Electric Vehicles: Frequently Asked Questions
When selecting EV vehicles for your fleet, you are faced with a series of questions. Initially, this can deter you from making the switch, for this reason we have collated a list of Electric Vehicle (FAQ) Frequently Asked Questions to put your mind at ease for when you electrify your fleet.
Charging an EV
One of the most frequent areas of concern regarding electric vehicles is how will charging will impact daily fleet operations. Below we have complied some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding EV charging.
How much does EV charging cost?
The average cost of electricity in the uk is 28p per kWh. Meaning to fully recharge Peugeot e-208 with a 50 kWh battery, it will cost around £14. The e-208 will cover up to 217 miles on a single charge.
To cover the same distance in the petrol equivalent 208, it would cost you around £30.
How long does it take to charge an EV on average?
The charging times of an electric vehicle can vary depending on the type of charger you are using and the type of electric vehicle you have.
Charging directly from the mains is the slowest way to charge, and can take well over 12 hours to charge
Charging from a home charger is often the most practical way to charge your EV. Using the e-208 as an example, it can be fully charged with a 7.4kW charger in around 7 hours and 30 minutes.
Charging from a public supercharger is the quickest way to charge. An e-208 can be charged to 80% in a little over 30 minutes.
Can you overcharge and EV?
Manufacturers have gone to great lengths to ensure the health and longevity of your car's battery. Therefore, it is not possible to overcharge your electric car, as there are a number of safety technologies built into the charging system that will prevent over charging.
Where can I charge my EV?
The easiest place to charge your EV is at a home charger such as Podpoint. This is where a charger will be installed at your home, allowing you to charge when the car is not in use. Alternatively, there are grants available to business owners, who can install a charging point at their place of work, which their employees can then use. Finally, apps like ZapMap, provide you with the nearest charging point location, and often more information such as if it is in use, and how much it will cost.
What are the different types of EV charger?
Electric car chargers mainly fall into three types: slow, fast, and rapid. They will vary in how quickly they deliver electricity to your car's battery
Slow - 3kW (charging a 40kWh battery will take 13 hours)
Fast - from 7kW to 22kW (a 22kW charger will top up a 40kWh battery in 2 hours)
Rapid - from 43kW to 50 kW (a 50kW charger will top up a 40kWh battery in 1 hour 15 minutes)
Considerations for an EV fleet
Changing to an electric fleet can be a daunting task and there are plenty of factors to take into consideration. Below are some frequently asked questions that you might find useful with thinking about making the switch.
What options are there for EV’s?
There are many different types of electric vehicles, some which may be more suitable to you and your drivers.
For example, pure battery electric vehicles may suit a business that covers a lot of short journeys in a day, but stays within a relativity small area.
For example, a Plug In Hybrid vehicle, which can have an electric range of 30-40 miles, may suit commuters who will benefit from zero-emissions driving when they drive into the city.
What should I consider before making the switch to an EV?
There would be a number of things to consider before you make the switch to an electric fleet. Firstly, do you have the facilities for your fleet to be charged at home or at your place of work? Charging by the mains takes too long and for the moment, the public charging network can be unreliable in some areas.
How many charging stations are in your area? You can use websites like ZAPMAP to locate your nearest charging points.
How far do you need to drive on any given work day? This may affect your work if you have to stop to charge during the day.
How to maximise the vehicle range?
Your vehicle range can vary due to various factors such as driving at high speeds, stop and start driving, predominantly very short trips, weather changes etc.
We have listed a couple of tips to ensure you can get the maximum range out of your EV:
- Try to reduce unnecessary use of electrical functions which may impact the battery - e.g. heating, climate control etc.
- Choose a route that will minimise your power requirement
- Try to reduce your speed
- Minimise erratic speed acceleration
- Check your tyre pressures
- Familiarise your team with eco settings
What is regenerative braking?
Regenerative breaking refers to when a driver brakes, the motor essentially acts as an electric generator which products energy to power the car battery. This means that it improves the fuel economy of a vehicle, and also extends the charge of an EV.
Should fleet drivers be trained for EVs?
Exactly how your drivers should be trained is down to your business. However, providing drivers with some basic training, even if it's in the form of a through vehicle handover, will certainly help with the adoption of the new technology into your fleet. Basic training such as this will help to minimise accidents and improve your driver morale.
The value of an EV fleet
Whilst many businesses want to make the switch to EVs to lower their emissions, however, for some, it may prove financially difficult. That’s why we’ve compiled the most commonly asked questions regarding the added value, financially, and otherwise of EVs.
What are the benefits of an electric vehicle?
There are a number of benefits that will come with switching to an electric fleet. For your drivers, a smooth driving experience and the latest technology and safety features in the vehicle. For your business, you can benefit from lower tax rates, low emissions zone compliant vehicles and a reduced running cost when you compare electricity to the ever change cost of petrol and diesel.
What are the financial benefits?
An EV is generally considered a lot cheaper to run than traditional petrol or diesel engines. Also when operating an electric vehicle you are exempt from paying road tax.
Depending on where your business operates you could also reap significant savings from not having to pay a charge for entering low emissions zones.
However, electric vehicles also have higher acquisition/leasing costs than their petrol or diesel counterparts. Therefore, it may be useful to conduct a whole life cost analysis to understand the value of EVs to your business.
Our fleet team drives into the ULEZ - How do I ensure I do not get charged?
You can visit the dedicated ULEZ or Clean Air Zone website for the city you are driving in and register as per your requirement.
We will continue to update this page with relevant frequently asked questions about electric and hybrid vehicles for SMEs. If you would like to discuss this further with our expert team, please get in touch with us today.