Electric vehicles have become a common sight on our roads today. These electric vehicles (EV) have become a worldwide frenzy as many people are becoming more concerned about climate change and deciding to go green.
Going green with electric cars
The cost to run an EV is often more expensive compared to petrol or diesel powered vehicles. EV prices may range between £28,000 and £65,000. However, you may be lucky to find cheaper ones at dealer shops offering discounts.
Many people are choosing electric vehicles because they want to be eco-friendly. Electric cars are synonymous with zero-emissions but they are not emissions-free. Research has proven that electric cars release fewer emissions compared to ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) powered vehicles.
Types of Electric Vehicles
Battery electric vehicles These EVs get power by electricity stored in a battery pack.
Fuel cell vehicles These EVs get electricity from split electrons from hydrogen molecules, which is used to power them.
Plug-in hybrids These EVs combine a diesel engine with an electric motor and a sizeable rechargeable battery to produce power to run the vehicle.
Electric vehicles require less maintenance compared to fuel-operated vehicles. However, EVs require frequent servicing and maintenance, especially the braking system. EVs require frequent maintenance, especially for the lights, tyre alignment, suspension and body repairs.
Finding a well-trained mechanic to service an EV may be hard because they may not have adequate training to work on electric vehicles. The availability of well-trained auto mechanics to work on EVs is very scarce.
Electric Vehicle charging
A charging infrastructure refers to a country’s ability to operate electric vehicles by providing reliable charging spots.
The biggest barrier to electric vehicles is insufficient charging infrastructure. According to research, many people prefer fuel-powered vehicles compared to electric vehicles because of insufficient charging infrastructure. Many people will not adopt electric vehicles unless an efficient charging infrastructure is adopted.
Types of electric vehicle charging
Rapid chargers This is the quickest way to charge an electric vehicle. Rapid charging points charge between 100KW and 350KW and take around 20 to 30 minutes to reach full charge.
Fast chargers These are the most common chargers. They provide power ranging between 7KW to 22KW and take roughly 3 to 4 hours to reach full charge.
Slow chargers These chargers are the slowest way to charge an electric vehicle. They provide power between 3KW to 6KW and are common at homes and businesses. They take between 8 and 12 hours to reach full charge.
Public and independent charging
There are over 30,000 charging stations spread over 11,000 public locations for electric vehicles in the UK. Payment and access to these charging spots depend on locations. Some charging spots are free to use but charging spots that offer rapid and fast charging may require you to pay for the services.
Home and businesses charging spots are referred to as Independent charging. There are only but a few independent charging spots across the UK but they are on the verge of increasing as many people choose to adopt electric vehicles.
Electric charging range
Most electric vehicle drivers are interested in charging ranges of the electric vehicles. Electric vehicle charging points are not that many across the UK, which means they cannot easily find these stations. All-electric vehicles need to specify their standard charging range as per the procedure set out by the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).
Carrying out MOT tests
Electric vehicle MOT refers to checking if your car is in good working and operating condition. An MOT test is a compulsory test designed to check all the electric vehicle components and determine its roadworthiness.
1. Headlights, wipers and horn
The headlights go through a test to ascertain that they are aligned straight and that they have the right brightness to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic. After checking the headlights, all the other lights get tested as well. That is the brake lights, hazard lights and fog lights. Checking the horn is also essential to make sure it’s working well.
2. Tyres inspection
The vehicle tyres go through inspection to ensure that they are well aligned and that they are roadworthy in terms of tyre grip. This check is important to avoid any future accidents.
3. Mechanical testing
Mechanical testing involves checking that the mechanical components of the vehicle are working accordingly. These mechanical components consist of the steering, shock absorbers, suspension and wheel bearings. The steering undergoes testing and the wheels spun to identify any signs of wear and tear.
Emissions test is not necessary for electric vehicles because they operate by electricity.
The whole vehicle is inspected for any forms of corrosion using a specially designed tool. This check is crucial to check for vehicle components for rust. This check is done under the car bonnet and underneath the car. The car chassis, hinges and mounting brakes go through testing to ensure everything is in good condition.
In a Nutshell
Many people are choosing to adopt electric cars to go eco-friendly. Fully electric cars have almost zero emissions but not fully emission-free. Electric cars produce less polluting emissions in their lifetime compared to fuel-powered vehicles.
Electric cars cost more to purchase but they are pocket friendly to run compared to fuel-powered vehicles. Electric vehicles are cheaper to maintain because they don’t have many moving parts and don’t need oil changes.
There is a difference between electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Electric vehicles run on electricity, which is store in rechargeable batteries. While plug-in batteries run by combining ICE and electricity.
Depending on road conditions and how frequent you drive, an electric vehicle can go an average of 140 to 450 km on a single full charge. Charging an electric car can last between 10 minutes to 8 hours depending on the charging station you find.
Despite their few setbacks, electric cars are cost-effective when it comes to maintaining and it is an environmentally friendly mode of transport. Your voice can help the electric wave spread far and wide.
Written by Ruby
Writes blogs about EV charging and climate solutions for 50five.