There is a world of knowledge when it comes to EVs, so choosing five things to share in this blog post was a challenge. We’ve picked two fun facts about EVs and three often neglected, but important EV charging facts that any EV owner should know.
Let’s kick things off with the fun facts. So, did you know…?
EVs can be dated back to the 1800s
Early EVs were obviously very far from what we now know, but the concept did exist in the early 1800s. The problem back then was that batteries were not rechargeable, so although carriages could be made to run via electricity, the battery would need to be replaced once it was out of juice.
This was until 1859 when rechargeable batteries became available. A Scottish chemist patented his electric carriage in 1890, which had 24 battery cells that needed recharging every 50 miles. The early 1900s saw a surge in EVs, but due to limited range and very high costs, gasoline was favoured and by 1920 the development of EVs began to slow. They began their comeback in the 1990s which has led to the technology we know today.
Speaking of modern EVs, did you know…?
The longest EV range is 516 miles
The battery range of an EV is one of the main reasons many people are put off making the switch. With technology constantly advancing and manufacturers working hard to produce the model with the highest range, this becomes less and less of a problem.
At the time of writing, the EV model with the highest range is the 2023 Lucid Air with an incredible 516 miles. This is over double the average range, which is currently 224 miles. On the other end of the scale, the Smart EQ Fortwo can only travel 60 miles on a full charge. This is one of – if not the – lowest ranges on the market right now.
With the fun facts out of the way, let’s get into some important facts that you should be aware of as an EV owner. Did you know…?
You can be fined for using public charge points
Not many EV owners are aware of the possibility of a fine when using a public charge point, but it’s important to know and remember.
When using a public charge point within a car park, you should always be mindful of any time limits set by the car park itself. National World reported one driver who was fined £120 after spending 100 minutes in a Mcdonald’s car park whilst charging their EV. The time limit for that particular car park was 90 minutes. Be sure to always check for a stay limit when charging within a car park.
Car park fees aside, the charge point itself can also hit you with a fine, designed to stop drivers from taking up charge points for too long. The Times reported of a driver who left his EV on charge overnight at a charge point on the M4. He expected to pay £26 but was instead charged £123.
ESB Energy charge points charge an £8 fine if you are plugged in for over an hour, and Genie Point charges a £10 fee if you’re charging for over 90 minutes, with an additional £10 added for every further 90 minutes that you’re there. Tesla Superchargers enforce an ‘idle fee’ which can see you charged either 50p or £1 per minute that your Tesla remains plugged in once fully charged, depending on how busy the charging station is.
Always check the terms and conditions and any other information that is available when plugging in at a charging station. Leading on from this, the next fact is another scenario where you could see yourself with a rather large ‘fine’. Did you know…?
EV charging could land you in a lawsuit
Don’t worry, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds, but definitely good to know. This mainly applies to EV owners who do not have off-street parking but do charge their EVs at home. In this situation, you likely run the charging cable across the pavement in order to connect to both the electricity source at home and the vehicle itself. This is completely legal, but there are considerations to take when doing so.
A cable running across the pavement is not only a concern for those who are visually impaired or use a wheelchair, but it can act as a potential hazard for any pedestrian. If someone was to injure themselves tripping over the cable you could be liable through a personal injury lawyer or motor insurer claims. The injury would need to be rather severe to equal a claim, but it is still a risk.
You should always cover the cable with a raised plastic cable protector – similar to what you see on construction sites. These can be purchased for around £20, which is a small price to pay in order to safeguard yourself against a potential lawsuit.
Having your charging cable exposed can also make it more vulnerable to thieves. You may think an EV cable is undesirable to a thief, but did you know…?
EV cables are highly targeted by thieves
It may be a surprise to you that EV charging cables are commonly stolen. They can be seen as an easy win for thieves as they are relatively easy to obtain and can either be sold second-hand or be taken apart to sell the copper found inside.
Some chargers have security flaws that mean those who are cunning enough can unlock the cable remotely, then can simply grab it and go, and of course, there is always the option of just forcibly removing the cable from the vehicle. This makes charging cables an easy picking for thieves.
There are a few methods you can take to deter thieves from targeting your charging cable. If possible, have your charge point installed away from the view of the street, such as in a carport or garage. If your charge point is in view, investing in home CCTV and sensor lights can help deter thieves. You can also buy padlocks designed for charging cables, making them much harder to steal.
Hopefully you’ll never fall victim to charging cable theft, but by investing in a spare charging cable you can ensure that you’re never left unable to charge. Without a spare cable, you can’t charge your vehicle at home until you get a replacement, which won’t necessarily be as quickly as you need. Having a spare cable is also beneficial if your current cable was to break.
Our Plug&Drive EV charging cables are reliable and competitively priced, meaning you don’t need to break the bank when securing a spare cable, and you won’t find yourself unable to charge due to breakage or theft.