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Electric vehicles

A guide to electric vehicles

If the UK is to reach its net zero target, we need to radically reduce our use of fossil fuels. In 2020, the government announced plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. As a result the number of electric vehicles on our roads is predicted to rise to more than 35 million in the next 30 years.

Background to electric vehicles
Next steps on your electric vehicle journey
Costs, charging your EV and grants and taxation
Case study

Background to electric vehicles

While many of our customers are now considering buying their first electric vehicle (EV), some are concerned about the cost, choice of model, range of travel and the availability of charge points. 

For businesses, having charge points at the workplace will become increasingly important as a facility for employees and visitors. If you are planning to change your fleet to EVs, installing your own charge points is a must.

This part of our website aims to help you get to know all about EVs and EV charging. If you want to connect an EV charge point to our network, please visit our connections page. To find out how we're preparing our network for the uptake of EVs in the North West, please see our EV strategy.

What is an EV?

An electric or ‘alternatively fuelled vehicle’ is any vehicle that doesn’t rely on a conventional petrol or diesel engine.

There are a number of different types of EVs available, most of which can be categorised as pure electric/plug-in vehicles or hybrids. Hybrids combine battery power with a regular petrol or diesel engine.

Do EVs cost more than petrol and diesel vehicles?

The upfront purchase costs of EVs are generally more expensive than their traditional counterparts at the moment, but prices are already falling and it’s expected that the cost of an EV will become comparable or even cheaper than a conventional petrol or diesel car. In the long run, cheaper fuelling, tax and maintenance costs will offset the purchase price and make it cheaper to own and operate an EV.

At present the majority of EVs qualify for a government grant that will reduce the price by up to £3,000 for cars and £8,000 for vans. This is included in the price offered by the vehicle dealer.

How much does it cost to charge an EV?

Charging an EV is currently far cheaper than filling a fuel tank with petrol or diesel. For example, if electricity costs 15p per kilowatt hour, you could home-charge a Nissan Leaf to 100% for a mere £3, compared to £15 in a petrol car.

Will I run out of charge?

The latest EV models come with longer range and higher charging capacity than older models which should mean you can drive your EV as far as you drive your traditional vehicle. There are now around 10,000 public EV charge points nationwide and this number is growing on a daily basis.

Are EVs right for my business?

Commercial EVs offer a number of benefits over conventional petrol and diesel fleet vehicles. As a UK business you could save thousands by switching to electric cars or vans thanks to government grants, significant fuel savings and vastly reduced repair and maintenance costs. 

Next steps on your electric vehicle journey

Here's where to go for more advice on purchasing electric vehicles and installing charge points.

Costs, charging your EV and grants and taxation

Charging your electric vehicle

Understanding how and where you can charge your electric vehicle.

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Costs and taxation

A look at the likely costs and taxation of running an electric vehicle.

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Commercial charge points

A guide to installing electric vehicle charge points at your business or in public places.

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Connecting a charge point

How to connect your charge point to the electricity network.

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Grants and tax benefits for business

How your business can benefit from changing your fleet to electric vehicles.

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Frequently asked questions

Some frequently asked questions about owning and charging an electric vehicle.

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Case study

EV charge points accessible for all at Electricity North West

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