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Major Updates

Frequently Asked Questions

General

  • What are the advantages of electric vehicles?
    • Lower emissions: Electric vehicles produce significantly lower carbon emissions and less air pollution than conventional petrol or diesel cars. A fully electric car produces no harmful ‘tailpipe’ emissions at all.
    • Cheaper running costs: Electric cars currently pay no car tax and no fuel duty (for fully electric cars). Switching to an electric car could save you up to £750 a year in fuel bills.
    • Quieter: A vehicle in electric mode produces no engine noise, producing a nicer environment for the driver and those that you drive past.
  • How easy is it to buy an electric vehicle?
    As with all vehicles, there are a range of finance package options to spread the cost. With some models you can even consider buying the car and leasing the battery, giving you complete peace of mind for the lifetime of your battery. Go Ultra Low have drawn up some simple comparison tables to help you understand the differences, over three years, for a conventional vehicle versus 100% electric, plug-in hybrid, range extended and battery leased options.
  • What kinds of electric vehicles are there?
    • Pure electric vehicles: wholly driven by an electric motor, powered by a battery that can be plugged into the mains and have no combustion engine. These vehicles do not produce any tailpipe emissions and usually only need a single gear. Sometimes referred to as Batter Electric Vehicles (BEV).
    • Plug-in hybrids: features a combustion engine and an electric motor, with the electricity supplied by a battery pack. The electric motor can power the car for part of its journey before the combustion engine starts up. It can be plugged in to charge its batteries. Sometimes referred to as Plug In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV).
    • Extended-range electric vehicles (E-REV): have a plug-in battery pack and electric motor, as well as an internal combustion engine. The difference with a plug-in hybrid is that the electric motor always drives the wheels, with the internal combustion engine acting as a generator to recharge the battery when it is depleted.
    • Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles: have a fuel cell stack which uses hydrogen to produce electricity, which then powers the wheels of the vehicle. They have no internal combustion engine and do not need recharging. They will continue to generate power as long as they are fed with a supply of hydrogen and are refuelled at a filling station in a similar way to vehicles with a petrol or diesel engine. An initial network of 12 hydrogen filling stations is being developed across in the UK to support their roll out.
  • What is the average range of an electric vehicle?
    • Pure electric cars typically have a range of around 100 miles.
    • Plug-in hybrids have ranges of up to 800 miles, with around 30 miles of electric range.
    • Extended-range electric vehicles have a range of around 200 miles.
    • Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have a range of around 300 miles.
    As new vehicles become available, typically the range extends. Keep up to date on the Go Ultra Low Website.
  • How much does it cost to run an electric vehicle?
    You can fuel an electric car from just 2p per mile – much cheaper than the 10-12p per mile it costs to fuel a petrol or diesel car. If you charge at home overnight you can take advantage of off-peak electricity prices to make further savings on fuel. Costs for using public charge points vary by provider, just as it does with petrol stations. As an example, it costs £6 for a 30 minute rapid charge at one of Ecotricity’s charge points, enough to charge a pure electric car to 80% - from nearly empty, that’s much cheaper than filling up a petrol or diesel car. Electric cars currently pay no car tax and no fuel duty (for fully electric cars).
  • How safe are electric vehicles?
    There are strict rules and regulations which guide the safety of the vehicles we drive and by law vehicles have to meet minimum safety standards. These tests need to prove passenger and pedestrian safety in a range of collision situations, and for electric vehicles that includes ensuring the battery and voltage cables do not create undue risk. Beyond statutory standards of safety for cars there are New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) ratings, providing each car with an out of 5 stars performance level against the Euro NCAP crash tests which consider adult protection, child protection, pedestrian protection and safety assist measures. All electric cars carry an NCAP rating so you can compare with confidence using this standardised approach to vehicle safety. You can find out more at www.euroncap.com or on individual vehicle manufacturer websites. The dedicated charge points that are recommended for charging your electric vehicle have undergone rigorous safety testing and are installed by qualified electricians following industry best practice for installation of charging equipment. They are safe to use, with those mounted outside being suitable for use, no matter what the weather.
  • How easy is it to find a charge point and charge my car?
    Find more information on our Charge Points page.

Charging

  • Do all charge points charge all types of electric vehicle?
    Different models of EVs connect with charge points using 2 types of charging cable connector. ‘Tethered’ charge points are pre-fitted with permanent charging cables. Untethered charge points do not have pre-fitted cables; instead the driver uses their own charging cables provided with their vehicle. A useful guide to connectors and how they vary by type of charger can be found on the Zap-map website.
  • How much does it cost to run an electric vehicle?
    You can fuel an electric car from just 2p per mile – much cheaper than the 10-12p per mile it costs to fuel a petrol or diesel car. If you charge at home overnight you can take advantage of off-peak electricity prices to make further savings on fuel. Costs for using public charge points vary by provider, just as it does with petrol stations. As an example, it costs £6 for a 30 minute rapid charge at one of Ecotricity’s charge points, enough to charge a pure electric car to 80% - from nearly empty, that’s much cheaper than filling up a petrol or diesel car. Electric cars currently pay no car tax and no fuel duty (for fully electric cars).
  • What’s the difference between all the types of charging points?
    There are three types of charger – rapid, fast and standard:
    • Rapid: charges to 80% in 30 minutes. Perfect if you’re in a rush, or on a motorway journey. 50 kW for DC units (400V /125A) or 43 kW for AC chargers.
    • Fast: charges your car in about 4 hours. Perfect while you’re at work, at a Park & Ride, doing the weekly shop, or going to a restaurant or cinema. 7 kW AC charger (32A).
    • Standard: charges your car in about 6 hours. Perfect for charging overnight at home. 3kW AC charger (13A).
  • Can someone unplug my car while it’s charging?
    No. Charging cables lock in place when you start to charge, and can only be unlocked by you once you finish using the charge point.
  • Do I need lots of different charging cables?
    No. Your electric car will come with a charging cable which allows you to charge at home and at public chargers. Rapid chargers work slightly differently – they have their own cable which you can use, a bit like a petrol pump. Some cars also come with a cable that can plug into a normal 3-pin socket – this isn’t recommended for everyday use, but can be useful as a back-up.
  • Do I need to sign up to multiple charging networks?
    It depends on where you intend to travel using your electric vehicle, and whether you mainly use it locally or nationally. If you intend to mainly charge from home, then you might not need to consider joining a public charging network at all. However, if you think you will need to charge away from home, then you will need to consider which network(s) would be suitable. Find out more information on Zap-map.
  • How do I get a charge point for my business?
    The government offers grants to provide support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge-points, for eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisations. Workplaces can apply for vouchers and get more information on the gov.uk website.
  • What is Source West?
    Source West is a charging point network covering the West of England region (Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset). It was funded by Bristol City Council through the UK’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) and aims to promote electric vehicles throughout the South West. The project was also partially funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community.
  • Can I plug in an electric vehicle and trail the cable up to a property over the pavement?
    No. Anything which causes a potential obstruction or trip hazard is not permitted.
  • Can someone unplug my car while it is charging?
    No. Charging cables lock in place when you start to charge, and can only be unlocked by you once you finish using the chargepoint.

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