Thinking of getting an electric vehicle (EV)? Not sure where to start? Planet Woking’s handy list of EV Frequently Asked Questions is here to help!
Can’t see an answer to your question here? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
There’s also lots of helpful advice on the government’s Go Ultra Low website including information on cost savings, grants and car tax.
What is an electric vehicle?
The term electric vehicle (EV) is used to refer to all types of plug-in vehicles that can be powered solely by a battery including: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), Extended-Range Electric Vehicles (E-REVs) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). A brief description of each type is shown below. More information about electric cars is available at Go Ultra Low:
- Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) – 100% electric or ‘pure electric’ and is wholly driven by an electric motor, powered by a battery that can be plugged into the mains. There is no combustion engine.
- Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) – has a smaller battery than a BEV but that does enable it to have a pure electric range for most urban trips with no emissions. Once the electric battery range has been used, it can switch to its conventional combustion engine. The battery can also be recharged by the engine and through regenerative braking. Hybrid vehicles work in the same way as PHEVs but do not have the ability to be charged and so have a shorter zero emission range.
- Extended Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) – these vehicles have a plug-in battery, electric motor and combustion engine. The difference between an E-REV and a PHEV 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 (source: Office for Low Emission Vehicles). E-REVs have a greater capacity in terms of zero emission range, typically up to approximately 125 miles.
How much do they cost?
The range of EVs available is growing all the time with most manufacturers now offering EV models. One of the cheapest on the market currently is the Skoda CITIGOe iv at £15,000. On average, an EV can cost around £25,000 – £30,000. This article by EDF offers an overview of EVs and their purchase costs.
What is an electric vehicle charging point and where can I find one?
This is the means by which you plug in an EV to charge it. There are different types of charger but generally EVs have either a type 1 or type 2 connector for slow or fast charging. CHAdeMO or CCS is used for rapid charging. Most charging points require you to use your own charging cable that will come with the vehicle.
There are over 42,000 public chargepoint connectors at over 15,500 locations available in the UK. To find one near you, or plan your next long distance trip, see Zap map’s interactive charging map. You can filter the results by charging type, availability and speed.
Information on charging points in Woking Borough Council’s Town Centre car parks is available here. An additional 70 new charging points will come into operation late March 2022 as part of the Victoria Place development.
See details below of on-street charging points coming soon to the borough as part of a Surrey County Council led pilot.
How long does it take to charge an EV?
Charging times vary depending on the capacity of the vehicle’s battery as well as the type of charger used. Rapid charging units can charge most EVs to 80% capacity in under an hour while home charging units can take around 5-10 hours to fully recharge your EV’s battery.
How much does it cost to charge an EV?
Charging an EV can be much cheaper than filling up with petrol. According to Go Ultra Low,you could charge a fully electric vehicle like the Nissan LEAF for around £2.35. This would give you a range of approximately 200 miles or 1.2p per mile. Driving the same distance in an equivalent petrol or diesel car would cost more than £20. You can use their home charging estimator to get accurate cost projections for charging your EV.
How do I charge my car at home?
Most car manufacturers will offer advice and assistance in arranging installation of a home charging unit. However, it might not be possible to have your own charging point if you don’t have access to off-street parking. If that’s the case you may be able to charge your car at an on-street charging bay, public car park or at work. Your could speak to your employer about the workplace charging scheme.
I don’t have a charger at home. Are there any on-street charging bays near me?
Surrey County Council (SCC) is leading on a pilot on-street electric vehicle charging point project which will see the installation of a number of chargers around Woking borough. More information is available here. The first points will be commissioned in early spring 2022 in the following locations:
- Church Street East
- Montgomery Road
- Oriental Road
- Maybury Road
- Lavender Park Road, West Byfleet
The on-street charging bays proposed aren’t near my house, can I suggest a location?
Yes. As part of this project SCC is logging requests for chargepoint locations via their website here. Requests will help SCC determine demand and prime locations for future EV infrastructure funding bids. Click on “View map and comment” it will take you through to a map with lots of virtual pins on it. Click on “Have your say” in the top right corner and it will take you to a screen where you can drop a pin on a map and pop in the location details.