Electric vehicles are an increasingly attractive option for UK drivers, due to their lower running costs and the expanding choice of models available.

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In 2023, there were 314,687 BEVs registered in the UK (an increase of 17.8% compared to 2022), comprising 16.5% of total car registration, and with more BEVs reaching the road than in 2020 and 2021 combined.

While more and more of us are buying electric cars due to many many benefits they offer, with BEVs accounted for one in six new cars registered in 2023, 77.1% of all these registrations were from fleets and business buyers. (figures from the SMMT)

And while there might have been a slight dip in sales, encouragingly, our latest survey found 9 in 10 EV drivers would not return to petrol and diesel, meaning the vast majority of owners are seeing the real benefits of zero-emissions driving.

Clearly, the Government must play its part in ensuring EVs are made as affordable as possible for drivers of all incomes, whilst continuing to oversee that the whole EV ecosystem is ready for an electric future.

By giving EV drivers a voice, EVA England is here to ensure that there are policies and infrastructure in place to support this transition and encourage more people to go electric.

When EVA England refers to ‘Electric Vehicles’ this means cars and vans (up to 3.5 tonnes) that have an electric motor powered by a battery or that can be plugged in.

There are three different types of Electric Vehicles:

  • Pure or battery electric vehicles (BEVs)
  • Extended-range electric vehicles (E-REVs)
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)

The choice of EVs and models continues to increase with lots of new exciting EVs constantly arriving on the market.

Whether its a budget car, a luxury saloon car or an all electric SUV, there’s an EV to suit all drivers’ needs and budgets.

What are the inner parts of an EV?

EVs have 90% fewer moving parts than an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car. The more parts you have, the more parts will require maintenance and eventually replacement. This is one of the reasons that EVs are less expensive to own over time.

Here’s some of the components that keep an EV moving:

  • Battery – Store the electricity required to power the electric motor. The higher the kW of the battery, the higher the range.
  • Power Inverter – Converts the electric current in the form of Direct Current (DC) into Alternating Current (AC), as different components have different requirements.
  • Electric Motor – Converts the electric energy into power to rotate the wheels. It can be a DC/AC type. However, AC motors are more common. An important feature of an electric motor is the regenerative braking mechanism, which slows down the vehicle by converting its kinetic energy and storing it for future use.
  • Drivetrain – Most EVs have a single-speed transmission, which sends power from the motor to the wheels.
  • Charging Port– Plugs into an outlet or EV charging point to charge your battery.

What about charging?

Most EV owners charge their cars through chargepoints installed at home or at workplace locations, which are estimated to be more than 680,000, but that’s not always possible.

Mother and daughter, both wearing grey coats and scarves, hold a charging connector up to a electric vehicle

Thankfully, there is an ever-expanding public charging infrastructure: according to Zapmap, as of the end of December 2023, there were over 53,906 electric vehicle charging points across the UK, across 31,056 charging locations (a 45% increase in the total number of charging devices since December 2022).

The charging network is made up of different types of charge points for different use cases, from high speed en-route chargers and charging hubs to destination chargers and on-street provision: the 4 speeds or power ratings are defined as slow (3-6kW), fast (7-22kW), rapid (25-99kW) and ultra-rapid (100kW+).

The latest public rapid charge points can provide a 0-80% charge for many EVs – equating to around 200 miles in some cases – in around 30 minutes. However, bear in mind that regardless of the power of the charger itself, your EV will only be able to charge at the maximum rate of its charging capability.

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