The Ultimate Electric Car Buying Guide

An Electric Vehicle can save you money, whilst doing it's bit for the planet, too. There's never been a better time to go electric, read on for more information.

Why buy electric?

With the February 2020 climate change targets moving the deadline for buying a petrol, diesel or hybrid car from 2040 to 2035, the idea of buying an electric car has never felt timelier.

One of the biggest reasons to buy is that fully electric vehicles are better for the environment, as they emit less greenhouse gases and air pollutants over their life than a petrol or diesel car. Read more to see why buying electric could be for you.

How do electric cars work?

Fully electric cars have one or multiple electric motors, fed by a lithium-ion battery pack. The easiest way to look at it is the engine of a typical diesel or petrol car has been replaced for the electric motors, and the fuel tank for the lithium-ion battery pack. The electric car is driven by the electric motor or motors which consumes electricity stored in the battery pack, in the same way a diesel or petrol engine uses the fuel from the fuel tank.

Lithium-ion batteries are the most common type used in electric cars. They store electricity obtained from the grid by charging through a cable, the same way you would for other electrical items such as your mobile phone or tablet. Electric cars can be charged through either a home wall box or a public charging unit.

More About Regenerative Braking

The electric motor is controlled from the power from the battery which is connected to the accelerator. The amount of acceleration then determines how much power is sent to the motor, which then determines how fast the car moves. Most electric cars also come with regenerative braking technology. And so, lifting off the accelerator reminds the car to slow down and in turn the electric motors to recover energy that is then transmitted back into the car’s battery.

Unlike diesel and petrol cars, electric cars do not have a gearbox. As the electric motor delivers the maximum torque immediately and doesn’t need gears to optimise performance or economy.

Benefits of electric cars

There are some very attractive incentives and cost advantages by buying an electric car. The main one being the Government Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG) - an incentive for buyers of Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles. This enables customers to claim up to £3,500 off the price of their electric vehicle.

The second being the fuel cost savings! The average cost of charging an electric car is around 35p per kW using a rapid charging point or as low as 12p if you choose to charge the vehicle via a home charging unit. With that in mind, charging a medium-sized 40kW battery would cost £4.80 calculating at just 3p per mile, in comparison to 18p in a standard diesel engine.

Charging at Home

Yes, you can charge at home! Whilst it is possible to charge electric cars at home using a three-pin plug and socket, but by installing a compact domestic unit charging unit you can recharge up to three times faster. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) provides grant funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle charge points at domestic properties across the UK.

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based scheme that provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge-points, for eligible businesses, charities, and public sector organisations. There are even more great incentives for businesses with the Jaguar I-PACE. Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs) - businesses that purchase cars that emit less than 75g/km CO2, which includes the Jaguar I-PACE, are eligible for a 100% first-year allowance. Please contact our team for more information.

Do I need to pay the Congestion Charge?

Another great benefit is fully electric charges are exempt from paying any congestion and city charges. Free charging facilities may be available whilst you are parked in cities at such locations as shopping centres, hotels, and other venues. This is referred to as destination charging. Others may offer reduced charging fees based on your time spent at the venue. In some cities, electric vehicles are permitted to use high-occupancy vehicle lanes, without passengers, as well as bus lanes. You may also park in places where petrol or diesel vehicles are not permitted or can park at a lower cost. Most road/toll charges are also exempt in an electric vehicle.

Electric car charging & charging stations. Will I make it to my destination?

We are aware there are still some doubts around electric charging and mileage range, most electric cars now offer a range of 200 miles and over, making day to day driving easy. Whilst, further mileage journeys may need a little more advanced planning, you can use a public charging point along the way. Apps such as Zap-Map or OpenChargeMap can help you track down one in advance or locate one near to your current location.

Best electric car? How can Rockar help?

As a Jaguar retailer, we would put forward the fully electric, Jaguar I-PACE. World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year, and World Green Car, the Jaguar I-PACE brings thrilling Jaguar performance to electric vehicles. With a range of up to 292 miles and a high-tech lithium-ion 90kWh battery, I-PACE is the next generation of electric car technology.

Stay connected with I-PACE using the Jaguar Remote app. Compatible with most Apple and Android smartphones, the Remote app allows you to stay up to date and interact with key vehicle information including available range, charging status, charger rate, and plug state. Whilst plugged in, the I-PACE will always use the charge from the cable rather than the battery to pre-control features such as turning your heating up before entering the vehicle.

Looking for an I-PACE on lease?

For more information contact our knowledgeable experts on 0330 200 0330 or pop into our store in Westfield Stratford city where our Jaguar Brand Ambassadors will be able to answer any of your I-PACE questions.