Electric cars represent progress and things you imagined as a child of what things may be like in the future. You could argue progress has been slow and whilst we still don’t have any flying cars (yet), electric cars are starting to become a big thing with increasing popularity and sales. There’s still lots of things to know when owning or looking to buy an electric vehicle, as they have a number differences (other than the obvious) to driving a petrol or diesel cars.
Choosing the right electric car for you
With ever increasing options, features and technology in electric vehicles its useful to weigh up how it will fit your lifestyle. When buying one you should consider the usage, for example if you want to use it as an everyday family car or if want something a little sportier that you can take it to a track. When going electric it’s important to look at the range, how many miles you can do on one charge. If your going to use it as a family car, you don’t want to stop every 30 mins to charge your battery with a two-hour charge time! Also consider your location and where easily accessible charging points are. If you live in the countryside, access to charging points could be quite a distance away and the last thing you would want is to be stuck with empty batteries.
Charging an electric car
As you probably know electric cars run on huge batteries and motors. Depending on the make and model of the car will depend on how often you need to charge it. Although the charging process is not quick, it’s a good idea to charge it whenever you get a chance.
Charging at your home
Charging at your home is a very effective and useful thing to have. Having a charging point at your home means that you don’t have to go out to charge your car and you can just park up, plug it in and just relax. There’s no need to wait around 2 hours at a charging point wasting part of your day when you can just relax in your own home. There’s some different options out there depending on the car that you have for example Tesla has a wall mounted charger and BMW has a wireless charge pad. Some systems can be installed by yourself and some will need to be installed by a specialist engineer. The prices of these charging points can range from £700 all the way up to £2000 pounds. When looking into getting a home charging point be aware that they will be connected to your mains power so in effect will add to your power bill.
Public charging points
Public charging points are normally located in public car parks and more prominent locations. These points are normally free to use because the local authorities are trying to encourage the use of electric vehicles. This however mat not always be the case and as points will possibly change by introducing a pricing tariff in the future when electric driving becomes more popular. There are many websites and phone apps that can tell you where your local charging points are located.
Types of charging
Slow charging: Uses a standard three-pin plug and normally takes around 6 – 8 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle from empty. These are normally used for in home charging.
Fast charging: A powerful charger that takes around 3-6 hours to charge a vehicle from empty. This type is less publicly available and is normally used for public street chargers and commercial charging.
Rapid charging: This type can normally charge a vehicle in 1 – 2 hours however frequent use of rapid charging can reduce the battery life. These chargers are normally located in important or busy public areas.