Living with an Electric Car

By Daniel Thurgood
Living with an Electric Car

If there’s one topic every motorist is talking about in the UK, it’s electric vehicles (EV’s).

Swapping to an electric car or van is a big decision, that's why Bradley and Daniel at CVC are here to guide you through the financing process. CVC ensure you find the right solution tailored to your needs and we offer a range of services; from car finance to part exchange. We are committed to making your transition to electric driving as smooth as possible.

In this blog post, we’ll be digging a little deeper into the most commonly asked questions about electric vehicles in the UK, giving you the advice and information you need to make the right choice.

So, how long does it take to charge an electric car?

This must be one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to electric cars. The time it takes to charge an electric car can vary; depending on the charging method, the capacity of the car's battery, and the available charging infrastructure. There are three main types of charging which are commonly used for electric vehicles: Slow charging, fast charging and rapid charging.

Slow charging involves plugging the car into a standard household electrical outlet using the car's own charging cable. Using this method, it could take anywhere from 8 to 20 hours or more to fully charge an electric car.

Fast charging requires a dedicated charging unit that provides higher power. With fast charging, an electric car can be charged significantly faster than with slow charging and may take around 4 to 8 hours to fully charge.

Rapid charging is the quickest charging option available for electric cars. It utilises high-powered chargers that can provide charging rates typically above 50 kW, and these are typically found in urban areas or high-traffic fuel stations. The charging time with rapid charging can vary depending on the car's battery capacity and the charging infrastructure used. A rapid charger can provide up to an 80% charge in around 30 minutes to an hour – giving you time to refuel yourself at the same time.

What are the pros and cons of owning an electric car in the UK?

For company car drivers, owning an electric car can reduce their BIK personal tax. Typically, with a personal tax burden of under £500 per annum which can be a saving of many thousands each year compared to a conventional fuelled car. Most people will buy an electric car for the environmental benefits. Electric cars produce zero tailpipe emissions, which helps to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Charging an electric car can be cheaper than refuelling petrol or diesel vehicles, subject to energy prices.

However, in the UK there is still limited infrastructure in place for electric cars. Whilst this is expanding rapidly, there are limitations, especially in rural areas. Similarly, some electric vehicles have a limited driving range compared to traditional cars, and the time needed to refuel can be significantly more, too. Electric cars often have a higher upfront cost compared to conventional vehicles. However, CVC are able to offer some fantastic offers for all budgets and driver needs.

It's important to assess these pros and cons based on your individual circumstances, driving habits, and priorities – not all of them will be relevant to every customer. Having space at home for a home charger is a big positive. An informal chat with us will help you make the right decision.

Are electric cars cheaper to run than traditional cars?

The answer to this is yes, in general. There are several factors that contribute to the lower operating costs of electric vehicles (EVs). The cost of electricity is much cheaper than the cost of petrol or diesel, and you can choose to charge at home, so on average, EV’s can achieve a lower cost per kilometre than traditional cars. There is also a reduced need for maintenance, as EV’s have fewer moving parts. They don’t require oil changes, air filter replacements or other routine maintenance. If you’d like to work out the anticipated fuel cost for your Electric Vehicle, we have a handy fuel cost calculator on our website.

Finally, there are a few government incentives in the UK to encourage people to buy electric cars. This includes grants or subsidies, reduced road taxes and exemptions from congestion charges or ULEZ. You can find out more on the government website:

From a business perspective, the majority of business are making the switch to electric vehicles where possible. The personal tax incentives to staff and directors alone is a major contributor in the decision-making process, as well as the environmental positives. We have noticed that more and more offers are being launched on electric vehicles currently which is making the switch more affordable than ever.

What’s the difference between a hybrid and an electric car?

If you’re deciding between an electric and a hybrid car, it can be useful to understand the main differences. Whilst hybrid cars can produce lower emissions compared to traditional petrol or diesel cars, Electric cars produce zero emissions.

Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars cannot be plugged in, they are charged by the engine and regenerative breaking. They have a conventional fuel tank that allows them to travel long distances, similar to traditional petrol or diesel cars. It is possible to run for a small distance on electric alone, but this would be for a very low range before the combustion engine automatically takes over. You may notice that some vehicles are described as Mild Hybrids (MHEV), a Mild Hybrid cannot run on electricity alone for any distance.

Plug-in Hybrid Cars

A PHEV has both a petrol/diesel engine and a medium-sized battery. Relying on battery power alone, they can be driven for around 30 miles, although some newer models offer longer range. If the battery runs out of charge, the petrol/diesel engine takes over for the rest of your journey.

A PHEV can be charged externally, allowing you to access cheap electricity and minimise costs. They also produce lower Co2 emissions than a standard hybrid vehicle, therefore far cheaper for BIK personal tax liabilities if being supplied as a company car.

Whichever option you are considering, we have a range of great hybrid and electric finance offers on our website. 

If you’re still making up your mind, we have some great video content on our website, which should help you decide if an EV is for you. 

At CVC, we offer a range of car and van finance solutions, and have great deals available on electric cars and vans. Contact us to find out more, or browse our available offers