You have questions, we have answers. As the UK prepares for the slow transition towards a more electrified road network, the popularity of electric cars is steadily growing across the nation.
Naturally, such an advancement has left consumers wondering about these new types of electric vehicles (EVs), with many questions being asked about their functions, useability, and reliability.
Thankfully, the motoring experts here at findandfundmycar.com have the knowledge to help. From charging times to range anxiety, join us as we answer some of the most commonly asked questions around electric cars, according to Google search.
With over 6,600 Google searches every month, the most asked question around electric cars is all about their operation. So, buckle yourself in, this is a large question to unpack.
Electric cars are not like the cars we usually see every day. There’s no internal engine, oil, or fuel. Instead, electric cars are powered via electrified motors that are concerned with one thing: mobility.
It all starts in the battery. Usually lithium-based, the batteries of electric cars have their energy converted to power by a motor. This motor is then connected to the wheels and used to generate momentum. Due to the instantaneous nature of electrical conductivity, the torque from an electric car happens in milliseconds, which negates the need for a gearbox or turbo system.
Due to there being no fuel, electric cars are charged up just like your smartphone or laptop. While the exact method is much more complicated (and requires much more power), the process is pretty much the same: when your car is low on battery, you plug it in.
Up next is a query that’s a little more operational in nature, concerning itself with the day-to-day use cycle of electric cars.
Finding a definitive answer for how long it takes electric cars to charge is tricky. Different manufacturers have varied implementations of charging protocols, so the rates can fluctuate drastically.
When electric cars first started to make their way to the UK, charging times were nothing impressive. Plugging in overnight was a frequent occurrence, but no more.
Nowadays, the UK charging network across car parks, petrol stations, and road-side facilities has become much more user-friendly. Chargers with faster electricity rates and greater capacities are more present than they’ve ever been before, not to mention the fact that all new build homes in England must now be fitted with car charging points.
While your usage may vary, you can expect an electric car to take anywhere between 1-6 hours to charge from 0-100% capacity.
This next question seemingly comes from more concerned drivers who are yet convinced around the reliability of fully electric vehicles.
Unfortunately, this is another case of there being a multitude of variables to consider with different manufacturers, processes, and tolerances. However, if we were to look at the battery cells alone, we can get a little more of a solid answer around the lifespan of electric cars.
Lithium batteries have a limited amount of time before their usage is fully spent. Of course, nothing lasts forever, meaning that electric cars are subjected to a similar life span of their traditional counterparts.
Frankly, not enough time has passed yet for mankind to accurately determine the rough lifespan of such vehicles, so only time will tell us exactly how long electric cars will last.
Having said this, Graeme Cooper, Head of Future Markets at the National Grid Group claims that most EV batteries will last between 15 to 20 years – almost double the lifespan of a regular car.
If we rewind the clock by five years, the state of electric cars looks much different than that of today. At that time, the UK had two main manufacturers competing for the top spot: Renault and Nissan with the ZOE and Leaf.
Between both of these cars, the average mileage sat at around 60-80 miles in perfect conditions. Nowadays, things have changed drastically, with the 2022 Renault ZOE claiming mileage figures of up to 230 miles. That’s nearly four times the distance in a relatively short time span.
From higher adoption rates, to there simply being much more choice these days, the market for electric cars is continually expanding. By 2050, the UK aims to cease all production of petrol/diesel only vehicles, in favour of a mixture of plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars.
With that goal in mind, it’s worth remembering that combustion-powered engines do have a tendency to outlive other components of a car. This includes things like tyres, body panelling, interiors, etc. This means that while the production of such cars may stop; their lives will go on.
Assuming a rough lifecycle of an average petrol car remains around the 10-12 year mark, we could expect to see electric cars be the de facto vehicle purchase in the UK by sometime in the mid-late 2070s.
By that time, the road networks will have had enough time to modernise themselves even further for electric operation, and the remaining cars produced in the 2050s will have survived a full lifetime.
To some, this question may sound a bit unorthodox. But hold on, we understand the concern.
As we know, electricity does not play well with water. Water is conductive, meaning it can carry an electrical current until that current is terminated at another conductive source. This is why so many pieces of technology have water damage sensors and conformal coating to protect from the damage of H2O.
Therefore, the concern behind this question is valid. However, there really is no need. Just like traditional cars, electric cars have no issues with driving through water.
In cases of harsh or excessive rainfall, electric cars cope just as well as every other vehicle. The only thing to be concerned of, which is something that even applies to traditional cars, is flooding.
Long-term immersion within a body of water increases the physical pressure that various car components are exposed to. The deeper the water, the higher the pressure is. This pressure eventually builds to the point where the component’s physical matter gives way, creating water ingress points.
At this stage, when all protective barriers are compromised, the water is free to cause whatever damage it wishes. Driving through a deep puddle, however, is completely normal for electric cars.
The last of our most asked electric cars questions is all about the transmission of such vehicles.
To put it simply, electric cars have no gears. EVs come equipped with a very simple automatic gearbox with just two motions: forward and reverse. There’re no gear ratios to accelerate through, or any need for a clutch to disengage the wheels from the drivetrain; everything is handled by the battery, motor, and electricity.
The closest thing that you can find to gears on an electric car would be the gear selector, giving the driver the ability to choose between drive, reverse, park and neutral. However, even this isn’t that close to a gearbox, as there’s no clutch or revolutions taking place.
Read more: Types of automatic gearbox explained
Has this list settled your concerns over going electric? Over the years, a lot of maturing has taken place in the EV category, meaning that the choices available today are vastly different to those from years before. Having an electric car as your day-to-day runner is now a reality, will you make the switch?
Get yourself an electric car by browsing thousands of used cars at findandfundmycar.com. We work with some of the best dealerships in the UK to bring you a range of petrol, diesel, hybrid, and even electric cars.
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