10 things you need to know about electric cars

Electric vehicles are taking the world by storm, with their popularity soaring over recent years following concerns for the planet and global warming. At Hilti, we’ve made it a part of our sustainability initiative to roll out electric vehicles across the business for employees that need them, such as our Account Managers. With change comes a lot of questions, so we’ve put together a list of the top 10 things you need to know if you’re also thinking of investing in an electric car.

1. They run on electricity, not petrol or diesel

Electric cars have an electric motor, which – you guessed it – mean they run solely on electricity. Because there’s no engine, they don’t require any petrol or diesel. The only exception are hybrid vehicles which have an electric motor and engine, so can use both electricity and petrol/diesel.

2. There's nearly 20,000 charging points across the UK

Public electric charging points can be found at nearly 20,000 locations throughout the UK, with sometimes multiple connectors at each location. With this number growing every day, drivers should find it just as easy to find a charging point as they would a petrol station.

3. You can install a charging point at your home

Charging your electric vehicle at home is certainly the most convenient option, especially if you plug it in overnight and wake up to a full battery in the morning. The total cost for installing a charging point at home is around £850, but a £350 OZEV grant can be deducted for electric car drivers – which makes it a much more attractive price point.

4. Some public charging points are free

If the environmental benefits weren't enough, some public charging points are completely free to use! These are often at supermarkets or car parks, so keep your eyes peeled if you want to save those pennies. Alternatively, slow charging at home will cost you around £5-10 depending on your electricity tariff and car’s battery size, whilst rapid charging at motorway stations will set you back around £6-7.

5. A full battery will last around 100-200 miles

Please enter alternative text here (optional)

Most fully charged electric vehicles can be driven for around 100 miles before they need recharging, although newer models may even last 200 miles. This will only improve as battery technology advances over time.

6. You can charge a car in as little as 30 minutes

Rapid charging points can charge your vehicle in just 30 minutes, although this will always depend on the size of your car’s battery. However, most drivers won’t wait until their battery is empty to recharge it, instead opting to charge it whenever it’s parked. Home charging points typically have a lower power rating of 7kW, so will take around 8 hours to recharge a battery from empty to full.

7. They’re emission free

Because an electric vehicle doesn’t have an exhaust, they don’t release any emissions. Not only is this one of the main environmental benefits of owning an electric car, but it also means you won’t pay road tax or congestion charges in London. Win win!

8. They’re cheaper to maintain

Please enter alternative text here (optional)

Electric cars consist of 4 main components – the motor, the charger, the battery and the inverter – meaning they cost less to service than conventional cars. They don’t require oil either, so regular oil changes aren’t needed. When you also consider the lower price of electricity compared to petrol and diesel, you’ll make some great savings all round.

9. Electric cars don’t have gears

Because they run directly from the electric motor, electric cars don’t need a manual or automatic gearbox. There isn’t a clutch either, as the electric motor can produce torque from 0 RPM upwards. They have a very wide power band and run at a high RPM, so a simple fixed-ratio transmission is all that’s needed. The speed of the car depends entirely on how much acceleration you demand. 

10. They’ll soon be the only option

Conventional petrol and diesel cars will be banned from UK production in 2030, with hybrid vehicles remaining on sale until 2035. After 2035, only pure electric vehicles will be permitted to be sold by car manufacturers, meaning electric truly is the future. Although this doesn’t apply to petrol and diesel cars already in existence (they can still be purchased second hand), it’s likely that the UK will make the mass shift to electric cars over the next few decades.

If you’d like to learn more about Hilti's initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint, visit our sustainability page here