ELECTRIC CAR FAQ’s
HOW DO YOU CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR?
When charging your electric car, there are a few options available. Possibly the simplest option is just plugging your car into an electric socket at home overnight, allowing you to drive off fully recharged in the morning. Of course, this method will take a little longer to charge your car, possibly 10-12 hours. There are also many public charging stations nationwide which can take up to 30 minutes to fully charge your car.
IS IT FREE TO CHARGE MY ELECTRIC CAR?
For public charging points within supermarkets or car parks, it is often free to charge your vehicle for the duration of your stay. If you are using a rapid charging station, often found at motorway service stations, these cost around £6.50 for a 30 minute charge.
CAN I INSTALL AN ELECTRIC CAR CHARGING POINT AT HOME?
Home charging points are a good option, and are weatherproof as well as easy to install, taking as little as two to three hours to fit. You can contact a certified Office for Low-Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) installer and you can also claim a £350 government grant towards it in the UK. This will also ensure the charging point is fitted to the highest standard.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF MY ELECTRIC CAR RUNS OUT OF BATTERY?
Similarly, to a petrol or diesel car, you’ll come to a stop. Electric cars also have a gauge to provide you with plenty of time and warning of a low range which should give you enough time to recharge. If an electric car completely runs out of charge, it would need to be towed to the nearest charging station.
HOW DO ELECTRIC CARS WORK?
There are no gears in an electric car, which means it cannot be manual or automatic, it is simply a direct drive. Once you press the accelerator you get power instantly from the electric motor. The speed of the car would depend on how much acceleration that is demanded. They run at a high RPM and have a simple fixed-ratio transmission.
HOW FAR CAN AN ELECTRIC CAR GO BEFORE HAVING TO RECHARGE?
Battery technology is improving more and more, meaning that the battery range of an electric car will be steadily improving. Similarly with petrol and diesel cars, the distance a car can go depends on how you drive the car as well as how much weight it is carrying. The distance a car can reach on one charge depends on the car. For example, the BMW i3 can cover up to 182-190 miles on one charge and the iX3 can travel up to 285 miles on one charge. The new BMW i4, which is coming soon to showrooms, has it’s own model that can offer up to 366 miles on one electric charge. So the answer to this question really does vary.
WHY ARE ELECTRIC CARS BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
An electric car is emission free – it doesn’t have an exhaust. Zero emissions is massively beneficial, especially for areas where air pollution is a problem. The batteries of an electric car can also be recycled.
WHY SHOULD I PICK AN ELECTRIC CAR?
Electric cars are more efficient, meaning it could cost you a lot less than a petrol or diesel car, including significant tax advantages of buying electric. They are also cheaper to maintain as they don’t need regular oil changes due to electric vehicles not needing oil to run. They are also cheaper if you travel through London regularly, as they are exempt from congestion charges.
DO ELECTRIC CARS NEED SERVICES AND MOT’S?
Yes, electric cars need to pass the MOT test and need regular services, just like any other car. Purely electric vehicles don’t need an engine oil service, and therefore, will only need a vehicle and microfilter check after 2 years. Brake fluid will be required 3 years from the build date of the vehicle, followed by subsequent brake fluid changes every 2 years. When it comes to models such as the BMW i3, if this vehicle has an REX (range extender), this will require an oil service after 2 years in line with the vehicle check and microfilter. The i3 also differs from our other electric models, as it is the only model that has an initial brake fluid change 2 years from it’s build date, whereas with other vehicles, this happens 3 years after the build date.
You can view our range of BMW Electric cars here, contact a specialist to find out more here.
HYBRID CAR FAQ’s
WHAT IS A HYBRID CAR?
A hybrid car is a vehicle that combines a conventional combustion engine, usually petrol, with an electric motor. The petrol engine charges the car batteries, with the electric motor kicking in when extra power is needed.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A HYBRID CAR?
The main advantages of having a hybrid car includes the fact that is consumes less fuel and emits less CO2 emissions than a petrol or diesel engine. This is also a benefit when it comes to lower road tax and company car tax as well as possibly avoiding congestion charges.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HYBRID CAR?
There are 3 main types of hybrid car:
· Mild hybrids (MEHVs) – these use a more powerful version of a car battery and replace the regular alternator with a belt-driven motor delivering a mild boost to the ICE engine.
· Full hybrids (HEVs) – these have a larger battery and a more powerful electric motor. They can run purely on the electric motor for short distances but usually combine both power sources in most situations. These are also referred to as ‘self-charging hybrids’ as they cannot be plugged in to charge.
· Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) – these have a much larger battery and can drive on pure electric power for around 20-30 miles, sometimes more. These can be charged by plugging them into an external electric power source, in addition to its internal combustion engine-powered generator.
DO HYBRIDS HAVE TO BE CHARGED?
Hybrids do need to be charged, however, some hybrids feature self-charging battery technology, and so when the battery runs low, excess power from the engine charges it back up again, whereas other hybrid models can connect to an external power source to be charged.
HOW LONG DO THE BATTERIES LAST IN A HYBRID VEHICLE?
At BMW, we believe the battery should remain serviceable for the life of the vehicle. With this, we often offer a standard battery warranty of 8 years on most models, including all the components within the high voltage battery. Information taken from BMW site.
IS A HYBRID CAR BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT THAN A PETROL/DIESEL CAR?
The answer to this is yes, hybrid cars are better for the environment than a traditional car, because electricity usage is better than gas for the environment. There is also a reduction of harmful emissions and pollutants including carbon monoxide which plays a big part in the worldwide issue that is global warming. Hybrid cars also have improved fuel economy, as well as reduced fuel consumption which is another benefit of owning a hybrid vehicle.
ARE HYBRID CARS CHEAPER TO RUN THAN TRADITIONAL CARS?
PHEV cars can reach more miles per gallon than conventionally powered cars thanks to the use of cheaper electric power. There is also less road tax charges when driving a hybrid car as well as no congestion charges if driving in London.
WHAT DOES A ROUTINE SERVICE SCHEDULE FOR A HYBRID LOOK LIKE?
Hybrid vehicles require an engine oil change after approximately 18,000 miles or 2 years, whichever comes first. Once this has been completed, the countdown will start again. They will also require a brake fluid change at 3 years from build date. After this the brake fluid will then be every 2 years.
You can view our range of BMW Hybrid cars here, contact a specialist to find out more here.