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We asked Steven our EV specialist to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Electric Vehicles. Here’s what he had to say!
The current range of the Nissan LEAF is up to 155 miles and the Renault Zoe up to 149 miles. Achievable range will vary depending on driving style, terrain and driving conditions, much as it would with a conventionally fuelled vehicle.
The average UK motorist drives less than 30 miles a day, well within the range of an electric vehicle. For longer journeys almost all motorway service stations have rapid charge units that can recharge the vehicles to 80% in under 30 minutes, and the great news is they are all currently free to use. If that is not convenient then Nissan also offer a free loan car service for Nissan EV customers. For 14 days per year for the first 3 years of ownership you can borrow a petrol/diesel car for those occasional longer journeys, with the only costs to the customer being the fuel and insurance.
Most people will charge their EV at home most of the time, taking as little as 4 hours to recharge to 100%. It is likely most cars are parked up overnight giving more than enough time to recharge. There are also an increasing number of workplace charge points. In the UK, there are now 9,635 charging points, which is more than the number of petrol stations. EV’s can be charged using a standard 3 pin socket, or you can upgrade to a fast home charge unit. Home chargers are subject to a significant grant from the government, currently £500.
Like fuel stations there are a variety of providers, costs vary depending on which type of charge point and who it is operated by. In Plymouth and Exeter the majority of charge points are council run and currently free to use. Home charging can cost as little as 6.5p/kwh, giving a full charge for less than £1.50.
In the unfortunate event that you run out of charge, both Renault and Nissan offer a free recovery service to take you to the nearest charge point. In reality this should not happen as there are a series of warnings before the battery will be completely discharged. Much more warning than you get from a petrol or diesel car when they are low on fuel. Most models also come with navigation that will encourage you to re-route to a nearby charge point when low on charge.
The high voltage battery is designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle and beyond. To back this up Nissan offer up to 8 years/100,000 miles as a warranty on their battery, 5 years warranty/60,000 miles on the drive train and electric motor and 3 years on the car. Renault offer 5 years/62,000 miles on the battery, drive train and electric motor, and 3 years on the whole car. If the battery loses 25% of its working ability within the warranty both Nissan and Renault will repair/replace the battery free of charge. Nissan and Renault also have schemes in place to reuse the batteries when they are removed from the car at the end of the vehicles life.
Nissan and Renault both offer the option to lease the high voltage battery used to power the car. One benefit is as you do not own the battery you have a lifetime warranty. Battery leasing also reduces the initial purchase price of the vehicle, however the owner of the vehicle is tied into a lease with monthly payments dependent on mileage and term.
The government offers grants of up to £4500 towards an electric vehicle, which is automatically credited when you purchase the vehicle. Both the LEAF and Zoe qualify for the full amount. There is also a government grant of £500 towards the cost of a home charge point.
Electric vehicles are stress free and enjoyable, with instant torque to get you off the line and no gears you can drive in an impressive and satisfying way. The rumours are true, it also runs silently! You have to drive it to believe it!
Road tax is based on CO2 emissions and as our electric vehicles are all Zero Emission, the road tax payable is Nil.
Electric vehicles are subject to the same MOT regulations as conventionally fuelled vehicles. An MOT on an electric vehicle would cost the same as any other vehicle and covers all the same checks (where applicable). Servicing an electric vehicle is cheaper due to the relative simplicity of the design. They don’t have as many moving parts and don’t require as many consumables.
All information is provided in good faith and correct at time of upload.