The market for electric cars is rapidly growing and it is due to their sustainability and cheaper running costs, electric vehicles are going to be the way of the future. If you are indecisive about whether to go forward and try driving electric, our electric vehicle hire and rental services are the best choice to give you a taste. Starting out it can be very overwhelming with all of the lingo and technology, fear not EVision Electric Vehicle Hire have got you covered. Throughout this blog post we aim to answer the basic questions before you take out an EV rental with us. First things first, there are two main abbreviations you need to know; Electric Vehicle (EV) and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE).
Unlocking the car
Just when you think you know everything, technology comes in and switches things up. Electric cars are key-less starting however there is a range limit so do not panic, your precious vehicle will still be safe outside whilst the key is in your home. Typically the range limit for key-less starting requires the user to be in the driver’s seat.
EVs still have the standard car key aspect but are much more stylish and slim, each make and model tend to have their own design too. Our Renault ZOE that we have available to hire, has a small remote style key with the standard lock, unlock and boot function buttons. The Tesla Model 3 has a thin credit-card sized key which unlocks the vehicle when tapped on the circular sensor. To take it even further, some EVs can be unlocked and controlled to a certain extent via an app.
Yes, the door handles are still there, they are just hidden. On a traditional car the door handles are just there, they never disappear. This is not the case with most electric cars, everything is tucked away and streamline. Electric vehicle door handles tend to raise out when the vehicle is unlocked, along with this the wing mirrors unfold from the body of the car. Many EVs still have traditional style doors that swing out from a hinge. However certain makes and models have unconventional doors such as the Tesla Model X90D, this particular model comes with falcon wing doors which raise up and out from the body of the car. Another EV with unconventional doors is the BMW i3, this EV has suicide doors also known as coach doors; meaning that both doors open from the centre of the vehicle outwards.
All electric cars have just two pedals, this may not be a problem for those who usually drive an automatic, but for those who have a manual this may take some adjusting. Initially there may be some harsh braking as you get used to having no clutch but trust us when we say, you will adjust quickly and enjoy it. With the two pedals you have the brake and the accelerator, after time you start to appreciate the convenience of easy stopping and starting.
Another noticeable change from a manual is the gear stick, an EV gear stick works in the same way as an automatic like that of the Renault Zoe. However, other gear sticks vary in layout such as the BMW i3 with the gears located on the right hand side of the steering wheel. The Kia e-Niro has a circular button that rotates to switch between gears, and the Audi has a tabbed gear stick on the floating centre console. No matter what EV the gear stick will always be situated within arms reach, and will just take some adjusting to the different types.
Once you are used to the difference you are able to sit back and experience the smooth, quiet and comfortable ride an electric car has to offer. The stereotype of not having much acceleration and power is nothing but a myth, they are more than capable of good acceleration and can hold their own against an ICE vehicle. One main difference though is that you can take pride when driving, knowing that you are guilt-free and you’re not polluting the environment.
A common worry with electric vehicles is the battery, and the accessibility of charging points for users. This is no longer the case. The UK now has more electric charging points than petrols stations alone. Whilst they are not all rapid charging points they are still able to charge your EV perfectly. A handy and useful app for EV users is Zap Map, this enables drivers to locate electric car charging points in the UK, and get information about the available connector types at that station.
Now, you have heard me mention rapid charge, this is 1 of 3 types of charging. The meaning behind each charging type is the power output therefore giving varying speeds for charging. Rapid charge is either Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC). There is plenty more information about the difference between these two types from Zap Map. Just to make things simple they will both charge your EV to roughly 80% within 30-60 minutes depending on the battery size. Fast charging is typically around 3-4 hours for a full charge, while slower units are best suited for overnight charging as they usually take around 6-12 hours for an all-electric vehicle.
Need extra room?
You may be wondering whether electric cars are bigger or smaller than your standard ICE vehicle, they are identical in size and are usually more spacious inside.
The best part about an all-electric vehicle is the extra space. Typically ICE cars have the engine in the front and a boot in the back but when you remove the combustion engine and replace it with a battery what happens? In most EVs such as the Tesla Model 3, you get a trunk, don’t worry we haven’t spelled trunk wrong. The trunk is your additional storage space to your trunk/boot situated underneath the bonnet. This extra room is perfect for storing your bags when travelling or if you’ve overindulged on a shopping trip.
Let’s talk technology
Technology and electric vehicles go hand in hand. The gadgets and gizmos packed inside are amazing by any standard, but are equally just as helpful to ease your journey and enhance your experience.
A standard feature that you will see across our fleet of electric vehicles is a touchscreen infotainment system, this often allows you to control the music, navigation and air-con flow to name a few. Here at EVision we have created feature videos on how to use them and make the most of your electric car choice. In some instances this screen also becomes the dashboard, the Tesla Model 3 is a prime example of this. Whilst it does take some adjusting to not seeing your driving speed and information on the panel behind the steering wheel, it does modernise and slim the dashboard down allowing for more viewing area whilst on the road.
Parking sensors are another feature that EVs have and some come with a rear camera, whilst this is not a new feature by any means it does give you peace of mind, and ease when parking in urban areas which is a bonus. Another pre-existing feature which has been enhanced is cruise control, vehicles such as the Kia e-Niro come with automatic cruise control with a radar that keeps you at a safe distance to the car in front.
We are here to help
So, you’ve read our newbies guide to electric cars and want to know more about what electric cars we have to offer?
Browse our website at your own leisure, if you need any more guidance we offer a live chat option via our website where our team will be happy to help.
If you wish to contact our team regarding a quote you can do so by visiting the website or call us on 01634 914063.