Find out how much it costs to charge an electric car and other answers.
Yesterday, they were a thing of the future. Today, they are everywhere. Electric cars are here to stay and how welcome they are.
Eco-friendly, quiet, and comfortable to drive, the minute you get behind the wheel of one of these “motors”, you’re never looking back.
Much better for the environment - Because they are fully electric, no exhaust system is used. This equates to zero emissions. With no fumes being pumped into the atmosphere, these cars can help us achieve cleaner air and fewer greenhouse gases
Very quiet - Compared to petrol and diesel engines, electric cars run much quieter when on full power. This makes busy roads around cities and towns quieter for those living there
Lower maintenance costs – These cars generally have fewer maintenance costs and thanks to the Government’s OLEV scheme, the cost of filling up is lower than a tank of petrol
Easy to charge - Can be conveniently charged at your home overnight so you’re ready to go with a full battery in the morning
Shorter range than other engine types - Can usually only travel 100 miles or so on a full charge compared to over 500 miles in traditional vehicles
Takes time to recharge the battery - It can take several hours or even almost a day to charge some electric cars
More expensive to buy - As they are not as abundant as traditional cars, you will have to fork out a lot more for an electric vehicle
When it comes to electric cars, many find that the advantages outweigh the negatives. What’s more, with an onus by various governments throughout the world on making their roads petrol and diesel-free in the future, you can get ahead of the race.
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What is an electric car?
An electric car is a vehicle that is powered by one or more electric motors. This is achieved through the use of energy stored in its rechargeable battery.
Compared to internal combustion engines or ICE vehicles, electric cars are much quieter, have no exhaust emissions, and are healthier for the environment, overall.
Ever seen the battery in your phone? Well, an electric car uses a larger version of that. Instead of helping you connect on social media or listen to your favourite podcasts, an electric car’s battery connects to an electric motor which then moves the wheels.
Other functions such as the car’s lights, climate control, and stereo are also electrically powered.
Unlike a traditional petrol or diesel engine, where you add fuel to its tank for power, you just need to charge an electric car’s battery to give the vehicle some va-va-voom. This can be done from charge points in fuel stations or (if you have the correct equipment) even from the comfort of your own home.
Differences between electric cars and hybrid cars
Many people get confused between electric cars and hybrid cars. But they are two different types of vehicles.
Electric cars only use electricity charged through a battery as a means of power.
Hybrid cars are powered by a combination of electricity from a battery and a petrol or diesel engine.
No fuel is used in an electric car. As long as it’s charged, you’re ready to go. Although hybrids are partially powered by electricity, they cannot be charged like an electric car. Instead, their batteries are charged through regenerative braking and their internal combustion engine. When you brake, a generator produces electricity and stores it so you can continue to power your car.
One drawback of an electric car is that you can only drive it with an automatic licence. On the other hand, manual and automatic licenses are accepted for driving a hybrid vehicle.
How much is it to charge an electric car?
Of course, this is one of the most common questions about electric cars. Are they cheaper than petrol and diesel engines? Can they travel over longer distances for less cost?
The exact charging cost can be a little tricky to pinpoint. You need to consider the pence per litre as well as the pence per kilowatt-hour (kWh). For home charging, your electricity bill will show this cost. On average, it should be between 10-14 pence but prices have risen recently so you could be looking at a more realistic price of approximately 17 pence.
If it is 10 -14 pence per kWh, you just need to compare this to the petrol or diesel price at the time.
The size of the tank also determines how much it is to charge. It’s easier when you consider a petrol engine. If it has a 40-litre tank and petrol is £1.28 a litre, then you will pay £51.20 to fill it up. However, with an electric vehicle, the tank’s size is a measurement of capacity. It represents how many kWh of energy it can store. Simply put, the larger the capacity, the larger the tank.
Currently, the biggest battery size in an electric car is the Tesla 100d. This 100 represents the number of kWh it can store. For this car, a full charge can cost £17 if the rate is 17 pence per kWh.
Compare this to some other popular electric models.
- Nissan leaf - Battery size: 3 - kWH cost: 17 pence - Cost to charge: £5.10
- BMW i8 - Battery Size: 7 - kWh cost: 17 pence - Cost to charge: £1.19
- Renault Zoe: Battery Size: 22 - kWh cost : 17 pence - Cost to charge - £3.74
This is the best method for estimating the cost to charge your electric vehicle. Of course, costs can differ with off-peak tariffs. The rate per kWh can drop to 6 pence in off-peak hours but can be very high in peak time. If you’re disciplined, you can save a lot of money when driving an electric car.
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