WHAT do you think of when you consider electric vehicles (EVs)? What’s an EV like to drive? How far can I go, for example?
According to Ben Fletcher, Renault’s expert in electrification across both cars and vans, the three most common questions are these:
- The first – how much does it cost?
- The second – how long does the battery last?
- The third – how quick is it to charge?
I was talking to Ben over dinner prior to the CV Show at NEC (Apr 24-26) last night, who is helping potential Renault customers make the transition to EVs.
This practical assistance was one of the reasons the independent judges in our SME Company Car of the Year awards gave Renault the Best Green Company Car title – and similarly the independent judging panel on the Business Van of the Year Awards gave Renault the Best Green Van Award.
Ben, who is Z.E. Range Manager to give him his full title, said the how much does it cost question is worth looking at not just from the initial cost, but the total savings available (your monthly running costs of around 2p per mile, lower maintenance, hugely reduced company car tax) plus of course the Plug-in Car Grant.
How long does the battery last is usually driven by fears over iPhone battery experience, Ben explained. But once someone has driven an EV, they realise you don’t have to charge it at every opportunity. In most cases there is enough range to cover all your motoring. “In real life conditions, a Zoe will go for 186 miles in summer, and about 124 miles in cold winter conditions.”
And finally how quick is it to charge? Ben says Renault advice is to get a 7kW wall charger fitted rather than rely on three pin charging from the domestic supply. “It just takes too long,” reckons Ben. “EV ownership should not be difficult. A wall charger makes life so easy. A full charge can be achieved within eight hours, or a partial charge will give you enough if you need to get away quicker.”
Ben says its Z.E. models are supplied with a 6m long charging cable to make sure it can reach the wallbox even if the car is backed into a drive with the car’s charging point at the front of the car.
“All I can say is that once people try an electric car, there tends to be no turning back. It’s time to overcome the fears and embrace EV ownership!”
If you want to read more about EVs, about owning and running them, then check out our Electric Cars section.