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EV beginner guide

group of electric cars

Electric vehicles are becoming more popular and will soon be the future of transportation- yet some people are still reluctant to make the switch. We know it can be a bit intimidating driving an electric car for the first time, especially if you’re already familiar with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. This is why we’re here to teach you the basics – from how electric cars work, to how they drive and charge.

How does an electric car work?

Let’s start with the basics: before you hop into your EV, it might be helpful to understand how it works.

As opposed to the hundreds of parts in a traditional engine, fully electric cars only need two components: a motor (or two for four-wheel drive EVs) to turn the wheels, and a battery pack that powers the motor(s), which is usually placed under the floor of the car.

Electric cars use regenerative braking which converts kinetic energy from slowing down into electricity to add charge to the battery. You will feel the car slowing down when you lift your foot off the accelerator (similar to engine braking in an ICE car).

Driving an electric car

The technology in an EV might seem intimidating at first, but it’s easy to get used to. Most electric cars have wireless keys that just need to be inside the vehicle for you to start the car; as long as the key is present, you can start the car by simply pressing the START/STOP button which is usually located to the right of the steering wheel.

Driving an electric car is like driving an automatic, with the same 4 gears you may already be familiar with (Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive) – once the car is in “Drive”, you don’t need to worry about a clutch pedal or changing gears. Not only are EVs smoother to drive than ICE cars, but their electric motors provide instant torque leading to quick acceleration.

Charging an electric car

When it comes to range, there are plenty of EVs that can go over 200 miles on a single charge. Even the ones with a smaller battery no longer pose a reason for concern, with over 34,000 public charging points now available in the UK. EV charging apps make it easy to find available charging points near you, where you can choose the speed of the charger and connector type. If you’re unsure about what all of this means, you can read our blog about charging where we  explain the different types of chargers and connectors.

Did we mention that you can also charge your car for free? Some supermarket, workplace and hotel car parks have free public charging points- just keep in mind that they might have some restrictions, such as only being for customers or only being able to charge for a limited amount of time.

Costs

Many people still think EVs are ridiculously expensive or ineffective when it comes to range, but with materials becoming more accessible, they have greatly reduced in price over the years. Models like the Fiat 500, Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe are examples of EVs that cost under £30k brand new, with second-hand ones dipping below 20k.

An increasingly popular choice for driving an electric car is a subscription (where insurance, maintenance and breakdown cover are included in the monthly price)- for example, the cheapest car EZOO offers is only £275/month and the only thing you would need to do is charge it. You can browse our available vehicles here. A subscription makes electric cars more accessible and offers the flexibility of swapping the car as opposed to committing to a long-term lease; this is especially beneficial as technology advances and new models are developed!

Driving an electric car can save you money in the long run. Not only is electricity cheaper than petrol or diesel, but even servicing costs less due to EVs having fewer moving parts than their ICE counterparts. They are also exempt from congestion fees and road tax, so switching to an electric vehicle will benefit you, as well as the environment.

When choosing your car, consider how many miles you travel every day or week- you may not need one with a long range if you mainly commute to work and back! If you want to try out your first EV, visit our Browse Cars section, or contact us by sending an email to hello@ezoo.uk.