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More people than ever are choosing to buy electric cars, with more than 690,000 battery-electric vehicles now being visible on British roads. With that in mind, experts at cinch have explored customers’ most frequently asked questions when buying an electric car and provided expert knowledge to answer them.
How do you charge an electric car?
While petrol and diesel cars rely on fuel to stay on the road, electric vehicles need electricity to keep their wheels turning.
Like other electrical appliances, EVs must be plugged in to recharge, which can be done at home, work, or public charging points.
The charger should be attached to a wall close to the driver’s parking space in the garage or driveway. Motorists need to plug the connecting cable into their car socket and let it work its magic.
As for public EV chargers, motorists can usually find them at service stations, supermarkets, and public car parks.
Currently, there are about 39,000 public charging points across the UK, and that figure is rising on a weekly basis.
There are handy public charging apps available, such as cinchCharge. It has a live map showing where available chargers are nearby and allows drivers to access over 20,000 charging points with just one payment method.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
There’s no definitive answer to this question. Charging times for EVs vary based on various factors including the car model, battery size, and charging unit.
Many public charging stations have a charging rate of 7kW, giving drivers enough electricity to travel up to 30 miles from one hour’s charging.
More powerful chargers, such as 22kW units, can charge a car’s battery for up to 90 miles in the same amount of time.
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One quick way to calculate how long it takes to charge an EV is to divide its battery size (kWh) by the charger’s power (kW).
For example, if drivers own a Nissan Leaf with a 40kWh battery and plug it into a 50kW rapid charger, their electric car will be fully charged in less than one hour.
Motorists should remember that outside factors can also affect their car’s charging time. If it’s a warm day, drivers should park their EVs in the shade as hot temperatures can affect battery health.
Warm weather will reduce the battery’s capacity, leading to shorter range estimates and more frequent charging pit-stops.
How far can you travel on an EV battery?
Another pressing question is how far drivers can drive before they need to recharge.
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As with charging times, the range drivers get from their cars depends on which model they choose and their driving habits. If motorists are careful they will be able to squeeze more miles out of their vehicles.
For example, a Jaguar I-Pace has an approximate range of 292 miles (470km), while a Honda e lasts about 125 miles (201km).
On average, though, drivers can expect an EV battery to have a range of 217 miles (349km).
How long do EV batteries last?
When it comes to the lifespan of an EV battery, there is no exact answer. But if well-maintained and kept in moderate climates, today’s batteries can keep going until they are 12-15 years old and should cover up to 200,000 miles.
Do electric cars have engines?
Technically, electric cars don’t have engines. Instead, they have electric motors and are fuelled by rechargeable batteries.
The main difference between an electric motor and an internal combustion engine is that the former transforms power into energy, whereas the latter converts fuel into energy.
Electric motors are made up of two parts: the stator and the rotor. Receiving energy from the battery, the stator creates a magnetic field that activates the rotor, which turns the wheels of the car.
The fact that there are fewer moving parts in an electric car is good news for EV owners.
With fewer components compared to their fuel-powered counterparts, electric vehicles are easier and less expensive to maintain.
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