There's a fair bit of jargon and basic knowledge to pick up - but don't worry we've got all the info you need below.
Quick start guide
- Car App
You need to get the app for your car (almost all cars have this functionality. You will be able to get information about the state of charge. More advanced feature include remote defrosting, setting charge schedules, and lots more.
- Charging and route planning
There are lots of these, and people find the features of different apps suit them differently. They will all help you find chargers and plan routes. Some major ones to consider are:
- Zap Map
- A Better Route Planner
- Payment cards and apps
The UK government requires that all new chargers are able to accept contactless payments, so the majority of chargers will accept this. However, many were fitted prior to this requirement and will require an app or an RFID card to pay.
- Home Charging
Getting an EV charger fitted at home can be expensive (expect to pay around £1,000 fitted), but pay for itself in cheap charging. It makes running your EV super convenient too.
- Real world range
In the same way as they quote Miles Per Gallon figures for their other cars, Manufacturers quote ranges for their EVs which are achieved under near-perfect conditions - you're unlikely to get the quoted range, so expect to get something like 10-20% less in real-workd conditions.
- Winter effect - range
In winter, your cars range will be reduced. Depending on the car, it might reduce a lot. This is due to how Lithium batteries behave in cold weather and additional use of the cars heating system. Some cars will lose up to 30% of range in these conditions, the best cars will lose around 10%. If you’re willing to drive without the cabin heating on, it’s possible to recover some range. Using the heated seats and heated steering wheel is more efficient than cabin air heaters, and some people are happy to do that.
- Winter effect - charging speed
Lithium batteries don’t like cold, and will charge more slowly. Some cars will allow you to heat the battery prior to charging, reducing this effect.