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Ultimate Guide to Electric Vehicles


electric is the future

TC Harrison Ford Electric Vehicles


The conversation about electric cars has been around for several years now. In that time manufacturers have answered many concerns, including infrastructure anxiety with a European standard charging point, whilst the Government has tackled pricing issues with incentives for both public and business buyers.
 
Since the Global Pandemic, interest, and excitement about the future of electric vehicles has reached, dare we say it unprecedented levels. Fuelled by a drastically changing lifestyle and a desire to adapt to an eco-friendly way of living, it is time to genuinely consider whether an electric vehicle, hybrid or not, is right for you…
 
Welcome to the TC Harrison Ford ultimate guide to electric vehicles.

The Future of Electric Vehicles

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Deciding whether an electric vehicle is right for you…

There is actually very little to consider when deciding whether an electric vehicle is right for you because ultimately, they will be the norm at some point in our lives, possibly even in the next decade.

Is an electric car right for me?

Electric vehicle technology continues to improve at a rapid rate and unless you undertake large distances then there is a great chance that an electric vehicle could be right for you. With more and more electric vehicles taking to the road each day, they are less becoming ‘the future’ and more ‘the present’. So much so, there are already more electric charging points than fuel stations in the UK and there are very few manufacturers who still do not have an EV option in their range.
 
Think about the audacious Ford Mustang. A couple of years ago an electric version of this powerhouse would have been unheard of. Now? It’s a reality with the Mach-E.
 
A beautiful reality as well.

What do I need for an electric car?

A valid driving license, that’s it.

I know what you are thinking; well how do I charge my car? But don’t fear, we answer that in the ‘how to charge an electric car’ section of the guide. Spoiler: it’s not too dissimilar to charging your phone.

How do electric cars drive?

Just like your current car but typically quieter and more eco-friendlier depending on which powertrain you have. What’s a powertrain? It’s all the parts that make your car move, from the engine to the driveshaft and the axels to the differentials. Thinking about in human form, the chassis is your skeleton and the powertrain is the musculature system.

What electric car options are there?

There are 4 main options when it comes to an electric vehicle. These are:

  • EV (Electric Vehicle)
  • HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle)
  • MHEV (Mild-Hybrid Electrical Vehicle)
  • PHEV (Plug-In Electric Vehicle)
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What is an EV?

The easiest of them all, an EV is a full electric vehicle that runs purely on battery power. You will be required to charge this up either by using your domestic supply, a public charging point or a charging point at your place of work.

View the Electric Vehicle Range

What is an EV?
The easiest of them all, an EV is a full electric vehicle that runs purely on battery power. You will be required to charge this up either by using your domestic supply, a public charging point or a charging point at your place of work.

View the all-electric range

Mustang Mach-E

   
What is a HEV?

The hybrid electric vehicle is where modern electrification of vehicles started. Featuring both a full-size internal combustion engine along with an electric motor and battery pack. Typically, the car will run on the battery alone at low speeds and then once an increase in speed is required, the petrol/diesel engine kicks in.

As you’d expect in a vehicle with a full-size engine, the battery isn’t large enough to take you long distances, however it would be able to make a short journey at low speed. In addition, it’s small enough that with regenerative breaking it will partly charge itself when you press the brake pedal. By sending the electric motor in reverse to act as a generator, which then charges the battery. Without being able to plug-in a full-hybrid, there will be occasions where the car has to burn fuel to charge the small battery.

View the hybrid range

Ford Kuga

   


Ford Mondeo

   
What is a MHEV?
Unsurprisingly, a mild hybrid electric vehicle is just a mild version of the hybrid electric vehicle. The key difference is that unlike a full-hybrid, the mild-hybrid is unable to power a vehicle by itself for an entire journey. Though it can allow the engine to switch off at low speed, or when stationary, and the starter-generator seamlessly restarts when needed.
 
Most commonly, the battery is there to help reduce the workload of the combustion engine. However, in some cases the design and setup of the powertrain means that the battery is utilised to increase power and speed.
View the mild hybrid range

Ford Puma

   
Ford Kuga

   
Ford Tourneo Custom

   
Ford Fiesta

   
Ford Focus

   
What is a PHEV?

You don’t have to be a bright spark to understand that a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle contains a battery that you plug-in to charge up. The advantage of this is that the with a larger battery comes a greater electrical range than the more conventional hybrids. Meaning you are able to travel further before the combustion engine kicks in. In fact, depending on the model and driving conditions, you could travel up to 30 miles on the battery alone which in emission terms is zero.

The innovation behind the plug-in also means that a PHEV intelligently conserves battery life by utilising their efficient combustion engines on longer journeys. Whilst switching to the electric motor in traffic or at low speeds; making a significant difference to lowering the CO2 emissions.

View the Plug-In Hyrbid Range

Ford Puma

   
Ford Tourneo Custom

   

Answering the concerns surrounding electric vehicles…


Anxiety surrounding electric vehicles is a genuine misconception of reality. In August 2019, there were more electric charging stations than fuel stations and we haven’t stopped installing… Infrastructure is already here, we are already ready and the affordability is, well much more affordable than you think. To quote Mary Poppins, “some stuff and nonsense could be fun”. That is, if the stuff and nonsense is the unreasonable anxiety.  

How far will an electric car really go on one charge?

Arguably the greatest concern for new electric vehicle owners is how far an electric vehicle will really go on one charge. The answer is: almost as far as you’d expect a tank of fuel to go. In the beginning, the likes of the Nissan Leaf and the Renault Zoe could barely manage 50 miles on a full charge. Now we have models such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E that can reach 370 miles.
 

How can I charge my electric car?

Just like you charge your mobile phone but with more options; at home, at work, at your destination and en-route.

Charging my electric car at home

60% of the population have off-street parking and even more, 84% of car owners have off-street parking. Which means the chances of being able to charge your car at home is high. Having a dedicated home charger installed (which is only a small initial outlay to help save money in the long run), is the most common way of charging.

A dedicated charging point will provide the fastest possible charging speeds, typically between 10 and 30 miles of range per hour when plugged in. You will also be safe in the knowledge the charging point has built-in safety features.

Charging my electric car at work

Just like when you’re at home, your car is often parked at work for prolonged periods of time meaning a great opportunity to charge or top up the battery of your car.
 
Many organisations are now installing charging stations for employees and visitors as a perk and these charging points are almost always the same as the one at home. So yes, you will have to take your charging cable with you; but there’s nothing else to it.

Charging an electric car at public destinations

Commonly, electric vehicle owners will ‘top-up’ their battery whilst out at their destination. Whether this is at the shops, gym, cinema, you name it. These frequent top-ups mean that you won’t run low or have to wait whilst your battery recharges from empty.
 
Again, the speed of these charges are similar to when at home with 20-30 miles of range per hour plugged in. However, they are typically free to use as this offers an incentive for you to visit the business. Yes, you will still need to bring your own cable and you may have to download an app to start your charge; but in today’s world this is nothing out of the everyday.

Charging your electric car en-route

There may be occasions when the remaining range on your charge isn’t enough to achieve your destination. Fear not as in this scenario you can take advantage of the growing network of high power rapid chargers found in service stations and other locations throughout the UK.
 
No, you don’t actually have to bring your own cable as the 43kW+ cables are tethered to the charging points and yes it will fit your car as there is a European standard to ensure this. As you’d expect, with these being expensive to install and run, there is a charge for using them but this is just like topping up with fuel en-route.

The flat battery fear of electric vehicles


What if all the charging points are full and what if my battery runs flat?

Take it from someone who has driven through the Mojave Desert with a fuel tank almost empty and not a petrol station in sight, today’s problem isn’t a real problem and never will it be. Because in the scenario of turning up to a petrol station that is full, what do you do? Wait or find one that isn’t full. The same principle applies for charging electric vehicles and ask yourself this, how many times have you seen all the charging points full? Me neither. Infrastructure is and will continue to, keep ahead of the game. Before you know it every single space in the supermarket will have a charging point.

What if my car is unplugged by someone else?

Once your cable is plugged-in and locked it is not possible to unplug.

Can I charge my electric vehicle in the rain?

Yes. There are numerous layers of protection when it comes to stopping rainwater causing damage to your car or charger.

Will a car battery degrade like a phone battery does?

No. Almost all car batteries come with a guarantee of 8 years and last between 15-20 years.

Why does the marketing talk about charging to 80%?

This is because once your battery reaches 80% the charge will slow down to ensure overheating doesn’t occur. So you may experience slower charging time between 80-100% but this is considered the norm as the only times you’re expected to have a fully charged battery is when you charge overnight. Hopefully, this has changed your current perception around owning an electric vehicle and has ridden the anxieties of the unknown. Now, it’s all about how you make the decision between full-electric or hybrid...
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Benefits of owning an Electric Car…


Aside from the environmental and money-saving benefits of owning an electric car, there are also additional benefits and incentives.

0% Tax on Electric Vehicles for Company Cars

Since April 6, 2020 cars first registered will have company car tax rates reduced by two percentage points. That means for a pure electric vehicle with zero tailpipe emissions, company car drivers will be taxed at 0%, paying no BIK tax at all. Furthermore, the zero-percentage rate is also extended to company car drivers in pure electric vehicles registered prior to April 6, 2020, who were already looking forward to a much-reduced rate of 2% for 2020/21. The 0% rate will also apply to company cars registered from April 6, 2020, with emissions from 1-50g/km and a pure electric mile range of 130 miles or more. Both will then increase to 1% in 2021/22 and 2% in 2022/23.

The cost of owning an electric car

Endless factors come into consideration here, from Government grant schemes on the initial purchase price to how you recharge and where you drive to your energy tariff. In most cases, running an electric car saves you significant money in comparison to an ICE car.

Recharging an electric car vs refuelling

The average UK electricity price is around 14p per kWh and if you assume an electric car will travel 3.5 miles per kWh on average then to travel 100 miles would cost around £4 or 4p per mile. However, assuming the petrol car’s fuel consumption is 50.5mpg (which was the average in 2018) then fuel, at £1.24 per litre would cost around £10 for the 100 mile trip or 10p per mile. If you are on a cheaper fixed tariff for your electricity, then it's likely the cost to fill up your electric car will be cheaper still. And that is assuming you’re charging at home. You could make even bigger savings by recharging at work or ‘topping-up’ when you’re out and about. Naturally, the above is only an indication and depending on where you live, the prices you pay for both electricity and fuel and the vehicle you own may increase or decrease these savings.

Car tax on electric cars

Now that vehicle tax is based on carbon dioxide emissions, pure electric cars are exempt from paying for the first year. Subsequent years are also free, unless your electric car is over £40,000 in which case you’ll still pay a lower tax than petrol or diesel cars for the next 5 years.

Maintenance cost on electric cars

We all know the older a car is the more servicing it requires. Fortunately, electric cars have fewer moving parts so naturally this means fewer things to go wrong. Many leasing companies and manufacturers also offer maintenance packages for an additional cost to help cover any unforeseen issues.

The adoption of electric vehicles

Like with anything new to the market, there is a period of time where consumers have to adapt; for electric vehicles that process began a number of years ago. A limited range and high cost price was a huge stumbling block for almost all consumers. Since then, the manufacturing process has developed and the awareness around our own carbon-footprint has grown tenfold thanks to the likes of Greta Thunberg.

Now, electric vehicles are on the brink of being the norm. The latest models are considered to be the same price in the long-run as ICE vehicles and by 2023 it is widely accepted that ICE vehicles will become socially unacceptable with over a third of vehicle owners now driving an EV.

Not just that, but in the next couple of years it is fully expected that EV’s will be materially cheaper than ICE vehicles, which will well and truly set the wheels in motion for rapid adaptation. Before 2025 ICE leases are thought to be 50% expensive than EV with them being almost impossible a year later.

How can we be confident? Norway are pretty much there already with EV leasing over half the price of an ICE leasing option. So it’s only a matter of time before that option isn’t viable for anyone...

From here it’s then a matter of completing the cycle of every car owner purchasing a new vehicle; which will no doubt be electric. Ultimately, the chances are you have already purchased your last sole ICE vehicle.

The future of electric vehicles has just become the present.
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