The best electric cars to buy in 2022

Efficiency? I thought range was the big concern

It is true that autonomy is the main concern of many people with an electric car, but do not forget about efficiency. Thinking about the former without thinking about the latter is like worrying about the size of your car’s gas tank without thinking about its fuel consumption.

The problem is that it’s easy for a manufacturer to increase the range of a car simply by equipping it with a larger battery. But a larger battery adds weight, and that extra weight can mean these longer-range electric cars are less efficient and therefore cost you more to run, especially if you use public chargers all the time.

How can I know the efficiency of an electric car?

Most manufacturers now include efficiency figures in their brochures; if you can’t find the figure, ask the dealer.

Different manufacturers use different units to measure energy efficiency, but here at The Telegraph we’ve decided it’s simpler to use miles per kilowatt-hour (mpkWh). This makes it easy to calculate how much a trip in an electric car will cost you: simply divide the trip distance in miles by the efficiency figure in mpkWh, then multiply by your electricity rate in kWh.

What is a kilowatt-hour?

A kilowatt-hour, or kWh, is a unit of energy: 1kWh is enough energy to run an electrical appliance (in this case, a car) rated at 1,000 watts, or 1 kilowatt (kW), for one hour .

It can be helpful to think of a kilowatt-hour as a liter of fuel. Your battery (or fuel tank) can only hold a limited number of them; once they run out, the car will stop.

If you have a larger battery (ie one with a higher kWh rating), it will hold more charge, or fuel, and your car will travel farther.

But equally, if your EV is more efficient, it will travel farther on fewer kilowatt-hours, so it will cost less and won’t need as big a battery.

Is charging an electric vehicle as complicated as it seems?

It can be, but it is getting easier. Today, many public chargers will offer instant payments via an app, so you don’t need to have a subscription like before, while many are now starting to offer contactless credit and debit card payments as well.

However, the network is still not as reliable as it should be, and users are complaining about a high rate of dead chargers, but again, this situation is improving and reliability should also improve as newer chargers are rolled out around the world. the country.

You also used to have to worry about what type of charging plug your car used (there were several at one time), but now most manufacturers have standardized around one particular type, called a Type 2/CCS charger. Almost all charging points will now be compatible with this type of charger.

How easy is it to install a charger at home?

Very. Once again, the Government has withdrawn a subsidy intended to help EV buyers install a home charger, but one will cost you between £800 and £1,000. Most chargers come with accessories included in the price, and an engineer will install it for you, while most car manufacturers will help you arrange the installation.

You said it takes a long time to charge an electric car, but how long?

It won’t go in and out as fast as it would stop for fuel, that’s for sure. But you will not “refuel” in the same way either. Think of an electric car as a bit like your smartphone: it’s best if you plug it in to charge overnight so that when you want to use it in the morning the battery is full.

If your car needs more power during the day, a quick charge on a fast charger should provide enough to get you where you want to go. Some of the fastest chargers being installed today can charge at great speeds, adding some 100 miles to your EV’s range in just 10 minutes.

Sounds great. Can any electric car use these faster chargers?

No. An electric car is only capable of being charged at a certain speed and that is limited by its on-board charging equipment. Today the fastest public chargers in the UK are capable of charging at 150 kW.

Charging speeds are measured in kilowatts (kW); Think of this as the number of kilowatt-hours you can add to your car’s battery in one hour. So in that time a 50kW fast charger will add 50kWh to the battery.

But if your EV is only capable of being charged at 50kW, that’s the fastest it will charge, even if connected to a 150kW charger. So if you want to charge your car twice as fast, you need one that can charge fast.

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