Types of EV
EVs are vehicles that run on battery power. They are available in most sizes including mopeds, motorcycles, cars, vans and larger vehicles.
Battery electric vehicles (BEV) run just on electricity while plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and extended range (E-REV) also use fuel.
BEVs have the lowest running costs and qualify for the most discounts. All types require a charge point to recharge batteries.
There are thousands of public charge points across the UK. Some are free to use while others require payment or membership cards.
Charge points can be installed at your home or workplace if it has off-street parking with access to electricity. This is convenient for businesses as vehicles can charge overnight or during the work day. An average charger provides 30 miles of driving range per hour.
Most homes and workplaces can support a basic charger without electrical upgrades. The government’s grant scheme covers up to £350 per charging point if you own, lease or have an EV on order.
From 30 June 2022 all EV charge points installed in private or workplace settings must be ‘smart’ – this means they can shift energy use to low demand times. This doesn’t apply to publicly accessible charge points. Check GOV.UK for full details.
Contact an authorised installer to find out how to get a charger installed.
How far you can go on a single charge
EV driving range is based on type (BEV, PHEV and E-REV), size (cars, vans or larger vehicle) and factors such as carrying weight and driving style.
General ranges on a single battery charge include:
- 50 miles for PHEVs
- 100 to 300 miles for BEVs
- 150 to 300 miles for E-REVs
How much weight you can carry
The maximum weight for an electric vehicle and its contents is 4,250kg. This includes a trailer weighing up to 750kg. You can drive an EV at maximum weight with a category B licence.
Discounts on new EVs
The UK government provides grants to bring the purchase price of EVs closer to other vehicles.
Discounts for new vehicles include:
- £2,500 off cars under £35,000
- £3,000 off small vans
- £6,000 off large vans
- £16,000 off trucks
Cars over £35,000 are no longer eligible. There is no maximum purchase price for van and truck discounts.
You don’t need to do anything to get the discount. It’s taken off the cost of your vehicle when you buy it. Check the full list of eligible vehicles on GOV.UK.
Buy, rent or lease an EV
Use these websites to compare prices of new EVs:
Prices are quoted with government discounts already applied.
You can also lease or rent an EV. Use these websites to compare options:
Running and repair costs
EVs are cheaper to run than petrol and diesel vehicles, especially if you charge them at your home or business during off-peak electricity hours. The average cost to drive 100 miles is:
- £4 to £6 for a BEV on home charge
- £8 to £10 for a BEV on public charge
- £13 to £16 for petrol or diesel
EV drivers are also exempt from common charges, including:
- London city centre daily congestion charge (£15) and ULEZ charge (£12.50 to £100)
- London area daily LEZ charge (£100 to £300)
- LEZ charges in other UK cities
- annual vehicle tax
- parking fees in some areas
The simpler mechanics of many EVs also means less repairs over time, though you can expect to pay about 20% more for insurance.
What’s coming next
As part of the UK’s net zero strategy, more low emission zones will be introduced in cities throughout 2021.
The sale of all new petrol or diesel cars will end in 2030, leading manufacturers to invest more in the production and improvement of EVs. Battery range and charging efficiency are expected to increase over time.