An introduction to Electric Cars

Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to reduce their environmental impact and save money on fuel. But what exactly are electric cars, and how do they work? Electric cars are powered by electricity, which is stored in batteries. This means that they do not produce any tailpipe emissions, which can help to improve air quality. Additionally, electric cars are more energy efficient than gasoline-powered cars, which means that they use less energy to travel the same distance. This can help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

There are two main types of electric cars: battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). BEVs are powered solely by electricity, while PHEVs have a gasoline engine that can be used to extend the range of the battery. The below information focuses on fully electric cars (BEVs).

Cost of running

Electric cars VS Petrol cars: Cost of running and saving

​In recent years, all cars have become more efficient and less polluting. However, despite these innovations, electric cars can still offer significant savings when compared with the cost of fuelling a petrol car.

Take the latest Honda e as an example. It uses the very latest technology to give drivers the best possible efficiency on the road and provides all the style, creature comforts and safety standards that motorists want. But the lower cost of electricity versus petrol is one of the most attractive benefits to cost-conscious drivers.

​According to What Car?, the most efficient petrol-powered superminis achieve fuel economy of no more than 60mpg. For someone driving 10,000 miles a year and paying an average of 153 pence per litre of petrol (the average as of 31 December 2022 according to the AA) it would cost £ £1159 for a year’s worth of fuel.

​By contrast, the new Honda e returns an EV operating efficiency figure of 17.2 kWh/100km. For someone driving 10,000 miles a year and paying an average of 34 pence per kWh of electricity (the 2022 average, according to the government website) it would cost around £900 to charge the Honda e over the year. This means switching to an electric car could reduce your bills by hundreds of pounds compared with even the most efficient petrol equivalent.​

Low emission vehicles are exempt from the London congestion charge

As of 25 October 2021, only battery electric vehicles are eligible for an exemption from the London Congestion Charge. Considering it costs £15 a day without the exemption, you could save £5,460 over a year if driving into London every day. Or £3,810 if driving into the capital five working days a week.

Charging an electric car

There are two main ways to charge electric cars: at home and at public charging stations. At home, you can use a Level 1 or Level 2 charger. Level 1 chargers are the slowest type of charger, while Level 2 chargers are faster. Public charging stations are becoming increasingly common, and you can find them at a variety of locations, such as workplaces, shopping malls, and parking garages.

How fast does it take to charge an electric car?

Electric car charging times can vary, taking anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours. Depending on the size of your battery and the charge point output, you will see different results. While slower, charging overnight at home could result in some great savings.

Two of the biggest contributors to significant charge times are having a large car battery and a low-power charge point. Charging from mains power may take longer than any other charge point, as its power output is usually only 3.7kW. This could take a 60kWh battery almost 16 hours to charge.

Using a 7kW home charger could charge the same vehicle in as little as 8 hours from empty, and most homes can easily support this. Depending on your driving habits, you may not be charging from empty every day.

High-powered electric charging points are publicly available to you. These can range from 50kW, all the way to 100+ kW, charging your vehicle in 30+ minutes.

Factors that can affect EV Charge Time

  • Battery Size: The battery size is one of the most important measures of your EV’s charging time. The larger it is, the longer it will take to charge.
  • Battery Charge: Charging the battery from empty takes longer than recharging it from partially full.
  • Capped charging rate of vehicle: Most manufacturers limit your electric car’s charging speed – regardless of charger, you won’t be able to exceed this value.
  • Capped charging rate of charging point: Charge points may have charging rate caps – regardless of charger, you won’t be able to exceed value.
  • Temperature: The charging time of your electric car’s battery will be slower during colder weather as well as during extremely hot spells.

Public charging VS Home Charging

Depending on your lifestyle, you may use one of these options more than the other. While home charging can be convenient, it’s often slower than public charging. However, public charging may be more expensive or require you to sign up to an app to access it.

Home charging

Your electric car charging time at home will often be slower. It is better done overnight for anything more than a quick power top-up. Home charger’s kW power options include:

​• 3.7 kW – on average, these will take 20 to almost 30 hours to charge.

• 7 kW – are the most recommended home charge points, with EV charging times between 10 and 15 hours on average

• 22 kW – these are rare, expensive to fit, and require a 3-phase home electricity supply that can support them. 

Public charging

Public charge points offer fast charging for electric cars, perfect if you need to top up during a long journey. However, they may not be ideal for charging from empty to full, depending on your day. Charge times can vary, based on power. The two most common charge types are:

• 50 kW – these can reduce EV charging times to less than two hours for even a large battery

• 150 kW – while rarer, 150 kW charge points will top up a battery from empty in less than an hour

Chargepoint Schemes

On street residential chargepoint scheme

​While the OZEV Grant is available to those with off-street parking only, those with on-street parking may be interested to know of the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme.

Also offered by OZEV, this government scheme provides up to £7,500 (or 60% of the cost) towards a chargepoint installation and is available to local authorities. Residents wanting to find out how to charge an electric car on the street can make a request to their local authorities for an on-street chargepoint and associated dedicated parking bay.

Workplace charging scheme

​It’s not just at home that you can make savings.

Electric car subsidies extend to the workplace with the possibility of claiming as much as £350 for an electric car charging station at a business. Known as the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), it allows for a reduction in the cost of both the purchase and installation of a new workplace electric charging station. Of course, it also helps employees and visitors save on fuel costs.

This government scheme offered by OZEV allows businesses to claim up to 40 sockets, which could see 20 or 40 charging stations permitted, depending on whether they offer dual or single use.

Applying for the WCS is straightforward but must be done in advance of any installation. That’s because successful applicants receive a voucher code which you must present to an OZEV-approved installer within 120 days.


Are electric cars better for the environment?

Yes, electric cars are better for the environment as they emit fewer greenhouse gas emissions than petrol and diesel vehicles. Purchasing an EV charger car could help you lower your carbon footprint and allow you to do your bit for the environment, as well as reduce your driving costs. 

As part of a wide-ranging approach to incentivising a switch to low carbon technologies, the UK government has set the objective of becoming the first major economy to be net zero emissions by 2050.

How an electric can save you money. As well as the environment.

Across Europe, sales of electric vehicles are surging. These cars offer a more eco-friendly alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles, but does buying an electric car save money? 

​If you’re interested in joining the growing number of drivers switching to the electric car, you’ll be happy to hear that doing so can save you a significant sum of money. There’s the appeal of saving money on fuel when compared with a petrol or diesel car, plus drivers could benefit from a discount on the cost of an electric car charging point at home. This is thanks to the electric car grants put in place by the UK government.

Electric Cars FAQ

How long do car batteries last?

On average, electric car batteries last approximately 100,000 miles or roughly 15-20 years. Though, there are reports of EVs lasting for more than 198,000 miles.

How long will an electric car run on full charge?​

Your electric car’s run time will depend on a few factors, mostly related to your battery’s size and its condition. Generally, this is determined by range, which is the number of miles your vehicle can run compared to its charge. Older EVs on average will run for 99 miles, though more modern vehicles can range from 248 to 327 miles.

How long can electric car sit without charging?

While this will depend on your vehicle, an EV can sit for months without charging. Your battery level can also impact the time your vehicle retains its charge, and, contrary to what you may think, a charge of around 50% is ideal.

Can you sit in an EV while charing?

An EV is safe to sit in while charging. But if you rely on any electric device for your health, such as a pacemaker, it’s recommended you don’t sit in the vehicle while it’s charging. The electromagnetic fields could interfere with the device’s function. If you’re in doubt about this, seek advice from a medical professional.

Do electric cars charge while driving?

​No – though there’s a caveat to this. EVs are energy negative 

while driving, but regenerative braking can restore some of the lost energy. This makes them more energy efficient but doesn’t constitute self-charging. Think of it more as partial recycling.

Do electric cars have green number plates on?

The UK government is investing in low emissions vehicles to help navigate the route to a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

One interesting development is the introduction of number plates which indicate a zero-emission vehicle. These number plates have a green flash on the left side of the plate and are fitted to the front and rear of the vehicle. This allows drivers to celebrate their switch to a low-emission vehicle and according to the government, it could also unlock a host of incentives for motorists.

The future of electric cars

The future of electric cars is bright. Battery technology is continuing to improve, and the range of electric cars is increasing. Additionally, the number of public charging stations is growing rapidly. As a result, electric cars are becoming more and more practical for everyday use.

Electric cars are a great way to reduce your environmental impact and save money on fuel. If you are considering buying an electric car, there are a number of factors to consider, such as the type of electric car you want, your budget, and your charging options. However, with the many benefits of electric cars, it is definitely worth considering making the switch.

Experience the difference of electric motoring

It’s clear that in the current climate and with all the available incentives, there is an ever-growing interest among drivers who want to make the switch from petrol or diesel fuel to a more sustainable energy source.

To reduce your driving bills and experience the environmental benefits that electric cars can bring – as well as the outstanding driving experience. Arrange a test drive or contact Crown Honda to ask us about the advantages of going electric. If you're looking for a used electric car, click the link below to view the best deals from our current used electric car stock, available for immediate delivery:

View used electric cars

Our fully electric models include the Honda e:Ny1 and Honda e, for more information on these models, click the links below.

Honda e:Ny1

Honda e:Ny1 includes a powerful 68.8kWh electric engine reaching up to 256 miles range on a single charge and a 0 to 60 in 7.6 seconds.

Explore e:Ny1

Honda e: 

​The high-capacity 35.5 kWh​ battery of the Honda e enjoys a max range capacity of up to 137 miles and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds.

Explore Honda e

Motability scheme

​Another electric car incentive in the UK is the Motability Scheme.

This provides people who have a disability with an allowance towards the cost of a new electric car. Claiming the Motability Scheme is simple. You can do this by choosing an eligible vehicle, speaking to Motability Scheme specialists at Crown Honda, and then having us place your order. Your specialist will be able to advise you on which electric cars are available on the Motability Scheme.

Motability is a charity enables disabled people, their families and their carers to lease a new car using their disability benefit including the Honda HR-V hybrid. There are many benefits to choosing a car on Motability, including:

• Insurance cover: We’ll arrange this for you. You can add up to three drivers and can change these at any time.
• Servicing & MOT: We’ll cover your regular services and routine repairs, to keep your vehicle running perfectly.
• Breakdown Cover: We’ll give you breakdown cover so you can travel with peace of mind. If you get a car or a WAVWheelchair Accessible Vehicle, you’ll get RAC cover.

Support with your electric car

Motability will arrange and cover the cost of a home chargepoint and a standard installation, or give you access to the BP pulse network of over 9,000 public chargepoints.

View Motability Offers

Electric cars for your business

Ditch the gas pumps and watch operating costs shrink with significantly lower charging costs compared to fossil fuels. Boost your brand image with a commitment to sustainability while attracting environmentally conscious consumers and talent. Plus, enjoy government incentives, tax breaks, and reduced maintenance.

View business offers

Our Electric Car Experts

Electric car ownership requires a few changes in habits. Do you have questions about charging, tech, or where to get started?
Don't hesitate, our electric car experts are here to guide you every step of the way.

Fabio at Crown Honda Bushey Heath

Call: 0208 421 7307


Madalina at Crown Honda Hendon

Call: 0208 200 4238