charge time is dependent on your battery size and the speed of your charger. The higher the kWh of your charger, the faster it will charge. However, a larger battery will take longer to reach full charge.
An easy way to work out the average charge time for your vehicle is to divide your battery size by the speed of your charger.
For example, if your battery is 62kWh and you are using a 7.4kWh fast charger. You would calculate 62 ÷ 7.4 = 8.3, meaning it would take just over 8 hours to charge.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TETHERED AND UNTETHERED CHARGE POINT?
The main difference between tethered and untethered chargers is the charging cable itself. Tethered chargers have a fixed cable that cannot be removed, whereas untethered chargers have a detachable cable.
Some users prefer untethered chargers as they look neater, and you do not have to coil the cable safely away. However, having a tethered charger means you will not need to remember to bring your own cable.
At Yü Charge, we offer both tethered and untethered chargers, as well as different charger speeds, so you can find the right EV charger for you.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAST CHARGERS, RAPID CHARGERS AND ULTRA-RAPID CHARGERS?
Fast chargers are the most commonly used charger type for home charging, they charge at 7kW-22kW. Many EV drivers used home fast chargers to plug in their vehicles overnight for a full charge.
Rapid chargers charge at 40-50kW and can fully charge a vehicle in around an hour. They are usually found at enroute locations such as gas stations.
Ultra rapid chargers charge at 100kW+ and can charge a vehicle in around 30 minutes.
CAN I CHARGE MY EV IN PUBLIC?
Yes – the availability of public EV chargers is rapidly growing, and it is now estimated that around 25% of EV drivers regularly charge their vehicles using public charge points.
The process for charging in public will vary depending on the charge point you are using. Some will allow you to simply tap and pay contactless to charge, while others may require you to download an app to start charging.
Public charge points can be either tethered or untethered, so it’s a good idea to keep your cable handy just in case you need it!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO CHARGE AN EV?
This will depend on your battery’s capacity and where you choose to charge it.
Electricity is priced in kWh (kilowatt hours). Your electricity supplier charges you for electricity consumption based on the number of ‘units’ of kWh you consume.
For example, if your EV has a 60kWh battery, it will take 60 units of electricity to fully charge. If the cost of your electricity is 18 pence per unit (kWh) then it is simply a calculation of 60 x £0.18 = £10.80 for a full charge.
If you are using public chargers, the rate you pay for your charge may vary, so be sure to check this before you plug in.
WHAT IS A ‘SMART’ EV CHARGE POINT?
Smart EV charging has been widely promoted by the UK Government and is the only type of charge point that is supported by the OZEV grant. A smart EV charge point can be accessed remotely (via Internet connection – usually via wi-fi or a wired connection to your broadband router or via an inbuilt SIM card, like that in a mobile phone). Such capability provides far greater flexibility, control, remote support and future proofing.
CAN I PLUG MY EV INTO THE MAINS ELECTRICITY TO CHARGE?
It is possible to charge your EV by plugging it into a 3-pin socket in your home (many EVs are supplied with a charging cable with a household plug fitted). However, it will take much longer to charge your vehicle, you will have fewer options and control whilst charging, it is much less convenient, and there are some important concerns regarding safety.
Using a 3-pin socket will generally take between 20 and 30 hours to charge your car. With a dedicated 7kW (kilowatt) EV charge point, your car will be fully charged overnight (under 8 hours).
Whilst your car is charging it is drawing a very high current from your supply for a prolonged period of time. A dedicated charge point is designed for these circumstances. It is considered unusual, and unsuitable, for a standard household plug socket to be utilised for such a long period under such heavy load – this could lead to unwanted overheating of the socket and plug.
WILL MY ELECTRICITY BILL GO UP IF I HAVE AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE?
Yes, but not by as much as you might think. Even with rising energy prices, the cost of charging your EV at home remains significantly cheaper than filling an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle with petrol or diesel. Also, there are many specialist tariffs available designed for EV owners that allow you to save even more money.
IS IT SAFE TO CHARGE MY VEHICLE IF IT IS RAINING?
Yes. It is perfectly safe to use your charge point to charge your EV whilst it is raining. The charge point equipment and the vehicle charge ports are designed to be waterproof during operation. No current is transmitted via the charging cable until both the charge point and the vehicle register the connectors are properly and firmly inserted.
EV Charger Installation
HOW MUCH DO EV CHARGE POINTS COST?
WHERE CAN I INSTALL A CHARGE POINT?
EV charge points can be installed for any property that has off-street parking. Usually, these charge points are attached to an exterior wall or garage near to where you park, in a place where they can safely be connected to the mains electricity supply.
Businesses can also have standing charge points installed in their car parks.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT MY INSTALLATION APPOINTMENT?
Our experts will advise you of the best type of charge point for your needs and will provide you with a quote, taking into account any grants or funding that you have received.
On the day of your appointment, you will be a given a time slot in which your engineer will arrive.
The engineer will then talk you through the process, answering any questions you have and carrying out any necessary checks, including testing the EV device and ‘pairing’ it with your smartphone and Wi-Fi.
Throughout the installation process, the engineer will take pictures of each key stage to ensure proper completion and assist the aftercare team, should you need them.
SHOULD I GET AN EV CHARGE POINT INSTALLED AT HOME?
If you drive an EV, it is highly recommended that you have a charge point installed in your home, rather than relying on public chargers.
Public chargers are often what is referred to as ‘rapid’ or ‘ultra-rapid’ chargers. They have higher kWh and charge your car faster. However, using rapid charging too often can deplete the life of your battery and will also cost you more money in the long run.
CAN YOU OVER CHARGE AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE?
EVs have built-in safety features meaning you can’t over-charge or over-heat your vehicle.
However, although it is not dangerous, it is not a good idea to leave your EV plugged in whilst already fully charged for long periods of time, as sustaining full capacity can have negative effects on your battery’s lifespan.
IF I HAVE TWO EVS, DO I NEED TO HAVE TWO CHARGE POINTS INSTALLED?
Not necessarily. The average mileage driven each day means that your vehicle does not require a full charge every night. For example, 40 miles of range will require about 2 hours of charging with a dedicated charge point. If you have more than one vehicle to charge it is easy to alternate charging sessions between vehicles.