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Mother And Daughter Charging Battery Of Electric Car. In The Background, Dad Takes The Stroller Out Of The Trunk


Electric vehicles aren’t simply skyrocketing in popularity, they’re firmly here to stay. A quick look at the low running costs, environmental advantages and the fully charged driving experience that comes with making the switch and it’s easy to understand why sales have increased by over 40% in recent years.

That’s why we’ve put together this Beginner’s Guide to Electric Vehicles. On top of answering the most common questions and making sense of all the buzzwords and acronyms, we’ll explain how switching to an EV will help save you money and show the planet a little more love along the way. Let’s get started.


Let’s begin with the big one, fuel vs electricity. In almost every scenario, running a car on electricity costs far less than filling it up with petrol or diesel. Naturally there’s a host of factors to consider, from model type, charge location and journey distance to whether you’ll be zipping up the motorway or scooting around the city. Check out Zapmap’s handy Journey Cost Calculator to see how much you could save.

As EVs have far fewer moving parts, maintenance and servicing is a great deal simpler (you still need to do it though!). Then there’s the benefit of paying no road tax and avoiding Clean Air Zone charges including London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, which costs a hefty £12.50 a day. You’ll also find many supermarkets allow you to charge for free while you shop, which is another handy little cost saver.

Generally speaking however, electric vehicles are more expensive to buy than traditional petrol or diesel-powered cars. Prices have greatly come down in the past few years which is why renting one is such a great idea! Drive an EV without the upfront costs and financial commitment!


There’s a host of benefits for going electric, but the most important by far is the positive environmental impact. According to the World Health Organisation, seven million people die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution*. That’s a terrifying stat, so any tech that can help reduce harmful emissions entering the atmosphere can only be a good thing.

Zero emissions are just one of the eco perks that come with fully electric vehicles. Unlike fossil fuels, electricity is a renewable energy which means limited resources aren’t being mined to extinction. A host of eco-friendly materials are also increasingly being used during the manufacturing process, everything from reclaimed woods and recycled steel to vegan leather and lobster shells (honestly).

Aerial drone shot of vehicles travelling along a road with a dense forest either side

Despite a ton of fake news suggesting otherwise, EV batteries can also be recycled when they reach the end of the life. This is usually after around eight years or 100,000 miles. Some manufacturers choose to break them into parts to be used in other EV batteries, while others opt to sell them on for repurposing as energy-storage units for tech such as solar power. That’s because most batteries still have 75% of their original capacity left when they reach the end of their EV life.

*Source: www.who.int/health-topics/air-pollution#tab=tab_1
Source: www.theecoexperts.co.uk/electric-vehicles/what-happens-to-dead-batteries#link-can-electric-car-batteries-be-recycled


You’re probably well aware, but in 2035 the UK government is banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. What may be more of a surprise is that hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars are now also facing the same ban. That means in little over a decade only fully electric cars and vans can be sold from new. It’s important to note you’ll still be able to drive petrol and diesel cars, or grab a used one from the secondary market, but the costs associated with running them are only likely to go up and up. That’s why it’s the perfect time to start thinking about making the switch.


Discover the difference between hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric models.


Get to grips with regenerative braking, battery technology and single gear driving. 


Banish range anxiety and get the most out of every charge with our handy tips.