So many unknowns. So many stories with vested interests. How will I know when I’ve made the right or the best choice for me?
Here at Mand Made, we have tried to give you an unbiased, honest and comprehensive list of questions which are often asked by people considering the purchase of an Electric Vehicle. In no particular order or importance ….
Click on any of the headings below for more information.
What are the four MODES of charging?Electric Vehicle (EV) Charge Points (CP) are continuously evolving as the market develops and standards are also keeping pace to control the diversity of design and yet retain commonality of design for users and developers to follow. There are currently four modes of charging although you may not see all of them in the field. Mode 1: Sometimes called Standard Charge and is for small vehicles only. The system comprises a fixed cable and a non-dedicated socket. A vehicle can be charged in this mode but can take up to 24 hours to reach an acceptable level but runs the risk of overheating the power socket since these are not always rated for continuous use at the high current required. These are also banned in some parts of Europe. Mode 2: Sometimes called Slow Charge the system comprises a dedicated cable with an in-line control box and connection to a standard wall socket. The in-line control box comprises a Residual Current Detector (RCD) which is a safety device and also a controller to regulate the supply to the EV when full charge is approaching. There is no remote monitoring or reporting and scheduled charging is only controlled by the vehicle. Mode 3: Also called Fast Charge this mode requires a dedicated CP with inbuilt controller. The CP can be tethered or using the owners cable and is the minimum requirement for the OLEV grant. Mode 4: Also called Rapid Charge. This mode uses a large, fixed Direct Current charging station usually found at Motorway Service Stations or Drive Through food outlets. They have dedicated cables and can charge even a large EV in a short period of time because the energy is sent directly to the battery and not through the EV’s inverter. If you wish to know more about charging modes please feel free to drop us a line or call us.
How can I find where nearby Charge Points are?
Local Charge Points are easy to find.
Firstly, do you know that there are more Charge Points installed in the UK than there are petrol Stations. This happened around November 2019.
Secondly, install an App or navigate to ZapMap and after entering your post code, or allowing the App to use your location, a map will display showing where you can charge your car. It also shows the charger types available, when they were last in use, any reported problems and the system can even give you directions in your favourite navigation system.
The web site is at :ZapMap Route Planner
Can I use a 13Amp Plug to charge my EV?
Of course you can …
However it is not recommended. Why?
- It takes so long. Almost 24 hours to charge a medium sized EV from 20% to full.
- The socket that you plug into may not be adequately protected from faults if the vehicle is charging outside and a PEN fault occurs.
- You might have to leave a window open for the cable and this could be a security issue.
- On the plus side – always take the cable with you because you can do an emergency top up at a friendly relatives house.
What funding or Grants are available?
If you are a qualifying domestic customer, we can probably install a EV charging Point under the OLEV EVHS Scheme. Provided you meet the criteria, you can receive a government incentive grant for up to 75% (max £500) to offset the cost of a single installation.
If you are a qualifying business or workplace customer, we are able to install under the OLEV WCS scheme. Provided your workplace meets the required criteria, grants are available up to £10,000 per site.
What do the abbreviations EV, PHEV, BEV and EREV mean?
EV – Electric Vehicle
PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid EV
BEV – Battery EV
EREV – Extended Range E
How much can I save with an EV?
If you are a company car driver with Benefit In Kind (BIK) allowance, you will find that this allowance drops to 0% in 2001 tax year, then rises slowly in subsequent years. This can save you almost £4000 in BIK stoppages.
If you are allowed to charge up at work you may be able to charge for free.
If you have solar panels at home you can literally ‘Drive on Sunshine’
How far can I travel on a single charge?
- upon how fast you accelerate and how much breaking you do.
Tell me more about the OLEV Grant …
The Government Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has issued a series of guidelines which, if implemented, may entitle users of Electric Vehicles (EV) to a grant , The OLEV Grant, to assist with the purchase of the Charging Equipment required to power an EV at a home, workplace or destination such as a Cafe, Supermarket or Hotel.
This grant is different for Domestic and Workplace installations. For a domestic Installation, it is possible to reclaim up to 75% of the installation cost up to a maximum of £500 per installation, per vehicle(max 2) and per household. For a workplace the grant has a maximum of £10,000 with up to £500 per charging point being available.
There are many rules and reporting systems which have to be adhered to for the grant to be awarded and the main ones are summarised below:
- The equipment MUST be SMART. It must link to the Internet and allow remote control to limit demand at certain times. It must be compliant with strict manufacturing specifications and be installed by competent persons.
- The equipment must be installed in an approved location with controlled access granted to authorised users who may be employees, fee paying guests or the equipment owner.
- The equipment must be installed by a registered installation company pre-approved by OLEV and by the equipment manufacturers. Mand Made Group Limited has these approvals and authorisations.
- A minimum of a MODE 3 charger must be installed to qualify. See our FAQ on Charging Modes for more details.
- These rules are made because it is the UK taxpayer who is funding the grant and there has to be an audit-able system in place to ensure that funds are used appropriately.
- The Grant will only be issued for an EV once only during its lifetime. Only two per household even if ownership of the property has changed and there are rules for workplaces and destination charging points to limit the maximum funding which can be given to any organisation.
Mand Made Group Limited are experienced in these type of installations and can guide you through the process if required.
For the bottom line the Government OLEV Grant scheme web site can be found here
Which Electric Vehicle should I buy or lease?
Always a difficult one. There are so many to choose from but essentially it is about how does the EV fit into your life style. Do you want a city car, an SUV, a sports car or a working vehicle?
Not surprisingly the choice is much the same as choosing an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle with the additional factor of range and re-charge times.
The major change we think that you will face is that the vehicle you drive now, probably and ICE variety, is usually topped up with fuel when the tank is getting low or just before a long journey. With an EV the strategy is that you fill up all the time. When ever you get in the vehicle the ‘tank’ (aka battery) will always be full. You don’t even have to be present while the battery is filling. You can plug in at a coffee shop, supermarket, meeting venue or hotel and then the ‘tank’ will be full when you drive away.
Home charging will become an additional charging place and will of course be unattended. When you get into the vehicle the battery will be full.
To return to the main question …. Which vehicle to choose?
Not surprisingly there are web sites to help you. Here are a couple to try. Each is updated when new models are released and each have a comparison feature to see which vehicle is most likely to suit your needs.