Electric cars: Frequently asked questions answered

Date Posted 12th March 2020
Read Time 6 min read

Electric cars have been a hot topic over the last few years. Since the government decided to ban all petrol and diesel cars from 2035, the interest has risen sharply. 

But like everything new, not everyone is certain what’s fact and what’s fiction. That’s why we’ve tried to add clarity and answered some frequently asked questions below. 

Are Electric Cars Cheaper Than Petrol Or Diesel?

We all know the environmental benefits electric cars offer us, but what about the benefits to our bank balance? 

At first, the list price for an electric car may seem daunting. Initially, they can often be more expensive than their fossil-fueled counterparts due to greater production costs. 

Seat Mii

However, over time, as we’ve seen with diesel vs petrol, you can claw that money back. On average, the annual fuel cost for a petrol-powered car is around £1,800. With electric, it’s £410. 

That’s almost £1,400 a year you’ll save on fuel alone, nevermind not having to pay road tax if you drive a fully-electric vehicle. 

As well, as things stand, if you buy a brand-new electric car, the government will subsidise the cost of your vehicle by £3,500. 

It’ll take a bit of time before your electric car becomes cheaper than an internal combustion alternative, but it will happen – it just depends whether you’re willing to play the long game. 

Will The Battery Last In My Electric Car? 

Simply put, yes. As with any battery – or internal combustion engine for that matter – it’ll never be as efficient as the day it leaves the factory. But don’t think it’s going to die on you like your mobile phone. 

Dead battery

For a few years now, taxis from all over the world have been running on electricity after ditching petrol and diesel. And as real-life tests go, cabbies are as good a yardstick as you’ll find. 

To last as a taxi, the vehicle has to be reliable, efficient and long-lasting. If electric cars weren’t, they simply wouldn’t be up for the challenge. 

Even when your electric car’s battery can go on no more, which, evidence suggests, is no shorter than a standard petrol or diesel car, you’ll also be able to recycle it for future generations of electric power, often while making a little bit of money in the process.

Can I Drive For Long Distances With An Electric Car?

It’s true that electric cars don’t yet have the range of petrol or diesel. But advancements every year are closing that gap. And anyway, how many people regularly drive more than 200 miles without stopping? 

Electric car charging

Even when you’re on a long journey, stopping and recharging doesn’t take anywhere near the time it once did. For example, the Vauxhall Corsa-e, which has a driving range of 209 miles, takes just 30 minutes to reach 80% charge – which will be around 165 miles of range. That’s not bad going. 

Is The Advertised Electric Car Range Accurate? 

As with any miles per gallon or electric range reading, it’s unlikely to be 100% accurate. 

However, changes to the way manufacturers have to test their vehicles’ mpg and range will mean the advertised range will be lower, but it’ll be more achievable. 

Before, manufacturers used a lab to carry out their mileage tests. But under new rules, they’ll have to be a lot more representative of real-life driving; meaning a lot more city-style stopping and starting, and a range of temperature conditions.

So, as time goes on, you’ll notice the estimated driving range becoming a lot more accurate. 

Can I Use My Electric Car In The Rain?

Yes, in short. Although electricity and water aren’t often a good mix, manufacturers have gone to great lengths to ensure the driver’s safety at all times. 


There are several layers of protection when you drive or charge your car in the rain, one being electric current not flowing between the car and charging point until both are connected and the car’s on-board computer has done all its safety checks. 

By that logic, it’s also a myth that you can’t take an electric car through a car wash. It’s just as safe as any petrol or diesel-powered vehicle. 

Is There More Space In An Electric Car?

Yes, indeed there is. That’s because the engine and other components which aren’t needed in an electric car are no longer in the way. 

But what about the big batteries, I hear you ask. Yes, the batteries are large, but as they’re stored in the floor, not only does it free up extra cabin and storage space, it also gives the car a very low centre of gravity – which improves the handling no end. 

So, all in all, more space for your stuff and a better drive. Win-win. 

Are Electric Cars Faster Than Petrol Or Diesel? 

Off the line, yes, they’re very fast. Put your foot down, and those with their 19-century internal combustion-powered cars will be left behind. 

BMW i8

At the top end, petrol and diesel cars still hold the edge. But as we all always obey the maximum 70mph speed limit across the UK, that should never really be a problem, right? 

Can I Buy A Second-Hand Electric Car? 

Of course. In fact, it’s a great way to get into electrified motoring without the sometimes out-of-reach price tag.

And if you’re looking to sell your electric car, you’ll often notice how well it’s kept its value since you bought it – simply because, at the moment, demand is high. 

If you’d like to find out more about leasing a new or used electric car, get in touch with our specialist team here at Hippo Leasing.

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Is Leasing An Electric Car A Good Idea? 

Yes, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Escape the big list price with manageable monthly payments
  • No road tax
  • Low running costs
  • Stay up to date with the latest releases and change your car every few years
  • Drive away your new or used electric car the same day or have it delivered to your door anywhere in the UK
  • Take your electric car without having to pay a deposit
  • Get behind the wheel on an electric car even if you have bad credit
  • Step into the future of motoring today

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