Electric Car Guide

Learn about electric cars today with our handy guide

Over the next couple of years there are going to be some big changes taking place in the private hire and motor industry.

We’ve already seen with TfL’s Ultra Low Emission Zones that certain types of PCO cars are being phased out, such as Diesel cars, and others are being encouraged, such as  PCO electric cars.

Depending on how you see it, the move to electric can be extremely exciting. But there are also many understandable concerns that PCO drivers have about making the switch to an electric PCO car.

That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to put together a page dedicated to all of your concerns, so that you’re prepared for whatever may come in the future.

Getting Set Up

Costs

Useful Tools

Getting Set Up

Home Charging

Do I need a driveway?

The short answer is no. Having a driveway is not an essential part of owning an electric car, however it certainly helps.

Over 60% of households have driveways in the UK, and our own study found that only 35% of Uber drivers have one in London. So there are plenty of solutions coming out for people who don’t have one.

What are the benefits of a driveway?

The obvious benefit is that you will be eligible to install your own charging point. Olev will cover 75% of this, and Otto Car will cover the rest if you’re on one of our PCO Rent 2 Buy schemes.

How long will it take to install a charger at home?

The general waiting time is around two weeks. The actual installation itself doesn’t take long, with some people saying that it can even be done in a day, but you will need to do a site survey before, and if you’re a tenant you will also need approval from your landlord. If you’re thinking about making the switch, then it could be good to get all of this confirmed before, so that you’re immediately ready to go.

What if I don’t have a driveway?

This is an extremely common question, and a very valid concern.

The good news is that many PCO drivers are able to drive their electric PCO Cars quite comfortably without one. This is because the charging networks around the UK are expanding rapidly, with around 500 new connections being added every month.

For Uber London drivers this is a good time to make the switch if you’re already considering it, since there is currently mass coverage across the city, and each week there are planned improvements.

All of this being said, if you don’t have a driveway you will probably want to make sure that you have a convenient charging point near your home.

We have also written an article listing some handy tools and price comparisons that can help electric drivers, including maps that tell you where you can find different charging points around the UK.

Charging

How long does it take to charge at home?

We understand that time is money for PCO drivers, so this is a very valid question. The good news is that it actually doesn’t take that long to charge.

At home you’ll either have a 3 kilowatt (slow) or 7 kilowatt (fast) charging point. A 7kw will take between 4 to 5 hours to get a full charge (obviously keep in mind that you probably won’t start charging at 0%). For home charging this is extremely convenient, because you can just leave it overnight, or whenever you’re relaxing at home. Just think about it like a mobile phone!

It’s also good to mention that our discussions with drivers are telling us that it’s much quicker to charge up to 80%, but from that point it goes a little slower. This means that the time it takes to get a very good charge is much less than the time it takes to get a full charge.

What about rapid charging?

If home charging isn’t fast enough for you then luckily there are other solutions. There are plenty of rapid charges around London which can charge an electric PCO car to 80% in around 30 minutes.

Aside from rapid charges, there are also other fast chargers which cover those with 7kw and 22kw power outputs, which typically charge you up in 34 hours.

It might be useful to note that many of our drivers say that they were afraid of charging their car enough for their daily needs, but once they got going they realised that this wasn’t a problem at all.

Range

Is there enough range with an electric car?

This is one of the biggest fears that drivers have when considering the switch to electric. In the past this was an extremely valid concern, since the amount of miles driven per day for the average PCO driver was a big barrier to making the change.

However, in the last year there has been a massive increase in range on electric PCO Cars. The new Nissan Leaf N-Connecta for example can do around 160-180 miles (depending on weather and driving conditions). We think that for the majority of PCO drivers, this would be more than enough for a days work.

What if I find myself running out of juice?

It’s important to mention that if you need to charge up between trips or during your breaks, more charging points than ever before are being added to motorway stations, retail parks, petrol stations and so on. There are now over 23,000 charging points across the UK.

To put it simply, the risk of running out of juice is extremely low, especially for Uber London drivers. You can also check out our Useful Tools section to find some extra resources to help you with your charging needs.

Costs

Running Costs

What are the weekly running costs?

One of the most exciting things about moving to electric is the amount of money that you’ll save. A 188 mile charge at home will cost only £5.60, compared to £25 that you would spend on petrol or diesel. This means that it’s 3p vs 12p per mile!

(If you have a driveway then the charging costs will be even cheaper since you’ll most likely be charging outside peak hours.)

Additional Savings

Parking

There are many free or discounted parking spaces in certain places around London for Electric vehicles.

(Eg: In Westminster if you pay for 10 mins, you’ll get up to 4 hours free parking in Council Parking Bays.)

Road Taxes

With certain electric PCO cars, like the Nissan Leaf, you will also be exempt from road taxes.

Service Costs

Electric cars generally have lower service costs due to less wear and tear.

Useful Tools

Charging

Finding Electric Charging Points

Zap Map provide a map of all of the UK's Electric Charging Points.

You can check out the map, and even download an app for your phone at this link.

Electric Fuel Access Cards

What is an access card?

Different EV Charging Point providers have fuel stations across the UK. An access card for those companies allow you to access and use those charging points whenever you want, and they often work like a normal pay-as-you-go card.

Some access cards available in the UK.

- Source London caters specifically for London's electric drivers, with around 850 different charging points in the capital.

- Ecotricity operate mainly on highways, and are often found at service stations. The cost is £10 per year.

- The Polar Network incorporates Chargemaster charging points, along with those of certain regional networks. Access charges are currently £7.85 a month.

- AlphaElectric incorporate 85% of the charging points available in the UK, via Polar and regional schemes.

Electric Driver Community

Otto Car's Electric Driver Facebook Community

We have created a community group for PCO electric drivers with Otto Car. This is a place for drivers to help each other, ask questions and share their own experiences.

You can request to join the group at this link.

Fancy a new PCO Electric Car? 

We provide fully electric PCO cars on our Rent-2-Buy schemes. Take a look at our Nissan N-Leaf Connecta, or the Kia E-Niro.

Check Out Our Range

Have a look at the Nissan N-Leaf Connecta and Kia E-Niro now.