If you charge your EV at home, you can expect to see an increase in your electricity bill. However, even at the average rate for electricity in the UK, you should spend about a quarter of the amount you used to spend on fuel. This, added with the lower servicing and maintenance costs along and savings in taxes, could end up meaning that an electric car works out cheaper for you.
What is a hybrid?
There are several different types of hybrids, usually grouped by acronyms which most people will be unfamiliar with. It can be confusing even for the experts!
In its simplest terms a hybrid is a car that uses a combination of a conventional engine powered with petrol or diesel and an electric motor to power the car forward. But that isn’t the only advantage of owning a hybrid, with some having electric motors which will bring only small differences in efficiency, all the way up to others with batteries big enough to cover most average journeys on electric power alone.
Mild hybrid (MHEV): As the name would suggest, MHEVs have very little electric assistance. Usually, they are a larger version of a standard car battery and have a very small electric motor that lends a hand to the conventional engine when the car is starting from a standstill or accelerating at a rapid pace. This helps to save fuel, however, it’s only around 5% more efficient on average. MHEVs are not capable of being propelled by the electric motor alone.
Hybrid (HEV): A hybrid has a larger battery than an MHEV which is able of propelling the car using electricity alone for very short distances, such as in a traffic jam. The battery cannot be connected to a main socket and is recharged continuously by the petrol engine as the car moves forward, or by harnessing the energy when the car slows. Hybrids typically offer a 20% saving on fuel.
Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV): The PHEV is at the top of the hybrid tree, which has the largest battery of them all. The car can be connected to the mains to recharge. It can cover large amounts of ground using only its electric motor. PHEVs also offer much larger savings than the other types of hybrids as electricity is cheaper than fuel.
What does the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars mean for me?
The UK government has announced that brand new vehicles powered solely by petrol and diesel will be banned from being sold in the UK in the year 2030. Hybrids will be available until 2035, but only if the car can cover a ‘significant zero-emission range’ on electric alone.
Up until that date, you’ll still be able to buy petrol and diesel cars. They won’t be banned from UK roads once we hit that date either, you just won’t be able to buy a new car or van unless it’s powered by electric.
For some motorists, this may make them worry, however, a lot will change in the upcoming years that will make electric cars and vans even more practical and affordable. This will be in the form of more charging infrastructure that will make them practical propositions for drivers who don’t have off-street parking and need to travel longer distances.
Why are petrol and diesel cars being banned?
As part of the UK government’s "green industrial revolution" as outlined in their 10-point plan – this ban is intended to help fight climate change and contribute to the British economy by creating new jobs in green energy and transport.
It has been announced now to give time and fair warning, so we are able to make the change and help the UK achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
On average, the lifespan of a car is around 12 years, and there will still be vehicles powered by combustion engines on UK roads for a long time yet, even after the ban on the sale of new internal combustion engine cars and vans. Motorists will still be able to purchase petrol and diesel to fuel their cars, although we can expect the number of pumps to decrease and be replaced by chargers for electric cars.
Are electric cars really green?
No car can be totally ‘green’, but there are choices that motorists can make which will minimise the environmental impact of producing, driving, and disposing of vehicles.
It is accepted generally that producing an electric car uses more energy than manufacturing a petrol or diesel vehicle at the current time. Although, the EV is then able to be run on renewable energy sources while the internal combustion engine must use fossil fuel. Cars powered by fossil fuels also require maintenance that includes the use of oils and filters which need careful disposal.
The UK government’s environmental report “The Road to Zero” supports this, saying:
“Electric Vehicles have substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional vehicles, even when considering the electricity source and the electricity used for battery production.”
PEUGEOT is committed to lessening the impact of EV production, so we are investing considerably in renewable energy and sustainable supply and distribution chains.
What measures does PEUGEOT take to minimise the impact of battery production?
Lithium and cobalt have been the source of much debate and controversy due to the fact they can come from countries and mines which have been accused of having poor environmental and human rights records.
PEUGEOT and its parent company Stellantis will not accept supplies which have come from these sources. We endeavour to work in partnership with suppliers to implement responsible procurement practices throughout the entire supply chain.
What happens to batteries when the car is scrapped?
At the moment, EV batteries are expensive and contain precious metals. This makes it extremely unlikely that they will be thrown away at a scrapyard or landfill as they are simply too useful to waste. As an EV begins to approach the end of its life, the battery is likely to be removed and used for energy storage in other things such as home or businesses.
This means that the battery from a car like the PEUGEOT e-208 will have enough capacity to power an average British home for around three days. In fact, some houses around the UK already have battery packs made up of ‘second life’ EV cells. These play an important role in capturing energy from solar and wind and release it back to the home or even feedback into the electricity grid at night or the wind isn’t blowing leading to the national grid becoming more efficient.
Cells which are worn, damaged or do eventually because unusable will be recycled to retrieve the precious metals, which can then be reused to make new batteries.
What it is like to drive an electric/PHEV?
There is simply nothing like getting into an electric or PHEV and trying it for yourself. Although, we can tell you what to expect, as the experience really is a pleasant surprise to most motorists. You can request a test drive today with your local PEUGEOT Retailer to try one yourself.
Most of the car’s controls will be well known to you so there is nothing to new to worry about. Electric and plug-in hybrid cars are all automatic, so there is no clutch pedal or gear lever. To start driving the car, press the start button to activate the system, select ‘D’ for drive, release the parking brake and set off on your journey.
As an electric motor delivers all its power as soon as you press the accelerator pedal, it feels faster than most cars powered by a combustion engine. They’re also great at holding the road. As the heaviest part of the car – the battery pack – is directly under the car. This means they have a very low centre of gravity which makes them extremely stable when driving around corners.
How do get the best out of my new EV?
All PEUGEOT electric and PHEV cars feature selectable driving modes which change the way the car feels and responds. These range from an ‘Eco’ setting which enables you can prolong your precious energy over more miles to ‘Sport’, which gives you more power and an exhilarating driving feel but is less efficient on the battery pack.
PEUGEOT’s PHEV cars will always begin in electric mode as standard. Within the car, settings allow you to lock the system into electric-only mode, which allows you to make the most of the silent and emission-free powertrain when in cities.
The next feature that stands out on electric and hybrid cars is regenerative braking. This is a braking system that when you lift your foot from the accelerator pedal the electric motor switches to become a generator, harnessing the power that is normally wasted to funnel power back into the battery. You can select the level of regeneration depending on the way you drive, ranging from low to very strong.
Reliability and battery life
Are electric cars reliable?
Electric cars have proved to be incredibly reliable. A major reason for this is they have fewer moving parts than a conventionally-engined vehicle. For example, there are no exhausts, fuel delivery systems, oil filters, gears, or clutches to wear out, replace or maintain.
The electric motor which powers the car and batteries are largely maintenance-free and are manufactured to last the lifetime of the car – or even longer in some cases! Other than the electrical system, most of the other parts in Peugeot electric vehicles are shared with other models in the range. This means they have proven themselves as reliable over many cars and are easy to change.
PEUGEOT’s electric range of cars also conforms to all the same strict testing regulations as other PEUGEOT vehicles to guarantee it will give years of dutiful and reliable enjoyment on the road.
How long will a battery last?
Although EV batteries will likely lose some performance over time and use, they are designed to be much more adaptable than the power packs in household electrical items so they should last as long as the car.
The car’s electronics will carefully manage things that impact battery life such as high or low temperatures which might harm the battery cells, but owners can learn how to better look after their battery too. Your PEUGEOT retailer will help you understand these when you collect your car.
Does the battery need special care?
Your PEUGEOT battery pack is maintenance-free, so you won’t ever need to carry out maintenance to keep it healthy - all you will need to do is charge it when needed. When your car is serviced, your PEUGEOT technician will plug into the car’s computer and perform a health check of the battery and advise you on how to optimise your driving to give the battery the longest life possible.
The internal computer will do most of the work for you, making sure that the electrical cells are kept at the correct temperature in extreme weather or while rapid charging. This will make sure it can charge at the fastest possible rate but will also ensure the long-term health of your battery.
One tip to consider is avoiding charging up your battery to 100% if it is not needed. If you think you’ll need a full charge for your journey, it would be best to only top up to 80% or less if possible. Your EV will let you set the charge level in the EV menu.
Also, it isn’t optimum for the battery to be left with only a small amount of charge. Be sure to keep this in mind if you are going away on an extended holiday or not using the car for longer than a week or so.
Can the battery be repaired?
All PEUGEOT EV batteries are specifically designed to not require maintenance and shouldn’t need any repairs or maintenance it its lifetime. Additionally, it is also protected within a strong, sealed steel case to stop damage from water, road debris or an accident.
Although in the rare event there happens to be an issue caused by external damage or a malfunction, the car’s systems will make sure it remains safe. The entire battery pack can then be removed and looked at by PEUGEOT technicians to diagnose the issue. If necessary, individual cells within the battery pack can be replaced to restore it back to health.
What does the PEUGEOT battery warranty cover?
The new vehicle warranty that PEUGEOT offers on all its models covers material or manufacturing defects for a period of three years or 60,000 miles from first registration.
We at PEUGEOT understand that some owners might be nervous about the new technology around electric vehicles, so the warranty for the lithium-ion battery pack is extended to eight years or 100,000-miles for 70% of its capacity.
This ensures that at least 70% of the battery’s charging capacity is expertly maintained for the warranty period, or it will be repaired by PEUGEOT, subject to the usual terms and conditions. The warranty offered by PEUGEOT also includes roadside assistance as part of the package.
Is it expensive to service electric cars?
Compared to cars powered by fossil fuels, it is not expensive to service electric cars. In fact, the maintenance costs of electric cars are around 30% less on average than an equivalent petrol or diesel – meaning the motorists save money in the long run.
On average, electric cars are much lighter on brake wear too as they use regenerative braking, where some of the energy from slowing down is used to recharge the battery rather than being wasted.
If you are concerned about service costs, then your PEUGEOT dealer will be happy to discuss a service plan package which will spread out the cost over the year and guarantee predictable expenditure to make it more affordable.
Can every PEUGEOT dealer look after an electric car?
Most of the vehicle components are shared with the petrol and diesel models, with the main difference being the electric powertrain. It is actually much simpler, however conducting repairs requires special training to ensure everyone is kept safe – after all, there is high voltage and a lot of power involved.
Your PEUGEOT retailer’s expert technicians have undertaken a series of training courses which ensure that they are able to maintain and repair electric and hybrid vehicles. At the end of the training, they are certified as experts in electric vehicle maintenance.
It’s essential that any accidental repairs are undertaken by technicians who are qualified to work with electric vehicles. This will mean that any damage to the EV battery, motor or charging systems is handled properly to keep everyone safe and ensure the systems continue to function reliably.
Are electric cars safe in an accident?
The independent testing organisation EuroNCAP tests most cars on the market and has discovered that electric vehicles are as safe - or even safer - than a conventional car in the event of an accident.
The welfare of our customers and that of other road users is our top priority, so PEUGEOT’s engineering team ensure that all our vehicles are fitted with the latest technology to prevent accidents from taking place in the first instance. In the unfortunate event of an accident, the car’s strong shell and passive safety systems will ensure that the occupants and the electrical systems are well isolated from harm.
Can you drive electric cars in a flood/heavy rain/car wash?
It’s well known of course that electricity and water don’t mix, which is why PEUGEOT’s engineers go to extraordinary lengths to ensure its EVs can be used in all the same conditions you would expect to use a conventional petrol or diesel car. Prototypes have been tested in heavy rain, standing water and other extreme weather conditions. They have even been tested in a lightning storm situation and been found to be perfectly safe.
In general, there is no need to modify your behaviour in an electric car as both electric and cars with a combustion engine are both perfectly safe to drive in extreme weather or a car wash.
Low/Zero Emission Zones: What are they, and what do they mean for me?
Low and Zero Emission Zones are areas which are to specifically be used by traffic which produces little or no exhaust emissions. This is normally because they are densely populated urban areas where the air quality is of a poor standard.
The first Low and Ultra Low Emission Zones are in London, with the idea to extend them to much larger areas in the future. Any vehicles which enter the zone must be officially certified to have modern emissions equipment or be a cleaner engine type.
In Oxford, the City Council has recently proposed to create a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) trial scheme in the city centre, starting in August 2021. London is also trialling ZEZ within certain streets and more are expected to follow around the centre of the city that will only allow vehicles that produce zero tailpipe emissions while they are in the zone. Due to this, only pure electric vehicles, or PHEVs, which can run in electric-only mode will be allowed to enter.
Cities all over the UK have similar zones or are expected to introduce low or zero-emission zones. These include places such as Aberdeen, Bath, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle, and Sheffield.
Will PHEVs be able to use ZEZs in future?
The rules in place around Plug-In Hybrid vehicles inside Zero Emission Zones are still to be finalised. For example, the Oxford Scheme will only allow vehicles completely powered by an electric battery inside the designated area without paying, so PHEVs would not be included even if they are running in electric mode.
In the future, as schemes become more widespread, it’s likely that a system will be established allowing PHEV owners to use technology to prove they didn’t use an internal combustion engine while driving in the zone. Motorists could simply display an indicator light which illuminates when in EV mode, as is the case on PEUGEOT PHEVs.
PEUGEOT endeavours to ensure it is part of the policy discussion and its customers’ interests are considered and will make sure its PHEV vehicles are ready whatever the final decision will be.
Taxation and subsidies
What incentives are there to help me switch to electric?
There are a lot of incentives available to motorists to purchase an electric car. The UK government is extremely keen to promote the uptake of electric vehicles and incentivises their purchase in various ways. The biggest incentive is the Plug-In car grant, Which provides up to £1,500 towards the cost of a new 100% electric car, when priced under £32,000.
For vans and minibuses, it is 35% of purchase price up to £2,500 for small vans (< 2.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) and 35% of purchase price up to £5,000 for large vans (2.5-3.5t GVW). To be eligible, vans have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and be able to travel at least 96km (60 miles) without any emissions at all.
Alongside this, road tax costs (Vehicle Excise Duty) are £0 and there are substantial tax incentives for business car drivers and businesses to make the switch to pure electric or PHEV vehicles.
I’m a company car driver. What benefits are there to switch to electric or PHEV cars?
If you have been lucky enough to be given a car to use by your workplace, it will certainly be worth your while to make the switch to electric or hybrid. This is since the government incentivises zero-emission vehicles and PHEVs with compellingly low benefit-in-kind taxation rates.
In the 2021-22 tax year the rate is 1%, which means company electric car drivers and their employers will be able to save considerable sums compared to a conventional car with a petrol or diesel engine. Overall, the savings could be in the thousands every year.
The savings for PHEVs aren’t quite so large but there are still substantial savings compared to conventional cars, offering rates of just 10% versus 30% on a comparable diesel version.
Alongside this, motorists will be able to charge their EV at their employer’s premises without it being considered a taxable benefit, despite you using the power for personal miles and commuting.
What is going to happen in future to EV taxes?
Although government policy can change at any time, the UK has signed up for some strict guidelines about climate change and air pollution meaning that electrified road transport is vital if we are going to hit the targets. It would be illogical for a government to disincentivize the uptake of EVs with new taxes.
Although, it is unlikely that the incentives which are currently on offer to electric vehicle buyers will continue once these cars and vans have become mainstream and new petrol and diesel cars are banned from sale in 2030. The Plug-in car grant as it stands today is funded until 2022/23. However, we have seen the level of the grant change in the past during this period.
There have been indications of this already with the scaling back of the benefit-in-kind incentive for company car drivers. In the 2020-21 tax year the rate is 0%, saving most company car drivers and their employers large sums of money. In 2021-22 it increases to 1% and then 2% the following year. This still offers a large saving compared to conventional cars, which will also become more expensive to run over time.
Is it easy to charge an EV/PHEV?
Charging your EV or PHEV can be as simple as plugging in your phone or laptop, and all you need is a standard UK domestic socket. Despite this, we do recommend owners have a dedicated home wallbox installed at their home. This will make charging far faster, safer, and more convenient. Away from home, you will have the choice of two different types of charging.
AC: It’s similar to what you might use with your home wallbox. These charging units are typically found in places where you will be parked for a longer period, such as train stations, shopping centres and office buildings.
DC or ‘rapid charging’. They are usually found in service stations and other locations near to major roads. They will normally be attached to a supermarket or restaurant. They are specially designed to top up your batteries while you are on a long journey on the road, or perhaps to do a weekly charge if you don’t have access to off-street parking. These can charge a PEUGEOT at up to 100kW, making them much faster than UK standard AC outlets.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
The amount of time it takes to charge an electric car will depend, mainly on the type of electrical connection you have access to. The slowest charger is a normal three-pin socket, which is best kept for ‘emergency’ use when there is not any other form of charger available.
The amount of electrical charge from these is around 2kW per hour. The average capacity for a car battery is around 60kWh. Do the calculations and see that will take a long time to get to 100% full. They can be extremely handy if you just want to get a few extra miles in the ‘tank’ though.
The most common charger for EV owners is a wallbox, which will normally feed power at either 3.6, 7.2 or 11kWh. There are also public AC chargers, that have similar outputs to a wallbox, so plugging in while you shop or have lunch in a busy city centre would add around 30 miles of range to a car like the PEUGEOT e-2008.
The biggest and fastest chargers of all are called DC ‘rapids’ and can be found at service stations and other locations up and down the country.
What will owning an electric car do to my electricity bill?
If you have an electric car for daily use, it can be expected that your energy bill will rise. The benefit, of course, is that you will never have to go to a petrol station again, so that cost will disappear. In general, the cost of the electricity will be about a quarter of the price of the fuel you used to fill your petrol-powered car up with.
Once you have purchased your electric car, it will be worth shopping around for different energy deals which consider your higher usage and reduce the price per kW/h unit. Many suppliers will also be able to offer you cheaper energy prices at night by using a smart meter.
Simply by setting your PEUGEOT's charging timer in the car’s infotainment menu or via the MYPEUGEOT app, you will be able to take advantage of cheaper electric rates to top up while you sleep. This will help you cut the cost of recharging by up to a third or even more.
Another efficient way of cutting costs is looking out for places which offer free electric car charging. Some shops and businesses will let you plug in for free and you can charge at your place of work without it being considered a taxable benefit.
How do I charge away from home?
Most EV owners will charge their car at home or work most of the time, just because it is so convenient. You can park your car while you sleep or get on with your day of work or leisure and get back to find your battery has been topped up. However, there’re likely going to be times when you need to charge your vehicle away from your home.
You can find convenient charging points along your route with the MYPEUGEOT app. Once you have located the charge point, may sure to make a note of the type of charger it is.
If you plan to be parked for more than an hour or are plugging in a PHEV, an AC charger will be the most suitable for your vehicle. These do not usually have a cable attached, so you will need to use the ‘Type 2’ lead which comes complete with your car.
For the quickest and most efficient charge for your pure electric car, look for a DC charger, usually referred to as a ‘rapid’. Rapid chargers work at a very high voltage and can add lots of power extremely quickly. They have cables that are attached to the charger unit, so make sure to park as close as possible to your charging port, and then select the plug marked ‘CCS’.
What happens if I run out of charge?
You may have heard of ‘range anxiety’. This is something which can be experienced by most first-time electric car owners. If you are driving a PHEV, the car will simply switch to petrol power once the battery has run out of charge. However, in an electric car, you will experience much the same sensation as if you ran out of fuel in a petrol car, although you will be warned several times before you get to the stage where the car won’t move.
Your electric vehicle will also offer to find the nearest charging points using the MYPEUGEOT app as the battery level starts to decrease, giving you the best opportunity of keeping on the move. If you do find yourself having run out of power, the MYPEUGEOT app is also able to call PEUGEOT’s mobility service. It will provide information such as your location. Your vehicle will then be transported to the nearest charge point to get you back on the road as soon as possible.
Is PEUGEOT looking at hydrogen and synthetic fuels?
We work continuously with experts from different parts of the globe to ensure the fuels used in our vehicles are as efficient and sustainable as possible.
However, the practicalities of producing, storing, and distributing hydrogen mean that battery electric vehicles are a far more viable option of cars and light vans in the UK right now. They are currently much cheaper to purchase and operate too.
Some industry experts have also put forward synthetic fuels as a way of reducing carbon and being kinder to the environment. Like hydrogen, they are created using electricity to manufacture a fuel which can then be burned in a conventional internal combustion engine. Due to this, existing cars and commercial vehicles can also use them with no changes needed to infrastructure.
In the UK and Europe, which has an advanced and rapidly developing electric charging infrastructure, PEUGEOT believes the best way it can contribute to the decarbonisation of transport is to continue producing affordable and attractive battery-electric and PHEV vehicles which drivers will be proud to own and drive.
Can I tow with an electric vehicle or PHEV?
I most cases, towing trailers, and other items with your electric or hybrid vehicle will hamper the efficiency and reduce the electric-only range available to the driver. Petrol or diesel car face similar issues, which will affect the fuel economy of the vehicle.
This is, however, being worked on as EVs become more powerful and efficient – take the PEUGEOT e-Traveller which can tow up to 1,000kg.
Are electric vans suitable for my business?
Electric vans will be perfect for a huge number of businesses in the UK. With electric-only ranges of up to 205 miles, they offer a large amount of savings in running costs, reduced maintenance times, less driver fatigue and exemption from congestion charging and low-emission zone fees – things that add up to a more efficient, but more affordable drive.
There may be a small number of businesses who may need to do bigger mileages between charges, both vehicles offer rapid charging of up to 100kW, allowing drivers to quickly add miles to the range while they take a short break.
Also, the electric vans don’t compromise when it comes to practicality. They offer useful load space to their owners, which is identical in size to the diesel variants.
What happens to the range when I’m carrying a load?
All the official range figures for PEUGEOT electric vans are calculated using the vehicle carrying half of its official payload. This will be enough for many businesses plus more, and a lighter load in your van could mean it will be even more efficient. If you add more weight on board, that will affect the range too.
One of the most important things is to work out the range you will really need for the van to work for your business. Another thing to keep in mind is that electric motors produce all their torque the instant you press the accelerator, so you won’t need to be revving the engine or slipping the clutch to do a hill start with a load on board or a trailer behind you.
What grants are there to help me buy an electric van?
For vans and minibuses, the government offer 35% of the purchase price up to £3,000 for small vans (< 2.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) and 35% of the purchase price up to £6,000 for large vans (2.5-3.5t GVW). To be eligible for the scheme, vans have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and be able to travel at least 96km (60 miles) without any emissions at all.
Another thing you might find that the government in your local area may have additional schemes to help with the cost of purchasing an electric van, especially if you are scrapping an older van or minibus. Make sure to check in with your nearest local authority or ask your retailer for advice.
Along with these incentives, you will be exempt from paying road tax, the London congestion charge or ULEZ levy. These benefits will leave to a potential saving of thousands every year for drivers who need to enter London. Other cities across Britain are set to follow with their own zones in the near future.
Electric van owners who get to take their van home and use it for personal use are also encouraged to make the switch, with Benefit in Kind taxation at 60% of the standard van rate.