It’s great that you have chosen a Pure Electric Vehicle (EV) or Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) for you or the business. While the GB Vehicle leasing team are thrilled that you want to use our services, it is incredibly important that you have considered the key components of the process so that you obtain a vehicle which is suitable for your needs and requirements (or that of your business). If you do need to review the fuel choices available, we have an Alternative Fuel Decision Tree which you can review below. If you need this to be sent directly to you, please ask the account manager who is assisting you.
Set out below are just some of the key considerations for you to review. Please note that GB Car Loans Limited T/A GB Vehicle Leasing are a credit broker and are not a lender or franchised dealership. This information does not constitute advice and is intended to help individuals and businesses make an informed decision only.
How Do I Choose the Right Fuel for Me or the Business?
Which is the best fuel for me (or the company)? While a common question from our customers, this isn’t a straightforward answer as it will very much depend on your driving style and behaviour as to which fuel type will meet your needs and requirements. Over the last few years there have been a number of high-profile scandals and controversial publications about fuel choices. The introduction of new forms of fuel - Hybrid, PHEV and EV options – has compounded these issues for customers. The volume of choice can sometimes be confusing.
To help our customers, the GB Vehicle Leasing team have produced a simple guide which can be used to help make the right choice. While this decision tree should help you to understand the impact of driving style on fuel choice, there may be other considerations relating to company car taxation, corporation tax, vehicle specification and monthly cost which you may need to discuss with your legal or financial advisors or the GB Vehicle Leasing team.
Do you have to charge an EV/PHEV?
Both EVs and PHEVs do require some form of “charging”, the details of which can be found in our GB Vehicle Leasing (EVs) factsheets. These factsheets will help you to understand the key differences between each type of vehicle and therefore help you to select the fuel choice which is correct for you.
As an EV operates via one power source only, the lithium-ion battery, the vehicle must be charged to operate. If you fail to charge the vehicle correctly, you will be unable to drive it. Customers who are buying/leasing an EV will need to review the range of the battery to ensure that it meets their requirements; the term “range anxiety” emerged as a result of some customers being concerned about how far the vehicle could travel. Each manufacturer and/or vehicle can offer different battery solutions; these currently range from 100 – 300 miles on a full charge. The availability of charge points, together with the speed of charging, could be instrumental on your decision.
In contrast, a PHEV has a traditional combustion engine (generally petrol but diesel options are becoming available) coupled with a smaller lithium-ion battery solution. Unlike an EV, you will only achieve a modest range on the battery source alone; generally 15-30 miles for most vehicles. However, to achieve “electric-only” driving you must charge the battery correctly. Unlike a hybrid, which can often be referred to as “self-charging”, the PHEV relies on the driver physically connecting the vehicle to a charge point. If you do not charge the battery, the vehicle will operate on the combustion engine element only. This will result in the vehicle failing to achieve the stated combined MPG figures.
Charging Times – How Long Does it Take To Charge an Electric Car or Van
The length of time it will take to charge an EV, or PHEV, will depend on the type of vehicle, how depleted the battery is and what charge point you are using. As a PHEV has a smaller lithium-ion battery the charging times will be considerably shorter than an EV which use a bigger battery. You will also need to be aware of the vehicle’s charge rate; while there are “ultra-rapid” charge points available, some vehicles cannot be connected to them. Therefore, when you are factoring charging times into your decision making process, you should base your analysis on a charge point which you are realistically going to use on a daily/weekly basis.
A slow charge point has power rating of around 3kW and was commonly installed for those drivers using a dedicated home charge point (these will add up to 15 miles of range per hour). Many of the modern models being offered to a customer are the faster 7kW charge point solutions and these present a much more practical solution if EVs are likely to be a long-term commitment for you (these will add up to 30 miles of range per hour). Fully charging a vehicle will take anywhere between 3 – 8 hours and are therefore suitable for those treating them as an “overnight” solution. To help with the demands on the UK’s electric grid, all charge points being sold must be “smart”. This means that they will have to interact with the grid so that the vehicle only charges at the correct times. There is an obvious risk to the grid if all EVs or PHEVs were charged at the same time.
A fast charge point has power rating of between 7- 22kW. As noted above many of the home charge points being installed are the faster 7kW options. However, many of the public and commercial charge points are the 22kW option (these will add up to 80 miles of range per hour). Because of the way in which the 22kW charge point operates, this will be subject to a groundworks and infrastructure survey. They are more expensive for any business looking for a commercial solution. However, the 22kW option can fully-charge an EV in circa 3 – 7 hours and so can be a fantastic option for those looking to charge a vehicle during working hours, particularly if you are allocated a specific time slot for charging your vehicle. As EVs grow in popularity, so will the demand for efficient charge points.
A rapid charge point has power rating of up to 50kW (these will add up to 80 miles of range per 30 mins). However, 100-350kW ultra-rapid charge points are being introduced to support longer range electric vehicles (these will supply up to 200 miles per 30 mins of charge). A rapid charge point is commonly a Direct Current (DC) supply type, although Alternative Current (AC) will be available. Like the fast charge point, there are additional costs for any local authorities or businesses looking to install them and they are always subject to groundworks/ infrastructure surveys. A rapid charge point should charge a vehicle to 80% capacity in around 30-40 minutes and fully charge in under 2 hours. Rapid charge points are seen as an ideal “top-up” solution for those drivers covering longer-journeys i.e. the driver stopping at a service station for 30 minutes. However, due to the installation costs these charge points are more expensive for the driver to use (if they are purchasing their own charge). Also, again note that some vehicles cannot use the rapid or ultra-rapid charge point solutions.
Charging Cables and Sockets – What Options are there?
Each manufacturer and/or vehicle could have a different inlet socket and therefore require a specific charging cable (also consider that the charge point will have a particular outlet socket). Many manufacturers will supply a cable which is suitable for connection to a 3-pin domestic plug as standard; you will not be automatically supplied with a cable which is suitable for a charge point. In terms of options, please see below:
• A Type 1 inlet (or 5 pin) is typical for many US and Asian vehicles like Nissan and Mitsubishi;
• A Type 2 inlet (or 7 pin) is typical for many European vehicles like Audi, Volvo and VW; and
• CHAdeMO (which is found on Asian models) and CCS are DC. These will feature on rapid charge points (up to a 50kW power rating) and ultra-rapid charge points (between 100-350 kW power rating).
Which Charge Point is Best for Me or the Business – Home, Business or External
Some vehicles can be connected to the home via a 3-pin socket. However, due to battery developments many customers are now investing into dedicated charge points. At present, the Government will provide an individual or business with a grant towards the cost for the purchase and installation of a dedicated charge point. Some Local Authorities may support businesses to acquire charge points as part of infrastructure improvement, so do check this before completing on any purchases.
If you operate an EV or PHEV the key point to consider is that the vehicle must have sufficient charge to operate correctly. Planning where the vehicle will be charged is crucial for you (or the business) to have the best experience. If you have off-road parking, a dedicated home charge point is the most practical way to ensure access to a charging facility. In the alternative, your employer (or business) may provide a charge point at the offices or premises you operate from. As our infrastructure develops, more charge points are appearing at petrol stations, service stations and stand-alone vehicle charging centres. However, charging a vehicle at an external point may be more expensive than at home or business, so this should be factored into your whole of life cost analysis.
There are a number of charge point solutions which a business or individual can consider for their vehicle. While these are continuing to develop, at the time of this guide the main options include:
Rapid (22-50kW); and
Ultra-Rapid (50 kW+)
The availability of each will depend on where you intend to have the charge point installed. Your installer should carry out an on-site survey with you to help you understand the options available to you and an approximation of the costs. For example a rapid charger will require three-phase power and this can be time consuming and expensive to install. While the Government, and your Local Authority, may support the costs in the form of grants or loans there will be surplus costs which you, or the business, must pay. Do not presume that a charge point can be installed for free.
Please Note: GB Vehicle Leasing cannot accept any responsibility in connection with the supply, installation and maintenance of a home charging point for your electric vehicle.