Electric Cars: Explained

Looking to go green and lease an electric car? Here's our guide to electric cars; teaching you everything you need to know about electric cars and their benefits! 

What Is an Electric Car?

An electric car is a car powered by an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine fuelled by petrol or diesel. Electric cars became mainstream during the late-1800s and early-1900s thanks to the fact that they were quiet, easy to drive and lack pollutants. However, the fuel-powered engines won out in the end as fuel at the time was cheap to buy. Now, fuel prices are only increasing week by week, so electric cars are becoming popular once more.

How Do Electric Cars Work?

Overall, there isn’t much difference in functionality between an electric car and a fuel-powered car. Electric cars are simply powered differently. They have a battery pack that acts as the fuel to power the electric motor. The battery is recharged by plugging the car into a wall outlet or charging point. You can have a charging point installed at your home or use one of many publicly accessible charging points on the road.

Don’t be worried about finding a charging point. The number of charging points in the UK now outnumbers the number of petrol stations!

Pros Of Electric Cars

  • Quiet Operation – Electric cars are incredibly quiet when comparing them to petrol or diesel car. They emit minimum noise so can make your car journeys quite peaceful.
  • Extra Space – The space required for an electric motor in an electric car is smaller than that of an internal combustion engine (ICEs). This means although the same size on the outside, the inside is bigger and feels much more spacious.
  • Energy-Efficient - Petrol or diesel-powered engines waste a lot of the energy they produce with an average of 60% of energy being lost to friction and heat. In comparison, EVs consume far less energy than ICE when travelling the same distance.
  • Lower Maintenance Costs – Electric car motors do not require as much maintenance as a fuel-powered engine. They also don’t require oil changes.
  • Smaller Environmental Impact – Electric cars do not emit any tailpipe emissions, so your carbon footprint is greatly reduced when switching to an electric car.
  • Tax Saving Benefits – As electric cars are zero-emission vehicles, they are tax-free!

Cons of Electric Cars

  • Cost – When you compare the purchase price of an electric car to a petrol vehicle, you can see a significant difference. Electric cars are more expensive to purchase outright and with the government reducing the number of purchase incentives (the OLEV grant), this price only keeps increasing.
  • Range – Electric cars currently do not travel as far on a single charge as an ICE car can travel on a full tank of fuel. The average electric range is around 203 miles while the average petrol car range is 425 miles. It also depends on the type of car you go for: the Smart EQ fortwo cabrio can only travel 60 miles from full while a Mercedes EQS 450+ can travel 395 miles from full. The ranges on most electric cars can differ depending on how they are driven as well, so the advertised range of the car is not always the range you get.
  • Charging Speeds – It takes more time to charge an electric car than it does to fill up an ICE car with fuel.

What Types of Electric Cars Are There?

Technically, there is only one type of fully electric car but there are a host of hybrid cars that use an electric battery to help power it. You can find out more about hybrid cars on our Hybrid Car: Explained page.

How Do I Charge My Electric Car?

Electric cars are charged by plugging them into either a plug socket at home, a home charger on your drive or into a charging station in various locations across the UK. It is most convenient to charge an electric car when it is parked whilst you are at home or after reaching your destination. On average 60% of an electric car’s charging time comes from home charging, 30% occurs at work, 7% is destination charging and 3% is en route charging.

You are responsible for any facilities required to charge your car at your home as not all electric cars come with a home charging station installed free of charge. You should also ensure you have the space and convenience to enable home charging before you order a lease vehicle.  

Follow this link to Zapmap.com (https://www.zap-map.com/live/) which gives you the locations of all charging stations in the UK. This can help you plan your route charging if you ever need to take a trip that exceeds your EVs range.

There are two types of charging cables for electric cars:

Type 2 to Three-Pin: This type of cable allows you to plug into a wall outlet from your home. They however offer a slower charge time than a Type 2 charger.

Type 2 to Type 2: This type of cable allows you to plug into a charging station (whether at home or when you are out and about). They offer a faster charging time than a 3-Pin charger.

It is also essential to know that although all-electric cars come with a charging cable; they do not all come with the same one. It is best to check which cable your electric car comes with so you can be prepared when it arrives.

Why Lease Electric Cars?

There are quite a few benefits to leasing electric cars which can reduce the number of cons for electric cars in general.

  • You don’t have to worry about the cost of the car as you don’t purchase the car at all through the lease. You pay for the time you are using the car in monthly rentals – so instead of settling for a lower model, you can branch out and look at more high-end models of electric cars.
  • Electric car technology is ever evolving and improving with new technology being released every year. A lease allows you to hand back your car after a few years and lease a brand new one straight away; this means that you can take advantage of the new technology each time.

Facts About Electric Cars

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about leasing an electric car or want to take advantage of our electric car lease deals, you can get in contact with our team who will be happy to help! Give us a call at 0345 350 3776, email us at enquiries@willowleasing.com or send us a message on our live chat service.

You can start browsing our electric car lease deals on our electric hub page as well!