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Electric Vehicles, Grants and More!

27 January 2020

  • Community
  • Renewable energy

The number of electric vehicles (EV) available on the market is expanding and increasingly more people are looking to buy them. Read this article to find out more about electric cars and the financial incentives.

Types of Electric Vehicles (EV):

Battery-electric EV (BEC): A vehicle which is powered by electricity only. The vehicle is powered by an external power source, for example, a charge point. They do not produce any tailpipe emissions.

Plug-in Hybrid EV (PHEV): A vehicle which has a battery, electric drive motor and an internal combustion engine (ICE). It can be driven using the ICE, or electric drive motor or both, and can be recharged from an external power source.

Extended Range EV (E-REV): These are a version of plug-in hybrids, they combine a battery, electric drive motor and a small petrol or diesel generator. The electric motor always drives the wheels with the ICE acting as a generator when the battery is depleted.

What are the benefits of Electric Vehicles?

  • There are fewer mechanical components, 20 moving parts in an electric engine compared to nearly 2000 moving parts in an ICE engine, therefore lower the servicing and maintenance costs.
  • Pure EVs have a zero rate of Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax).
  • Plug-in cars emitting 75g/km CO2 or less are eligible for a 100% discount from the London Congestion Charge.
  • Free parking for EVs is available in some towns and cities.

Charging an EV:

There are various types of EV charge points which can be found across the UK, find what each one means:

Slow chargers (up to 3kW) – Slow charging is the most common method of charging an EV and is typically done by owners at home and overnight. A full charge can take 6-12 hours.

Fast chargers (7-22kW) – These are faster charging points, often found in supermarket car parks and shopping centres. A recharge on a 7kW charge point will take 3-5 hours, whilst a recharge on a 22kW charge point will typically recharge a car in 1-2 hours. Not all EVs can be charged using fast chargers, however, they can still be connected to a fast charger (with the right connector) and will draw the correct current according to their capability.

Rapid chargers (43-120kW) – A rapid charger can provide up to 80% of a charge in 20-40 minutes. Not all EVs can use a rapid charger. While the short charge time make this option very convenient, regular use of rapid charging can reduce battery life. Most rapid chargers can be found at motorway service stations.

There are several charging networks across the UK. To locate a charge point please visit the national networks:

Financial incentives for EV:

Plug-in Car Grant – You can receive a discount on the price of eligible brand new low-emission vehicles through the Plug-In Grant from the government. The discounts are dependent on the EV vehicle and the category it falls into (car, van, moped, etc.). The following are examples of the available grant discounts:

  • 35% of the cost of an electric car, up to the maximum of £3,500 provided the car has CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and can travel at least 112km without any emissions at all.
  • 20% of the cost of an electric van, up to a maximum of £8,000.
  • 20% of the cost of an electric motorcycle, up to maximum of £1,500.

Please note, not all vehicles will be eligible for a grant, only vehicles which have been approved by government are eligible for a grant funding.

For more information on the Plug-in Car Grant and the cars which are eligible, please visit the Office for Low Emissions Vehicle (OLEV) Plug-in Car Grant information page.

Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) – Currently, the EVHS assists residents in the total cost of the charge point and associated installation costs. For more information about this, please read our “Grant Funding for Electric Vehicle Charge Points

Currently, there are a few energy companies which are offering EV tariffs tailored towards EV-owning households. Please visit out EV Homecharge Scheme Grant Funding article to find out more.

All information from:

  1. www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants
  2. www.gov.uk/government/publications/plug-in-car-grant-changes-to-grant-level-november-2018/upcoming-changes-to-the-plug-in-car-grant
  3. energysavingtrust.org.uk/transport/electric-cars-and-vehicles/electric-vehicles
  4. www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/know-how/electric-cars/
  5. www.renewableenergyhub.co.uk/main/electric-vehicle-charging-information/
  6. www.spiritenergy.co.uk/kb-ev-understanding-electric-car-charging
  7. www.zap-map.com/charge-points/ev-energy-tariffs/