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Frequently Asked Questions

Q
What is an electric vehicle and how do they work?
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A
An electric car is a vehicle that is powered solely by electricity. From the outside, you would have virtually no idea that a car is electric. When you drive an electric car one of the only things that reminds you that it's 100% electric is the nearly silent cabin.

Electric cars use an on-board battery to store electrical energy, which is recharged by connecting it to an electricity supply. When required, energy is drawn from the electric-cells and converted to motive power by the use of one or more electric motors.
Q
What is a hybrid vehicle and how do they work?
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A hybrid vehicle is one that uses more than one means of driving force. That means combining a conventional petrol or diesel internal combustion engine with an electric motor. Each of the power sources can drive the car independently or they can work together.

A hybrid vehicle combines the most efficient power sources for the action the car is taking. This maximizes fuel savings and minimize carbon emissions. The electric motor powers the car at low speeds and when the car picks up speed, the petrol or diesel engine kicks in. As the gas engine is in use it powers up the electric batteries. Both engines can work together if more acceleration is needed giving the vehicle plenty of boost. If the driver applies the brakes or slows down, the hybrid car stops using power and instead harnesses power from the car's spinning wheels and stores it in the generator.
Q
What are the benefits of electric vehicles?
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There are many benefits to owning an electric vehicle.

The running costs can be significantly lower than their petrol or diesel counterparts and all of our electric vehicles are exempt from road tax. Meaning you're saving money as well as emissions. Electric vehicle drivers are also exempt from Company Car Tax and the London Congestion Charge.

Electric vehicles can be charged overnight using a approved Home Charging Unit. You can recharge your electric vehicle battery overnight which means you no longer need to visit a fuel station.

Electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions making them the most environmentally-friendly vehicles on the road. With instant torque and no engine noise, you can drive in a near silent cabin.
Q
What are the benefits of hybrid vehicles?
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A
The engine in hybrid vehicles has been built to be very fuel efficient. When a hybrid vehicle stops at a traffic light, the engine will automatically turn off and restart whenever the vehicle is put into gear. When you start off again the electric motor kicks in for quick acceleration.

The batteries of the electric motor recharge themselves by utilizing the kinetic energy generated during braking. The engine doesn't need any more maintenance than in any other car.
Q
What is a plug-in hybrid vehicle?
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A plug-in hybrid can be plugged into an electric outlet to recharge the batteries, as well as being charged on the move.
Q
What's the difference between electric and hybrid vehicles?
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A
Electric vehicles are solely powered by an electric motor and require no fuel. They have no tailpipe and emit no emissions whilst driving.

Hybrid vehicles run on a combination of an internal combustion engine and electric motor.
Q
How do you recharge an electric vehicle?
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A
Electric Vehicles can be charged at home or at a public charging station. You simply plug your vehicle into the charge point using the cable provided with the vehicle, or in some cases the tethered cable attached to the Home Charging Unit.
Q
Where can I charge my electric vehicle?
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A
Charging at your home is the easiest and most convenient way of charging your vehicle. Most people drive less than 50 miles a day which is in the range of most electric vehicles. Facilities are available around Shropshire which you can use to help top up your battery while you're out.

Click the link below to see where locations of charging stations worldwide.
Q
What's the lifespan of an electric car battery?
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A
The battery packs used in electric vehicles are designed to last the life of the vehicle.

The lifespan of an electric car battery depends on what type of battery the vehicle has. For example, lithium-iron-phosphate batteries can last up to 10 years or longer.

Some electric vehicles come with a generous battery warranty to give you peace of mind. Contact your local Greenhous for more information.
Q
How far can an electric vehicle travel on a single charge?
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A
The range of an electric vehicle varies from car to car. To find out the battery range of an electric vehicle, view the individual car pages on the site.

The range of the vehicles also depends on the conditions in which you are driving. Temperature and speed can affect your battery range as well as if you are using the battery for air conditioning etc.
Q
What are electric vehicles like to drive?
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A
Driving an electric vehicle is most comparable to driving an automatic vehicle that has a exceptionally quiet cabin and very rapid acceleration.
Q
When is the best time to charge my electric vehicle?
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Overnight is the best time to charge because it's cooler and some battery types prefer not to be charged in the heat of the day. You are also less likely to use the vehicle and some batteries work best when fully charged rather than disturbing in the middle of a charge.
Q
What grants do the government offer?
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What grants do the government offer? You can get a grant towards the cost of each new electric (plug-in) car or van you buy, if it meets certain conditions. Grants are available for:

• 25% off the cost of a car, up to a maximum of £5,000
• 20% off the cost of a van up to a maximum of £8,000

The ‘cost’ is the full purchase price you pay for the basic vehicle - including number plates, vehicle excise duty and VAT. It doesn’t include any optional extras, e.g. delivery charges or first registration fee.

Your new vehicle is likely to be eligible if it is one of the following:

• Electric vehicles (EVs) – these run completely on batteries and are plugged into the mains to be recharged
• Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) – these use a petrol or diesel engine combined with a battery that plugs into the mains.
• Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and other technologies.

Cars from Greenhous that are eligible for the grant:

• Nissan LEAF
• Renault Fluence Z.E
• Renault ZOE
• Vauxhall Ampera
• Volvo V60 Plug-In

Vans from Greenhous that are eligible for the grant:

• Renault Kangoo ZE

The amount of your grant will be automatically deducted from the price of your car or van when you buy it. Greenhous will complete the paperwork, so there are no application forms for you to fill in, but you may be asked to complete a short questionnaire.
Q
How much does it cost to run an electric car?
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A
An electric vehicle will approximately cost 2-4 pence per mile . diesel and petrol and cars that are similar can cost up to 10 times that.

Electric vehicle drivers are also exempt from road tax, company car tax and the London Congestion Charge.
Q
What can reduce the range of an electric vehicle?
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A
Running the heater or A/C will affect how far you can drive on a single charge. Some vehicles allow you to pre-heat or pre-cool your vehicle while it's charging and before you drive. This means that the power is coming from the mains and not the vehicle's battery.

Weather, hard acceleration and late braking can also affect the range of your electric vehicle.
Q
The differences between electric and conventional vehicles?
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A
Electric and conventional vehicles are very similar. Aside from the obvious difference in propulsion, the main differences are the fueling and maintenance requirements of an electric vehicle.

Rather than filling up at a petrol station, it is expected that the majority of electric vehicle charging will take place at home overnight. Also, electric vehicles have far fewer moving parts compared to an internal combustion engine, which reduces the likelihood of unscheduled maintenance.
Q
What is regenerative braking?
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A
Conventional braking wastes energy because it kills the momentum that the engine has built up. The process of Regenerative Braking takes this energy and stores it elsewhere. Instead of being lost as heat in the brakes, the energy is used to drive an alternator which allows the energy to be recovered and stored in a battery.

Every time you apply the brakes or coast, the electric motor acts as a generator so the engine automatically recovers some of this wasted energy and returns it to the battery.
Q
What's the range of a Nissan Leaf?
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A
The range of the Nissan Leaf depends on the conditions in which you are driving. Temperature and speed can affect your battery range as well as using the battery for air conditioning etc.

Here are some examples:

Leisurely Drive: With the temperature outside being 20° and you're traveling at 38mph with the A/C off, your range would be around 124 miles.

Suburban Driving on a Nice Day: With the temperature outside being 22° and you're traveling at 24mph with the A/C off, your range would be around 114 miles.

Winter Urban Stop and Go, Traffic Jam: With the temperature outside being -10° and you're traveling at 15mph with the A/C on, your range would be around 77 miles.

Motorway Driving with Very High Temperature: With the temperature outside being 35° and you're travelling at 55mph with the A/C on, your range would be around 76 miles.


Scenarios are provided as guidance only and do not indicate any guarantee of actual performance. New Nissan LEAF can travel up to 124 miles per full charge, based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). Actual range may vary due to driving style, road condition, air conditioning and other factors outside our control. LEAF emits zero CO2 emissions whilst driving.
Q
Are electric vehicles safe?
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Yes, all electric vehicles must meet the same precise safety standards as conventional vehicles. Manufacturers have spent years developing the new technologies that make these vehicles possible.