There are electric versions of pretty much any type of road vehicle, up to and including massive freight lorries, currently in development, but they all share the same basic design principles.
Broadly speaking, there are three types of electric vehicle (EV), each of which comes with its own advantages and considerations:
Battery electric vehicle (BEV): These are fully electric, running entirely on rechargeable batteries, and are charged at home or at special charging points powered by the National Grid. The most common examples are the Renault Zoe and the Nissan Leaf.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV): These vehicles have two motors – an electric one and a normal engine (usually petrol). They mostly run on electric power charged from the National Grid, deploying the petrol engine when more power and range is needed. This makes them good for moderate distances and for city driving when you want to reduce your emissions. The Toyota Prius is the classic example here.
Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV): The hybrid is quite similar to the PHEV, but it generates its own electricity using clever regenerative braking systems rather than plugging into charging points.
The latest generation of battery-only electric vehicles can travel almost 300 miles before needing to be recharged – far more than the average commute – while there are now enough charging points to get to almost anywhere in mainland Britain, provided you drive carefully.
That said, many cheaper electric cars have an effective range of under 100 miles, making them unsuitable for anything more than small, inner-city travel.
Electric cars are generally slightly more expensive than their petrol cousins, but as with a lot of green technology, there are significant savings over time
Electric cars are having a bit of a moment right now. With petrol prices rising and plenty of sizeable alternative subsidies in place, there’s never been a better time to take the greener route.
Meanwhile, as London unveils its Ultra-Low Emission Zone (more commonly known as the ‘ULEZ’), and the government gears up to ban the sale of new cars and vans running on petrol or diesel by 2040, electric vehicles will really start to come to prominence.
One thing is clear: electric cars absolutely do save you money in the long-run. In particular, there's an up-front saving of up to £3,500 in government grants and significant per-mile fuel savings in comparison with petrol and diesel, while we will soon also see electric tariffs which allow you to sell excess battery charge back to the National Grid.
Ok, so it’s not exactly an EV, but this is about as close as the Italian marque is getting with some proper production hybrid technology for the time being.
A throaty V12 engine develops over 785hp, but with additional shove produced by a 48V e-motor, it is capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds.
But rather than a use a lithium-ion battery, the Sián utilises a supercapacitor, which is three times more powerful than a battery of the same weight and three times lighter than a lithium-ion battery producing the same power.
Better still, the supercapacitor technology can be charged and discharged with the same power, meaning the Sián’s energy storage system is fully charged every time the vehicle brakes. Similarly, power delivery is immediate, allowing the driver to draw on increased torque when accelerating up to 80mph, when the e-motor automatically disconnects. This lightweight motor can also help with low-speed manoeuvring.
Just 63 examples will be produced and, quite unsurprisingly considering the ferocity of the Lamborghini fanbase, all examples have already been sold.
VW has been teasing its ID 3 model since its very first reveal back at the 2016 Paris motor show, but it can now finally unveil its latest all-electric model that it hopes will go on to join the Golf in terms of volume sales.
With prices starting at £27,500 and an all-electric range of up to 341-miles, it offers an extremely enticing package, which just so happens to showcase a brand new, spartan interior that revolves around a new ten-inch touchscreen display and operating system.
Most conventional buttons have been thrown in the bin and replaced with touch surfaces, while the interior feels surprisingly spacious for a car that is only slightly larger than the existing Golf. Boot space is also on par with VW’s most famous hatchback.
Punters will be able to pick from a variety of battery packs at launch, with the range spanning 45kWh, 58kWh and 77kWh, meaning drivers can motor 205, 260 or 341 miles before needing to recharge.
The higher spec ID 3 models are capable of charging at 100kW, meaning it is possible to add a range of around 180-miles within 30 minutes using the appropriate fast-charging network.
We have a 32 amp/7.6kWh charger and a Renault Kangoo maxi with a 33kWh battery. How long will it take to fully charge this vehicle.
You will need to know the following
Battery power of vehicle in kWh
The chargers rated current in amps
The voltage at your installation - this is 230v
First work out the charger power (CP)
Charger Power= Charger rated current X voltage
Then convert to kW
7360/1000 = 7.36kW
Finally work out Charge time (CT)
Charge Time = Battery Power kWh / Charger Power kWh
CT = 33/7.36
CT = 4.5 hours
The government has announced changes to funding to support purchasing the next 35,000 of the cleanest vehicles.
For the last 7 years, the Plug-in Car Grant (PICG) has provided a discount to the price of over 160,000 new ultra-low emission vehicles.
These changes to financial incentives reflect the ongoing success of the PICGin increasing uptake of electric vehicles, a key part of the government’s Road to Zero strategy.
The PICG has helped the plug-in hybrid market become more established, and the government will now focus its support on zero emission models like pure electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars.
The changes to the grant announced today will mean that the grant rate for Category 1 vehicles will move from £4,500 to £3,500 and Category 2 and 3 vehicles will no longer be eligible for the grant.
The PICG was first introduced in 2011, designed to help stimulate the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles.
So far it has supported the purchase of over 160,000 new cars. With plug-in hybrid models like the Mitsubishi Outlander becoming popular among consumers the government is focussing its attention to zero emission models such as the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3.
Plug-in hybrid vehicles are among the cleanest on the road, and can deliver significant CO2 savings compared to petrol/diesel cars. These vehicles will continue to receive support through lower car tax rates, grants for charging infrastructure and local incentives (such as free parking).
Following the success of the PICG scheme the government has rolled out Plug-In Van, and Motorcycle grants, available to both private and business buyers across the UK.
Following the Last Mile call for evidence, and in light of evidence from other countries, a £2 million fund is planned. The funding will contribute 20% of the purchase price of new e-cargo bikes up to the first £5,000 of any purchase price. This gives a maximum grant of £1,000 per bike, regardless of the purchase price of the bike. Funding will be conditional on individual businesses following a code of cycle safety good practice.
This new fund will help to cut congestion and improve air quality, encouraging companies to replace older, polluting vans with a zero emission alternative to create a cleaner, greener future. Money will be split between larger fleets and smaller operators to ensure benefits are available to and spread between all sizes of business.
Furthermore, the department has separately set aside £100,000 for capacity building in the industry, and will be reviewing opportunities and potential measures to encourage commercial leasing of e-cargo bikes in order to support widespread uptake over the longer term.
We are investing in the design, development and infrastructure needed to speed up the uptake of green vehicles. We are providing £1.5 billion for ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020, and creating a £400 million fund to invest in the roll-out of charging point infrastructure, in partnership with industry.
Owning and charging an electric vehicle is set to become more convenient than ever thanks to an additional £2.5 million to fund the installation of over 1,000 new chargepoints, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today (Monday 12 August 2019).
The funding will support the on-street residential chargepoint scheme, launched in 2017, which helps people access charging infrastructure near their homes when they don’t have off-street parking. It will go towards helping local authorities to install these chargepoints, which can be built into existing structures like lamp-posts. The scheme aims to encourage even more people to choose an electric vehicle by making it easier to charge their cars near home, following a 158% increase in battery electric vehicle sales compared to July last year.
The scheme has already seen 16 local authorities prepared to install 1,200 chargepoints this year. The Transport Secretary is now doubling funding for the popular scheme to meet demand and accelerate the take-up of electric vehicles as the UK moves towards net zero emissions by 2050 and further improve air quality.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
It’s fantastic that there are now more than 20,000 publicly accessible chargepoints and double the number of electric vehicle chargepoints than petrol stations, but we want to do much more.
It’s vital that electric vehicle drivers feel confident about the availability of chargepoints near their homes, and that charging an electric car is seen as easy as plugging in a smartphone.
That’s why we are now doubling the funding available for local authorities to continue building the infrastructure we need to super-charge the zero emission revolution – right across the country.
Mike Thornton, Group Director of Operations at Energy Saving Trust commented:
We welcome OLEV’s announcement today of an additional £2.5 million in support of the on-street residential chargepoint scheme. An estimated 25% of cars are parked on street overnight and on-street chargepoints enable their owners to access convenient, cost-effective charging on their doorstep. The switch to ultra-low emission vehicles is essential to reduce emissions and improve air quality in line with Road to Zero’s ambitions.
The allocation of funding for on-street residential chargepoints is part of the £1.5 billion investment underpinned by the Road to Zero Strategy. The strategy consists of one of the most comprehensive packages of support for the transition to zero emission vehicles in the world, supporting the move towards a cleaner, greener, accessible and reliable UK transport network.
As part of this, the government is also investing £37 million into British engineering to develop electric chargepoint infrastructure that could rapidly expand the UK chargepoint network for people without off-street parking and put the UK on the map as the best place in the world to own an electric vehicle.
Innovations to receive investment include underground charging systems, solar powered charging forecourts and wireless charging projects. Much like current mobile phone technology, wireless charging could mean an end to needing to plug your electric vehicle in.
All new-build homes could soon be fitted with an electric car chargepoint, the government has outlined in a public consultation on changing building regulations in England. The consultation comes alongside a package of announcements to support electric vehicle drivers and improve the experience of charging.
The proposals aim to support and encourage the growing uptake of electric vehicles within the UK by ensuring that all new homes with a dedicated car parking space are built with an electric chargepoint, making charging easier, cheaper and more convenient for drivers.
The legislation would be a world first, and complements wider investment and measures the government has put in place to ensure the UK has one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world – as part of the £1.5 billion Road to Zero Strategy.
The government has also set out today that it wants to see all newly installed rapid and higher powered chargepoints provide debit or credit card payment by Spring 2020.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
With record levels of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads, it is clear there is an appetite for cleaner, greener transport.
Home charging provides the most convenient and low-cost option for consumers – you can simply plug your car in to charge overnight as you would a mobile phone.
The government has already taken steps to ensure that existing homes are electric vehicle ready by providing up to £500 off the costs of installing a chargepoint at home.
Having supported the installation of almost 100,000 domestic chargepoints through grant support schemes, the government has also announced that it is consulting on requirements that all new private chargepoints use ‘smart’ technology.
This means an electric vehicle would charge at different times of the day in response to signals, such as electricity tariff information. This would encourage off-peak charging, keeping costs down for consumers.
The consultation proposes using powers under the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act to require most new chargepoints to have smart functionality and meet minimum standards. It also launches a call for evidence on the longer-term options for smart charging.
From 1 July 2019, all chargepoints backed by the government Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme must have the ability to be remotely accessed and capable of receiving, interpreting and reacting to a signal.
Smart charging can reduce high peaks of electricity demands, minimising the impact of electric vehicles on the electricity system – and crucially, keeping costs down for consumers by encouraging off-peak charging.
Michael Ellis, Roads Minister, said:
The government wants the UK to be the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle, with leadership and innovation helping us pave the way to a zero emission future.
We’re in the driving seat of the zero emission revolution. Our new requirements for chargepoints could help keep costs down, ensuring the benefits of green transport are felt by everyone.
Approximately 200 chargepoint models, from 25 chargepoint manufacturers, have been confirmed as eligible after 1 July 2019, and have been marked accordingly on the government’s online chargepoint model approval list.
Last summer the government published the Road to Zero strategy, built around a core mission for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040, and outlined the ambition for all future transport to be cheaper, safer and more accessible in the Future of mobility: urban strategy. Since then, the UK has seen record levels of ultra-low emission vehicles registered.
The measures outlined in the Road to Zero strategy amount to nearly £1.5 billion of investment and represent one of the world’s most comprehensive packages of support for zero-emission vehicles.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are seen as a key driver towards a greener future. Indeed, transport accounts for roughly a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and seriously affects air quality in major cities.
Added to this are EVs growing popularity with drivers. There are now almost 110,000 electric cars and vans on UK roads spurred on by lowering battery costs and a growing range of models. Including plug-in hybrid vehicles, EVs now account for 2% of new registrations. The Department for Transport and the EU forecasts that the UK will add 2 million plug-in cars by 2020.
This would be a significant increase to around 19% of new cars sold.
This means that within 2 years, 1 in every 5 cars sold will be electric, with drivers expecting to find charge points at their frequented destinations and workplace.
Part of the governments’ plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to promote and enable greater use of zero- and low-emission forms of transport, including an increased use of electric vehicle charge points, which can be funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.