Making the transition: A step-by-step guide to switching to an electric vehicle
Team Egg | 08/02/2024
Our jargon-free guide is here to help you navigate the nitty gritty of owning an EV
At a Glance
A jargon-free guide to help you navigate owning an EV, from financing to fueling and a lot more
Why owning an EV is much more fuss-free than a petrol or diesel car
Thinking of replacing your fuel-guzzling car with an electric one? You’re not the only one. Electric car sales have consistently shot up over the last 5 years, increasing by a whopping 40% in 2022 and setting a new record high for EV purchases in the UK. In 2023, EV sales continued to soar with 25,000 new EVs on the road and counting just this year.
While EV adoption is on the rise, some drivers are more hesitant to make the switch, fearing the unknown that comes with any new technology that demands change.
But don't let that hold you back! Electric vehicles are fairly easy to understand and you might even find that owning an EV is much more fuss-free than a petrol or diesel car.
Our jargon-free guide is here to help you navigate the nitty gritty of owning an EV, from financing to fueling and a lot more. All you need to do is sit tight, and enjoy this clean ride!
What kinds of EVs are available?
These days, the EV world is buzzing with excitement. New electric vehicles are hitting the streets faster than you can say "fully charged." And trust us, there's something for everyone!
You've probably spotted some of these sleek, electrified rides cruising around town: the Audi E-tron, BMW i4, Citroën e-C4, Fiat 500e, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Honda e, Jaguar I-Pace, Kia e-Niro, Mazda MX-30, Mercedes-Benz EQA, Mini Electric, Nissan Leaf, Peugeot e-208, Polestar 2, Porsche Taycan, Renault Zoe E-Tech Electric, Skoda Enyaq, Tesla Model 3, Vauxhall Corsa-e, Volkswagen ID.3, and Volvo XC40 Recharge.
And guess what? This list is just the tip of the iceberg. With new models launching almost every week, the world of electric vehicles is buzzing with innovation, style, and eco-friendly fun
Step 1: Get an Electric Vehicle 101 from Egg
First, you need to know the basics. Below we’ll take a quick look at the types of EVs you can own and find out if owning an EV is right for you. Spoiler alert: It’s not everyone’s thing to own an EV but most people seem to be loving their greener ride.
Types of electric vehicles:
Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs): BEVs are 100% powered by electricity stored in a battery pack. They have zero tailpipe emissions. Simply put - a battery is the only way to make the car go. For example, they don’t have a little diesel or petrol engine you can fall back on if your battery runs flat. Examples of a BEV would include the Audi Q8 e-tron, Hyundai Ioniq 5 or the Tesla Model 3.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs): It's a hybrid car that plays both sides of the field – it has a battery AND a regular petrol or diesel engine. A PHEV can go about 30-40 miles on electric power alone, thanks to its medium-sized battery. After that, it's like having a trusty backup buddy – the petrol or diesel engine kicks in to keep you moving. So, what's the deal with PHEVs? They're like a bridge between traditional fossil-fuel cars and full-on BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles). Perfect for those who want to dip their toes into the electric waters without diving in headfirst! For short trips, you can be all-electric and eco-friendly in a PHEV. But for those longer journeys, you've got the reassurance of being able to refuel quickly at a petrol station. It's the best of both worlds! However, here's the catch: If you're regularly cruising more than 30-40 miles a day, your PHEV might start acting a bit like its petrol or diesel cousins for those extra miles, emitting emissions along the way. So, consider your daily mileage when choosing the right EV for your eco-adventures! Examples of PHEVs would include the Range Rover Evoque P300e, Ford Kuga PHEV or the BMW 3 Series 330e.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs): HEVs employ an electric motor and gasoline engine, but the electric motor is primarily used for fuel economy and emissions reduction. They cannot be plugged in to charge. If you’re an eco-conscious consumer looking to reduce emissions as well as your fuel bills, BEVs are a great option. If you’re not ready to take the plunge yet and prefer the best of both worlds, PHEVs may seem like a better choice as you can use gasoline for longer journeys. And lastly, HEVs are ideal for drivers who only want the electric motor to power their petrol engine. Some examples of your HEVs would include the Toyota C-HR Hybrid, Nissan Qashqai E-Power or the Kia Sportage GDi HEV.
💡Good to know: As electric cars become the norm, petrol cars will be discontinued – this begs the question, should you really invest in a plug-in electric vehicle or a hybrid one? The government's proposed ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be effective from 2035 which means you’ll probably need to swap your car for an electric one anyway.
Does owning an EV fit your lifestyle?
The average driver in the UK travels only 18 miles per day! Generally, most EVs today offer a range of 150-300 miles which means this green ride is perfect for your everyday driving needs. However, if you frequently drive long distances, you might not prefer an EV simply because petrol-powered vehicles have longer ranges.
The public charging network is rapidly expanding and if you do need to stop for a charge, this is becoming easier and easier by the day. Apps such as ZapMap are effective in helping you find your closest public charging point. But don’t let the fear of public charging stop you - home charging is a viable solution. According to a survey conducted by Virta & Kantar, 67%, or almost two-thirds of the respondents, consider EV charging at home a must-have or a key choice factor. For only 20%, the home charging option has some importance, while only 13% of EV drivers find home EV charging not so important. In fact, the majority of charging your vehicle will be done at home, usually overnight. If you have a driveway or garage, the cheapest and most convenient way is to install a dedicated chargepoint.
Step 2: Understand the economics of owning an EV
While electric cars may seem more expensive at first glance, they can actually save you a lot more money in the long run. This is because they have lower fuel, servicing, and tax costs, and they often benefit from incentives such as free parking and exemption from tolls!
Petrol and diesel cars are currently cheaper than electric cars if you choose to pay outright. However, there are various ways to fund your EV such as a salary sacrifice, contract purchase or a lease. EVs are also a lot cheaper to maintain. For starters, you’ll never have to visit a petrol station again. Servicing too is fairly simple as EVs don’t have an oil engine, exhaust pipe and other parts that need regular maintenance. Lastly, you’ll find that EV owners are offered various discounts on parking with toll exemptions being another nice perk of driving clean. Now, what about the price tag? In the UK, you can find brand new EVs starting at around £21,000 after government grants. For the budget-conscious, there are used EVs available for as low as £4,500.
Buying used is a fantastic way to save money, but be mindful of the battery's condition. While EV batteries are known for their longevity and minimal degradation, it's worth considering. But hey, you'll still be miles ahead in terms of savings.
Keep in mind that the used EV market isn't as bustling as its fossil fuel counterparts, but it's a rapidly growing landscape. So, if you're thinking green and looking for a steal, electric vehicles have you covered.
As clean air zones become more and more popular, EV owners have more to rejoice about. For example, London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charges non-compliant cars around £12.50 for each violation – think of the free mobility and savings you’ll have with an EV!
Are EVs more reliable vehicles?
Electric cars may have hit the road in significant numbers relatively recently, around 2013, but boy, have they shown their reliability stripes!
According to a survey by What Car?, only 5% of Tesla Model 3s reported any faults. And it's not just Tesla, several other popular EVs are showing off their reliability credentials with scores in the high 90s.
Take a look at these rock-solid numbers:
Hyundai Kona Electric: 98.5% reliability
BMW i3: 97.9% reliability
Nissan Leaf: 97.2% reliability
Jaguar I-Pace: 97% reliability
These numbers speak volumes about the dependability of electric vehicles. So, rest assured, when you make the switch to an EV, you're not just choosing green, you're choosing reliability.
"A lot of tech sounds like a lot of maintenance…" While electric cars have fewer parts to tinker with compared to their gas-guzzling counterparts, they still need some TLC to keep them humming smoothly.
Regular servicing according to the manufacturer's schedule is a must, but don't expect it to be a frequent visitor to the mechanic's garage.
Now, when it comes to expenses, aside from routine maintenance, your biggest bill might just be for new tires.
And let's talk tech. With more gadgets and gizmos on board, some issues might pop up on the software front. The good news? Many EV manufacturers can work their magic remotely "over the air" to sort out these digital hiccups.
So, rest easy knowing that maintaining your electric ride isn't just eco-friendly, it's also easy on the wallet.
Step 3: Find out if Home EV Charging is for you
Charging your car comfortably at home is one of the most exciting parts of owning an electric vehicle. Not only do you avoid queuing up at the petrol station, you also save a quarter of the amount spent on fuel. A full charge of a 42 kW battery can be less than £4 with an off-peak tariff, giving you a range of 100-140 miles (depending on your car and how you drive it). Don’t worry, your car won’t die on you if you don’t have a home charger!
There are various public charging points available (over 50,000 in the UK!) if you want to make a quick stop enroute.
Pro-tip: Home charger installations often require off-street parking or a garage, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to purchase one for your car! Have more questions about Home EV charging? Check out our blog on the Frequently Asked Questions about Home EV Charging here.
While home EV chargers can be expensive to buy upfront, this doesn’t always hold true for
Egg users. We’ve designed a holistic plan that includes finance, ongoing support and maintenance that makes it super affordable to own an EV charger at just £24/month. Check it out here.
Step 4: Apply for grants
Embracing electric mobility isn’t only on the conscious consumer’s agenda. The government has put together a range of incentives to make our cities more sustainable.
Here are some of the schemes and perks you should look out for:
1. Salary sacrifice scheme:
Check if your employer can allow you to lease an electric car through the salary sacrifice scheme. Typically, this means sacrificing a small portion of your salary in return for a new electric vehicle. You also get to save on income tax and national insurance as this amount is directly taken from your gross pay.
2. Government handouts:
The government provides grants of up to £2,500 towards the cost of an eligible electric vehicle if it costs less than £35,000. On top of that, you can avail a £350 discount towards a wallbox charger installed by a qualified electrician, thanks to the same grant. It’s important to note that this grant applies only to renters, and excludes the homeowner. This means that you’d need your landlord’s permission to access this benefit.
Step 5: Zoom into a greener tomorrow with your electric ride!
Electric cars bring a symphony of serenity to your driving experience.
First, there's the sweet sound of silence when you hit the road. No roaring engines, no gear changes—just pure, smooth acceleration. With instant torque, even entry-level EVs feel surprisingly spry.
As you cruise along, the whisper of the wind and the soft hum of tires are your only companions. And, when you ease off the accelerator, regenerative brakes kick in, allowing you to glide to a stop with minimal use of the brake pedal.
Electric vehicles don't need to rev up like traditional cars for quick bursts of speed. Thanks to their instant power delivery, you'll enjoy swift acceleration right from the get-go.
But it's not just about a quiet ride. EVs are cleverly designed, often placing their battery packs low to the ground. This setup enhances handling by lowering the centre of gravity.
Safety? Rest assured. Safety is top-notch whether it's a purpose-built electric model or a converted version of a gas-powered car. Modern EVs have aced Euro NCAP crash tests, with many earning five-star safety ratings.
So, while electric cars may run silently, their excellence on the road and in safety speaks volumes.
Now that you’ve done the research, it’s time to choose an electric car and go for a test ride. Spoiler alert: It might feel a little different from your regular fuel car but that’s only because electric cars work differently. For example: EVs are quieter and cleaner, leaving you feeling like you just saved the day while driving a really cool car.
Interested in more EV tips? Check out our blog here. Don’t forget to give us a quick follow on social media to receive regular updates on EV grants, regulations, and more!
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