You’re probably hearing more about electric cars, seeing more EV charging points popping up and may have your own opinions on their positives and negatives (pun intended), but how much do you really know about electric vehicles?
Whatever your thoughts, electric vehicles are only going to increase in the months and years ahead, so we thought we’d gather a few facts to help boost your knowledge and understanding of EVs and the EV marketplace.
Here are our top ten facts you may not be aware of…
FACT 1. The creation of the electric car has been traced back to the 1800s.
There is some debate over who should be credited as the inventor of the very first electric vehicle, but in the decade 1832 – 1842 Scotsman Robert Anderson and American Thomas Davenport both designed and built practical electric vehicles which ran on non-rechargeable batteries.
By 1900, electric cars made up 28 per cent of roadworthy vehicles. Gasoline cars, however, were already charging ahead as the preferred mode of transport due to their ease of refuelling and extended range.
Porsche was the first manufacturer to build a hybrid car in 1899, running on both gasoline and electricity.
FACT 2. There are more than 125 different electric vehicles on the market
Back in 2011, there were just nine main electric cars available covering four body styles – city cars, small family cars, small vans and sports coupés. This has now increased to more than 125 plug-in cars and vans available in 2019 which include superminis, large family cars, hatchbacks, estate cars, SUVs, executive models and medium sized vans.
FACT 3. The top 5 best-selling plug-in cars in the UK (as of Sept 2019) were:
- Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV – 43,600 sold
- Nissan Leaf – 26,700 sold
- BMW i3 – 15,000 sold
- BMW 330e – 14,000 sold
- BMW 530e – 10,900 sold
FACT 4. Rapid EV charging units can charge electric cars in under an hour
There are three main EV charger types with the fastest able to charge electric vehicles to full charge in less than 60 minutes.
- Slow charging units (up to 3kW) are best suited for 6-8 hours overnight charging
- Fast chargers (7-22kW) can fully recharge some models in 3-4 hours
- Rapid charging units (43kW+) are able to provide an 80% charge in around 30 minutes
The model of car will also impact charging speed.
FACT 5. There are now more than 10,000 charging locations across the UK
As a result of sustained government and private investment, the UK network of EV charging points has increased from a few hundred in 2011 to more than 10,500 charging locations, 16,900 charging devices and 29,500 connectors by January 2020.
FACT 6. Electric vehicles are used on the moon!
Just a little fun fact, in case you didn’t know, NASA’s Lunar Rover runs on electricity!
FACT 7. Celebs and royalty have joined the drive for electric vehicles
From members of the British monarchy to Hollywood and Formula One royalty, there’s no shortage of well-known faces behind the wheels of electric vehicles. Here are ten rich and famous converts and the electric car models they drive.
- Cameron Diaz – Tesla Model S
- Justin Bieber – Fisker Karma
- Pierce Brosnan – BMW I8
- Ben Affleck – Lexus LS Hybrid
- Prince Charles – Jaguar I-Pace
- Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes-AMG One
- Robert Downey Jr. – Audi E-Tron GT
- Prince Harry & Meghan Markle – Audi E-Tron 55
- George Clooney – Tango T600
- Matt Damon – Tesla Roadster
FACT 8. Government grants are available to encourage the use of electric vehicles
The UK government’s plug-in vehicle grant scheme is helping fund the change to more eco-friendly travel. It is providing:
- Up to £1,500 off the price of an electric moped or motorcycle
- Up to £3,500 off the price of an electric car
- Up to £8,000 off the price of an electric van
- Up to £20,000 off the price of a large van or truck
Electric car drivers can also benefit from government grants towards the cost of installing a charge point at home or at work.
Grants of up to £500 are available towards the cost of installing a home charge point and the government’s workplace charging scheme also provides eligible businesses with support towards workplace charging points.
FACT 9. Electric cars must make noise!
Electric cars can run completely silently. However, a new EU rule in July 2019 requires that all electric and hybrid vehicles emit an artificial noise so that they can be more easily heard by cyclists and pedestrians. The noise kicks in at speeds of 13mph and below.
FACT 10. Tesla have introduced a new feature to keep pets cool
A new and interesting feature of Tesla cars is the recently introduced ‘Dog Mode’, designed to keep the car at a cool temperature for any pets left inside. It also displays a message which informs passers-by that all is well and the pet is being kept at a comfortable temperature!
NLT Electrical are approved installers of EV charging points. For advice on installing a home or workplace electric vehicle charging point, contact us for a no-obligation consultation on 01827 767100.