All you need to know about EVs

Buying an electric vehicle (EV) is a smart long-term transport choice that is about much more than just caring for our planet and now is a great time to move to electric. The lifetime cost of EV ownership is actually cheaper than the polluting petrol and diesel cars, with much lower maintenance costs and other benefits.

More and more drivers are ditching internal combustion engine (ICE) models for cleaner, greener vehicles powered by battery. In 2021, more than 305,000 new electric vehicles were registered in the UK, reaching an average market share of almost 20% and while the market for cars in general has slowed this year, the trend for electric continues upward.

The rapid rise in electric vehicles (EVs) on UK roads is partly a response to soaring diesel and petrol prices, and the commitment by government to push for 1 in 3 cars driven in Britain to be electric-powered by the end of the decade, when all new fossil-fuel model sales will be banned.

Economical EVs

While the initial cost of an EV is currently high, it’s a logical move. The costs of EV lifetime ownership are already cheaper than fossil-fuel vehicles, and rapid reduction in battery costs mean that EVs should have a similar price to ICE models within four years.

EVs have fewer moving parts and need much less maintenance, including no oil changes and practically no part replacements. It’s a bonus for domestic drivers as well as businesses because the vehicles spend more time on the road and less time in the garage.

EV Home Install

Emissions reduction

The switch to EVs is part of the UK’s strategy to meet net zero climate targets – cars and taxis accounted for 16% of UK emissions in 2019. A recent study found that light-duty EVs had 64% lower total life greenhouse gas emissions than an internal-combustion-engine.

Charging anxiety

Ranges on EVs vary depending on budget and battery size, you can purchase vehicles with ranges from 100 miles to ranges in excess of 400 miles. Like the internal combustion engine improved over years of manufacturing, EV motors will become more efficient, and the battery technology will improve. It’s also worth bearing in mind that over 70% of UK drivers drive less than 25 miles a day.

The government has recently brought in a new law that requires new homes and buildings in England to install EV charging points. It hopes that this will see 145,000 charging points being installed across the country each year. New-build supermarkets, workplaces and buildings undergoing major renovations will also come under the new law.

With the increased capacity in the public charging network, the public perceptions around charging anxiety are now starting to dissipate. As of this August, there are over 56,000 connection points available at 20,000+ locations, with around 1,595 new sockets being added in July alone.

EV for Business

Financial support

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) provides the EV chargepoint grant for flat owner-occupiers and people living in rented properties. It is for anyone who owns and lives in a flat, or rents any residential property. The grant covers up to 75% of the cost to buy and install a chargepoint socket, up to £350 per grant. The home must its own private off-street parking space and the applicant needs to own a qualifying vehicle.

While the Homecharge Grant Scheme is no longer available for charge point installation, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) covers nearly all businesses. It is available to qualifying businesses, charities and public sector organisations who can apply for vouchers of up to 75% of the costs up to £350 per EV charging point, up to a maximum of 40 across all sites. Franchisees are eligible, with maximum of 10 from each franchise that can apply.


Tax breaks

The lower Benefits in Kind (BiK) rates for EV drivers compared with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles mean that the company-car tax on electric vehicles is just 2% until 2025 – a big saving compared with BiK tax rates on fossil-fuel cars ranging up to 31% and more.

Also, the Super Deductions scheme allows companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest, so firms can move to EV at less cost but also can harness free renewable energy through solar panels to help charge their vehicles. Companies investing in EV chargers can claim a 130% super-deduction capital allowance. The scheme will run until March 31st 2023, so the pressure is on to implement without delay.

Types of EV

A Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Fully Electric Vehicles, is a model where the only means of propulsion are through the battery and electric motor.

A Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV) has an internal combustion engine along with a small battery – normally around 10kWh – which is charged through a wallbox. PHEVs have an average fully electric range of around 20-25 miles.

Mild Hybrid Vehicles are fully powered by internal combustion engines, supported by a small 48v battery for acceleration and cruising, and they cannot drive on electric power alone.

The number of EV models, both medium and heavy-duty, should double over the next two years, so every need should be covered, while rapidly expanding public charging networks, ultra-fast charging, and smart chargepoint solutions will make any range anxiety a distant memory.

For many consumers, the “fuelling” choice will be Fast Charging – 7-22kW AC charging via a traditional EV wallbox. There are faster charging point options, currently being deployed in commercial settings. These Rapid Charging units deliver DC current directly, usually between 43-350kW in capacity.


EV charging

EV batteries are charged usually through a charging point installed at home, at the business premises or on public streets, petrol stations and motorway services. The EV charger supplies standard AC current to the vehicle’s onboard charger, which converts the power to DC, allowing the battery to charge.

These Alternating Current (AC) charging stations can charge up to 22kW to the on-board vehicle charger. Alternatively, there are Direct Current (DC) charging stations which supply up to 150kW current direct to the vehicle battery.

There are two main types of cable used to charge EVs. Type 1 is a socket type, mostly found on vehicles from Asia such as Nissan. Type 2 is mostly used with European brands such as VW and BMW.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Sign up to receive tips on reducing your energy & water bills, new product news & more.