Electric Vehicles - What you need to know

Electric Vehicles - What you need to know

You might question whether electric vehicles are something to give serious consideration to. Well a statement made on on 30th November 2018 had the following to say on the matter:

“The world’s largest vehicle manufacturer and the UK’s largest fuel retailer will roll out more than 2,400 EV charging bays across 600 Tesco stores within the next three years....

The ambitious initiative underlines Volkswagen’s commitment to becoming a leading player in e-mobility and deliver on its pledge to sell one million electric cars a year worldwide by 2025

On 24th April, 2019 Ford cars made the following statement:

Ford plans to release 16 fully electric vehicles within a global portfolio of 40 electrified vehicles by 2022”

And Vauxhall Cars have the following statement on their website:

“That’s why we’re launching four electrified vehicles by 2020. And why we will be expanding our whole model range to offer an electrified option by 2024 - either as a pure battery-driven vehicle or as a plug-in hybrid.”

And what does the chart below tell you about electric vehicle sales...

It's pretty clear to see that electric cars are her to stay.

Running costs of an EV car compared to a petrol/diesel car

You're no doubt aware that electric cars are kinder to the environment than their petrol/diesel counterparts but will it cost you the earth to run? Let’s do a comparison.

As the chart below shows average petrol and diesel fuel efficiencies have steadily increased over the years with petrol cars peaking at 52.3 mpg in 2016 and diesel cars reaching 62.2 mpg. Let’s use these figures as the basis of our comparison. Using the fuel price from RAC fuel watch 23rd Apr 2019 every 100 miles would cost approximately £11.01 of petrol and £9.71 of diesel

Let’s compare this figure with the Nissan Leaf, the top selling all electric car of 2018 in the UK. According to a report by, the “real range” of the Nissan Leaf is 128 miles when fully charged. It has a battery capacity of 40kWh. So how much would this cost to charge from home? Using statistics from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Sector, in 2018 the average electricity bill across all payment types rose to £668 based on 3,800kWh/year. That equates to an average of 17.58p every kilowatt.

So to charge the Nissan Leaf would cost 40 x 0.1758 = £7.03. But remember that £7.03 would give you 128 miles. Or put another way this electric vehicle for every 100 miles will cost you £5.49 of electricity.

Figures from the Department of Transport show 22% of travel in the band in of 5000-6999 miles per year for 4 wheeled vehicles. Using the figures above let's plot the fuel costs based on 5000 miles each year.

The above figures show an electric car could save you £2500 in just 5 years when compared to petrol. If you travel £10,000 miles per year then you can double those savings.

The conclusion….electric vehicles can save you a lot of money.

So I buy an electric car. How will I charge it?

Basically you’ll need an electricity power source (a charge station or a household 13A socket), and an EV Charging cable that will connect the electricity power source (the EV charge station) to your EV Car.

The electricity charge stations do have a standard power source connections of a Type 2 socket. Hence the end of your EV Charge cable connected to the charge station will be a type 2 Plug. The other end connected to your “EV Fuel Cap” is dependent upon the model of your car.

The chart below compares the process of going to a filling station and charging an EV vehicle

Combustion Engine Filling Station EV (Electric Vehicle) Charge Station
What fuel Cap do I have (Petrol or Diesel)? You’ll have the EV power lead in your car to suit your “EV Fuel Cap”
Your “EV Fuel Cap” is likely to be:
  1. Type1 (J1772) Male Inlet (Vast Majority)
  2. Type 2 (62196-2) Female Inlet (Not common)
  3. Type 2 (62196-2) Male Inlet (Not common)
Find the corresponding fuel station The “EV Fuel station” will be at home or an EV station outside your home.
Put the fuel nozzle in my fuel cap. Using an EV power lead connect the “EV nozzle” to the “EV Fuel Cap”.
Connect the other end to the EV Charge station Type 2 Male
Press the trigger to dispense the fuel Start charging

The Rolec Home Car Charger stations

Electric Cars or EV Vehicles can be charged at home with a home ev charger In some cases you could use a lead that would connect one end to a 13A UK socket (the same type you might plug your vacuum cleaner into), connect the other end to your EV Car and charge away. What options do you have?

WallPod: EV Ready Home EV charger

Consider the Rolec EV Pod, EVWP2020 that many new home builds have. This product is suitable for a domestic dwelling attached to a wall with easy access to your EV vehicle. The plug socket contained is an ordinary 13A plug socket so not only could you use it to charge your EV vehicle but you could plug your lawn mower into it if you desired.

Although very economically priced please bear in mind charging times will be slow with this unit. If you had a Nissan leaf with a 40kW battery then the fastest you could charge this car from flat would be 12 hours. And you would need a 3 pin lead such as shown here at an additional cost.

WallPod: EV Socket

This wall mounted EV charging unit comes in 16A (3.6kW) and 32A (7.2kW) variants. Why would you choose one over the other? If your electricity consumer unit feeding this WallPod can safely handle the higher current then it would make sense to choose the higher power option of 7.2kW. What difference would that make? Working on the basis of an EV car with a 40kWh battery and a 7.2kW (32A) WallPod it would take around 40/7.2 = 5.55 hours to charge from a flat battery.

Compare this with the 3.6kW (16A) variant, it would take 40/3.6 = 11.111 hours to do the same job. It makes sense to choose the 7.2kW option but only if your consumer unit will support the extra load incurred.

Don’t forget your Charging Cable. Remember one end will be Type 2 Male to fit onto the EV Charging Unit. The other end will be dependent on your EV car’s “fuel inlet”

WallPod: EV Tethered Lead

This offers the same properties as the WallPod EV Socket except you have a hard wired charging cable. As the picture shows when the unit is not charging it can be neatly held in a holder on the unit.

This EV WallPod has options of 16 and 32A, and Type 1 and Type 2 cable dependent on your EV car’s “fuel inlet”

Bear in mind since the EV Charging cable is hard wired, if you were to change your vehicle to one requiring a different charging cable type then this EV charging unit would be redundant.

How long will it take my EV car to charge from flat?

This is dependent on two factors

  1. The EV car’s battery capacity (kWh)
  2. The charging station’s output capacity kW

For example:

If your EV car’s battery capacity is 24kWh and your charge station output capacity is 3kW

The time to charge your battery from empty is 24 / 3 = 8 hours

Do I look like I've got 8 hours to wait to charge my EV?

If you had to twiddle your thumbs for hours every time you charged your EV car then it just wouldn't be practical. Fortunately there are public charging networks across the country that allow you to charge your car at an ev charging point far more quickly.

In fact some ev charging points will allow you to charge a 24kW battery from flat in under 35 minutes.

Here is a link showing some UK EV charge points