Electric Car Guide

A handy guide for PCO drivers interested in electric vehicles.

Banner Image

The private hire industry is on the brink of a major chance, and electric vehicles are at the heart of it.

We’ve already seen big changes with TfL’s ultra low emission zone, congestion charges, and new private hire vehicle licensing rules that phase out diesel and petrol vehicles. 

We believe that 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’ve put together this 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

Public Charging

What are the options?

There are two main options for public charging.

Rapid Charging:
London currently has more than 600 rapid chargers. This number is expected to grow to between 2300 - 4100 chargers by 2025.

Slow/Fast Charging:
There are over 5600 fast & slow chargers in London, and this figure is expected to grow to between 33,700 - 47,500 by 2025.

How long does it take?

There are plenty of rapid chargers around London which can charge an electric PCO car to 80% in around 30 minutes.

There are also other fast chargers with 7kWh and 22kWh power outputs, which typically charge you up in 3-4 hours.

Whilst it might feel like a lot of time, most PCO drivers feel that it works nicely once they have a good charging strategy in place.

Top Tip: you can now check out the brand new Otto Charging Network, which combines over 600+ rapid chargers and 700+ fast chargers from London's biggest charging providers, exclusively for PCO drivers on our Rent 2 Buy scheme.

Range

Is there enough range for PCO drivers?

This is a valid fear for PCO drivers, since many of you can do up to 1000 miles per week.

However, in the last year there has been a massive increase in range for electric PCO Cars.

Example of Otto Car's ranges:

- The Kia e-Niro has a range of up to 282 miles.

- The Nissan Leaf e+ Tekna has a range of up to 239 miles.

- The MG5 EV Exclusive has a range of up to 214 miles.

This is just a few of the electric vehicles on our PCO Rent 2 Buy scheme, but you can see that there are a number of different PCO cars available with more than enough range for the amount of work you do.

Most PCO drivers won't have to charge their cars daily, and won't suffer from range anxiety either.

*All ranges are also subject to weather conditions and driving style.

What if I find myself running out of juice?

The number of rapid and fast chargers are growing at an enormous rate. There are now over 600+ rapid chargers in London, and 5600+ fast chargers, and these numbers are constantly growing. To put it simply, the risk of running out of juice is becoming extremely low.

Top Tip: You can also check out the "Useful Tools" section to find some extra resources to help you with your charging needs.

Home Charging

Do I need a driveway?

The short answer is no. Having a driveway is not an essential part of owning an electric PCO 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.

This means that 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.

The government will offer you a grant up to £350 towards the cost of this, contributing 75% of your home charger costs.

The cost of charging at home is also quite cheap. We cover this in more detail in our "costs" section.

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, 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 you should ideally get all of this confirmed before, so that you're prepared for when you pick up your PCO car.

What if I don’t have a driveway?

The good news is that you are not alone! Only 35% of Uber drivers have one in London after all.

The amount of rapid chargers in London are increasing at an extremely fast rate. There are now over double the amount of public charging stations vs. petrol stations in London.

The most important thing is just to check out the public charging network near your home and where you work, so that you can develop a good charging strategy that works for you.

Did you know: we have recently released the Otto Charging Network, which conveniently brings together all charging networks (inc. 600+ rapid chargers), so that you never have to worry about range anxiety again!

Running Costs

What's the difference in fuel costs with public chargers?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, mainly because different electric PCO cars have different costs to charge up.

However, we can give you a good average for you to understand the general savings you can expect.

The average cost on the Otto Charging Network is 0.23p per kWh.

This works out to around 3.2p per mile added. If you drive approximately 1000 miles that week, then it will have cost you a total of £32.

Alternatively with a diesel vehicle (which currently costs around 11p per mile), it will set you back around £115 per week.

If you drive like this more or less every week, you will be looking at annual savings of around £5984.

That is before you include some of the additional savings (outlined in the section below).

What about with home chargers?

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

Congestion Charges

This is an area where you can expect to see huge savings.

The current cost of entering the congestion charge zone is £15.

If you enter around 4 times a week, then you will be looking at annual savings of close to £3200!

Parking

There are many free or discounted parking spaces 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.)

Service Costs

Electric cars generally have lower service costs due to less wear and tear. This is because there are less moving parts compared to traditional combustion engines.

Top tip: with Otto Car's PCO Rent 2 Buy Scheme you won't have to worry about servicing again, because it's included within the package.

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 Zap-Map's website.

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. 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.

The Otto Charging Network

What is the Otto Charging Network?

With the Otto Charging Network you will never have to worry about endless fuel access cards or range anxiety again.

That is because we have brought together multiple charging providers in the UK, to offer one big comprehensive charging network exclusively for PCO drivers on our PCO Rent 2 Buy scheme.

You will receive £39 weekly charging credit to use on over 600+ rapid chargers, and 700+ faster chargers across London, all in one convenient place.

Fancy a new PCO Electric Car? 

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

Looking for an electric PCO car charging strategy?

The Otto Team have put together a new charging strategy guide to help our community of Uber and PCO drivers.

Check Out Our Range

Have a look at the Nissan N-Leaf e+ Tekna and Kia E-Niro now.