Common questions about electric cars

6 frequently asked questions about electric vehicles

When thinking about switching to an electric vehicle, there are many questions that need to be answered before taking the leap. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the questions that most people have on their minds when considering a move to an electric vehicle.

If you need help understanding any of the terminology in this post, check out our EV glossary.

  1. Does air conditioning drain the power supply?

Like most vehicles, having the air conditioning on full blast will increase the energy consumption of your vehicle. The good news for EV drivers is that there are a few things you can do to conserve energy and keep cool at the same time. Most Electric Vehicles have a feature called preconditioning which allows drivers to pre-cool the inside of the car before a long journey.

This handy feature is best used when the car is plugged in during the night so that the power is taken from the mains supply rather than the car battery during the journey. This means you’ll be able to enjoy cool temperatures inside your EV during the hottest summer days.


  1. Can I charge my smartphone during a long journey?

Yes, you can. You can charge your phone by plugging directly into the USB port. If you are concerned that charging your phone will drain the battery power of your EV, most electric cars will have an eco-mode that will increase the efficiency of the car. This works by limiting some of the power for the onboard electrical systems, meaning you won’t be able to fast-charge your phone. But EV drivers won’t be draining the car’s power by charging their phone during a long journey.


  1. Are electric cars Automatic?

Yes, most electric vehicles are automatic. As electric cars don’t require gears there’s no need for manual transmission. This means that you’ll experience a much smoother ride and no chance of stalling the car.


  1. Are electric cars safe to drive

With high-voltage batteries and electrical systems, you might think that driving an EV can be unsafe if something goes wrong. EVs are just as safe as standard petrol or diesel cars. If the worst should happen and you have an accident in an EV, it’s important to remember that electric cars must go through the same rigorous testing as a standard car. Sturdy structures, extensive crumple zones, and multiple airbags ensure that drivers and passengers of an EV are well protected in the event of an accident.

  1. Can you charge your EV when it’s raining?

This is a common question and one that makes sense to double check bearing in mind that we’re taught at an early age that you should never combine water with electricity. In short, though, the answer is that it’s safe to charge your EV, even when it’s raining outside. The electrical charging plug and socket in the car are designed to ensure there is very little ingress of dirt or water particles. As well as the safe design of the actual charging port and cables, the car’s onboard systems are highly sophisticated which means that no electricity will flow into the car until several safety checks are completed first. This will include whether any water has entered any of the connections meaning that it’ll be completely safe to charge your vehicle no matter the weather.


  1. Can you tow a caravan with an EV?

It really depends on the model of the EV in question. As it stands, many hybrids and fully electric vehicles are not legally allowed to tow a caravan. This is because the manufacturers have not sought type approval from the authorities. Before a car is allowed to legally tow a caravan or a trailer, it needs to have something called type approval or homologation. This is a process of testing to make sure a vehicle meets all requirements to be driven legally on UK roads.

Many hybrid and electric vehicles can’t legally tow a caravan as they were not designed with this in mind. So, in summary, it’s best to do some research into which makes and models have been type approved. Only a handful of electric cars are certified to tow a caravan or trailer including models from Jaguar, Audi, Mercedes and Tesla.



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