Quick Guide to Battery Electric Vehicles BEV | Select Car Leasing

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Battery Electric Vehicles

This page is devoted to the full fat, 100% Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), offering zero-emission, low-cost motoring.

Ready for an electric adrenaline rush? Jump in to discover the secrets and many advantages of battery-powered driving.

Should Your Next Car be All-Electric?

Pure electric vehicles are great for the environment and offer stunning fuel savings. Read our 6-step guide, full of essential tips and advice:

  1. What Are The Key Features of a BEV?
  2. What Range Will I Get From The Battery?
  3. Charging a BEV – What's The Best Approach?
  4. Will an EV Save Me Money?
  5. What About The Environmental Impact?
  6. How to Manage Your Energy & Drive Down Costs

#1 What Are The Key Features of a BEV?

A fully electric car has no internal combustion engine. Instead of petrol or diesel, it runs on electricity.

How do you get electricity into the vehicle? You plug it into the mains, usually via a dedicated charging point either at home, work or in public.

The electricity stored in the vehicle’s battery then powers one or more electric motors that turn the wheels.

Battery Electric Vehicles are quiet to drive (no engine noise) and often enjoy fantastic acceleration, as there are no gears, and power from the battery gets applied instantly to the electric motor(s).

#2 What Range Will I Get From The Battery?

How far will an electric car go when the battery is fully charged? That depends on:

  • The size of the battery.
  • How efficient the car is.
  • Other factors such as outside temperature, your speed, driving style, terrain, etc.

Most new EVs will travel between 130 and 300 miles on a single charge of the battery.

Read our Range Guide for further details on how both the ambient temperature and the way you drive have a direct bearing on the range you get in a BEV.

#3 Charging a BEV – What's The Best Approach?

If you have off-street parking, get an EV charging point installed and charge your vehicle on a low-cost tariff. Each hour of charging typically adds 25-30 miles of range.

By charging at home, you can wake up each day to a ‘full tank’ of electricity – in other words, you start the day with maximum range.

When you are out and about, you will come across public charging points at supermarkets, carparks, hotels, restaurants, etc. Take your charging cable with you and top up if you need to.

For longer trips, stop at service stations and ‘rapid’ charge. Depending on which electric car you have and the charger itself, you can usually add between 60-120 miles’ range after 20 minutes of charging.

Charging at home is generally the cheapest. Rapid charging is the most expensive. Our Charging Guide has more details.

#4 Will an EV Save Me Money?

Battery Electric Vehicles allow you to make substantial fuel savings compared to a conventional vehicle, especially if you charge at home on an EV-friendly tariff.

Here are guideline monthly running costs for an all-electric Renault Zoe ZE50 R135 Rapid Charge (GT Line trim) lease, based on 8,000 miles a year, 36-month term, 9 months’ deposit, and assuming the car is charged overnight at an off-peak rate of 8p per kWh:

Running CostsMonthly
Lease payment£223.58*
Petrol costs£0
Electricity costs£14.60**
Road tax£0
Insurance (estimate)£55.73
Total per Month£293.91


*Correct as of 7 April 2021. **Assuming a real-world range of 190 miles and a usable battery capacity of 52 kWh. Breakdown cover is included for at least the first year by the manufacturer.

Already know what you're looking for?  Why not phone one of our friendly EV consultants on 0118 920 5130 or email us at enquiries@selectcarleasing.co.uk

#5 What About The Environmental Impact?

All Battery Electric Vehicles are zero-emissions. They don’t have exhaust pipes, and so cannot emit pollutants like CO2, NOx gases, particulate matter, and so on.

To go completely green, you also need to charge your vehicle with electricity from a renewable source, such as wind turbines and solar panels. Fortunately there are now a number of home electricity suppliers that offer renewable energy tariffs, such as Good Energy.

The other good news is that EV batteries last a long time – nowadays probably longer than the car itself – and have a good future. Most will have a second life in so-called ‘stationary storage’. Once the battery cells are then totally depleted, the battery will be recycled.

Of course if you lease an electric car for 2-4 years, you won’t have to worry about battery recycling and degradation, but it’s good to know the vehicle's battery will have a long life.

#6 Manage Your Energy & Drive Down Costs

Once you start driving a BEV, your attention will turn quickly to your electricity bills.

If you charge your car at home, here are the main ways of keeping your EV energy costs down:

  • Pick an electricity provider that offers a low, EV-friendly rate.
  • Make sure you charge when that low rate is available. On some tariffs, there is one rate 24 hours a day, while other tariffs have two rates. Your low, off-peak rate might be in the middle of the night – your car or charging point can be programmed to come on automatically in the low rate slot.
  • Consider having solar PV panels installed on your roof which will allow you to generate your own free electricity from the sun.
  • If you do have solar panels and your car isn’t plugged in during the day when the sun is shining, you can also install battery storage which will capture excess solar electricity and then allow you to discharge that electricity to the car in the evening.

Where to Next?

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