How can I charge an electric car?

There are 3 different ways you can charge your electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle:

  • Main’s electricity using a Mobile Mode 2 Inline Charger.

    You can charge your electric or hybrid car using your main electricity at home. Your vehicle will come with an adaptor cable to do this.

  • Home Wall Charger

    You may choose to get a wall box installed at your home for the most convenient type of charging. It’s also surprisingly cost effective, and many manufacturers may offer installation for free or at a fixed rate. Charging speeds vary depending on the power of your charge station, so be aware of this when choosing your wallbox (the higher the voltage, the faster your vehicle will regain its electric miles).

  • Highway /Destination Charging

What does Kilowatt-hours mean?

Kilowatt-hours are a measure of how much energy can be stored in a battery. For a given vehicle, a battery with greater capacity - more kWh - will have greater range and/or performance.

What's the difference between a Plug-in Hybrid and a Hybrid?

A Plugin-in Hybrid requires an outside electrical source (such as a Wallbox) to charge its battery, whilst a Hybrid's battery is self-charging. A Plugin-in Hybrid covers a much greater range off the electric battery than a Hybrid vehicle can. A Plugin-in Hybrid mostly runs off the electric battery engine, whilst a Hybrid is mostly powered by its combustion engine.

Can you overcharge an Electric Vehicle?

Manufacturers have already built-in precautions so you cannot overcharge, over-discharge, or over heat your electric vehicle.

Will driving with my lights on reduce my range?

Most vehicles feature LED headlights which are incredibly energy efficient, so driving with your lights on will not make any noticeable difference to the vehicle’s range.

Does temperature affect the battery?

Batteries can be stored as low as -40 but must be plugged in and heated to -20 before driving. In long-lasting hot or cold temperatures an electric vehicle’s range is reduced because energy is required to keep the battery at an efficient operating temperature. Energy is also needed to warm up the cabin when the temperature is low.

How does the performance of an electric car differ?

Electric motors produce their peak pulling power from a standstill. That means there’s no need to rev the motor for swift acceleration, unlike a petrol or diesel car.

Can electric cars drive through water?

Electric cars are about as safe in water as petrol or diesel cars. The amount of water a car can drive through is called its ‘wading depth’ - check in the handbook or with the company that builds your car for more details. The wading depth of an electric car is normally around the same as for its petrol or diesel equivalent. The depth of water it is safe to drive through is often lower than the wading depth supplied by the manufacturer, though. Driving through floods is risky regardless of whether your car runs on electricity or conventional fuel.

Where are my nearest electric vehicle charging points?

You can check Zap Map for more information on where to find public charging stations. You’ll be able to filter by the type of charging system your car uses, how you want to pay for the electricity, and whether the charger is currently available. Unless you live on a remote Scottish island or in the Welsh valleys, there’s probably a rapid charger not too far from you. And with more being built every day, availability is constantly improving for drivers of electric cars who want to charge up away from home.

Range Anxiety

Range can be affected by a number of factors, including external temperature, operating the heating or cooling systems and the speed at which you are driving.

If the battery runs out of charge, will the car just stop?

For All-Electric Vehicles, If the battery completely runs out of charge, the vehicle will eventually stop. However, most have a battery management system which provides energy information as your range depletes. Commonly, sat-nav systems will allow you to find the nearest charging point.

For Plug in-Hybrid (PHEV) and Hybrid (HEV), If the battery completely runs out of charge, the combustion engine kicks in.

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