Our guide to electric vehicles
The term EV stands for electric vehicle and is referring to vehicles that use electricity as their power source, and do not require petrol or diesel to run. Read more about electric vehicles in our guide: What is EV?
Confused with the jargon around electric and low emission vehicles and want to find out about BEV, PHEV, MHEV or FCEV? Read our guide to the types of electric and low emission vehicles available here
Used electric cars: cars have numerous advantages
Electric cars hit the scene last century, and have greatly evolved since. Today, they're well on their way to becoming the vehicles of the future, thanks to their numerous advantages including:
- A zero-emission vehicle: used electric cars don't emit CO2, making them an ideal alternative to combustion-powered cars. In addition to this eco-friendly plus, driving one may mean you can benefit from access to Clean Air Zones or Ultra Low Emission zones. Some UK local authorities have implemented free parking in certain circumstances too.
- An economical car to run: despite a higher purchase price, a used electric car will result in savings in the long term. Not only is the cost of electricity approx.. £2.50 for 60 miles less, but your maintenance costs will go down.
- Great performance: the question of autonomy with used electric cars is no longer an issue, as proved by the Renault Zoe, the Peugeot e-2008 or even the Fiat 500 Electric. Combined with a smoother driving experience and excellent performance in terms of immediate acceleration due to the instant engine torque, and the lack of vibration.
You can read our full article on the advantages of owning an electric car here
Electric vehicles are also exempt from any ULEZ (Ultra Low emission Zones), LEZ (low emission zones) or CAZ (clean air zones). You can find more information on these zones and their charges here
How much are electric cars?
What is the real cost of an electric car, including the initial purchase price and cost of running and maintaining. We've put together a full guide here to answer these questions.
Are electric cars worth it?
This question means different things depending on what you are looking for in a vehicle. Electric cars are more expensive to purchase but do come with additional benefits. Read our article here where we take a look at the benefits of electric cars to help you decide if the additional cost is worth it.
What about electric car batteries? Can they be replaced?
Can you replace electric car batteries? And at what cost? Read our article here
How do you choose an electric car?
Several criteria must be taken into account to find the used electric car that best suits your needs.
First of all, be aware that the on-board technologies may differ from one model to another. Concerning batteries, manufacturers tend to go for:
- A lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery, which is the least expensive type and has a good level of performance despite an inevitable loss of capacity over the years;
- An LMP battery, reserved for electric vehicles that are used very regularly and at least daily (if they are not charged regularly, the battery will wear out very quickly);
- A polymer battery (Li-Po), which is popular due to its compact size, lightness and excellent resistance to cold. That said, these new generation batteries are the most expensive.
The best choice will also depend on the type of recharge you're after:
- Most models can be plugged into a standard household socket. You won't have to wire up a special plug, but you will have to wait up to ten hours for a full recharge: this shouldn't be a problem if you use your car to get to and from work, and can leave it to recharge overnight.
- Installing a fast-charging station in your home can be a wise investment if you can't wait until the end of a standard charge cycle. Some new generation charging stations offer an 80% charge in just 20 minutes, but the norm for a full charge is generally between 4 and 8 hours.
Charging an electric vehicle
This is one of the biggest considerations for buying an electric car. You could choose to charge your electric vehicle at home, at work or at a public charge point.
What are the differences and are all electric chargers the same? You can read our article here. When taking an electric vehicle's range into account, manufacturers' advertised ranges may not correspond to your driving style or driving conditions.
- Charge at home
If you wish to have a home charging wallbox installed at your home, SPOTiCAR has selected three wallbox providers to assist you. They are providers with coverage throughout the UK, and have been selected for their expertise and network of qualified technicians:
- British Gas
- Octopus Energy
Your SPOTiCAR retailer can assist you with choosing and installation of a home wallbox.
- Charging in public
Today, a driver in the UK is never more than 25 miles away from a rapid charge-point on motorways and major A roads, and the infrastructure of public charging is growing fast. You can find your nearest public charging points with Octopus Electroverse with access to over 420,000 chargers (and counting!) chargers across the UK and Europe.
How do electric cars work?
Are electric cars automatic?
This is one of the most common questions asked when researching switching from a petrol or diesel to an all-electric vehicle. Read our article here where we take a deeper look at why all electric vehicles are automatic and some of the benefits and drawbacks of switching to an electric vehicle.
How are electric cars more efficient?
Are electric cars really more efficient than those with a combustion engine? Read our article here
How are electric cars better for the environment?
Read our article here which looks at whether electric cars really are greener than combustion engine alternatives, taking consideration of whole life.
Should I buy an electric car?
Buying an electric car is a personal decision based on your needs, budget and other factors. We've pulled together the arguments for and against buying electric cars here to help you make the final decision if an electric car is right for you. We also look at when all cars will be electric here
Used electric cars: the must-have models
Is it the Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf or Peugeot e-208? Not surprisingly, small city cars dominate the used electric car market, but the electric market is growing quickly with more and more models being released. But what are the best electric cars? Take a look at our top modes here and article on What electric car should I buy?
What is the cheapest electric car?
If you’re looking for an electric car with a lower price tag then you will want to go for the smaller models. We look at some of the cheaper models here
When will electric cars be affordable?
We take a look at some predictions and research looking at the affordability of electric cars and commercial vehicles here
Electric vs Hybrid? Which one is best?
In this article we look at the differences between electric and hybrid vehicles.
How can I estimate the value of my electric car?
The resale value of a used electric vehicle can't be compared to that of a combustion-powered car. Electric vehicles have fewer mechanical parts subject to wear and tear, meaning they have a longer life - except for the specific case of the battery. This means electric cars keep their value better than their fuel counterparts.
Do you want to sell your used Peugeot e-208, a Vauxhall Corsa-e, a Renault Zoé or even a Volkswagen ID? 3? SPOTiCAR has a one-stop tool for estimating the value of electric vehicles. By entering the make and model, the registration number and various basic and easy-to-find information, you'll get an indicative value of your car on the used electric market.