Events for electric car customers in Manchester
The eCar-Lease team spent a great day reviewing and testing some amazing electric cars at the Manchester City Etihad stadium for the GoElectric! event in conjunction with TfGM, GM Chamber and a group of businesses involved in the “electric” sector. There are a number of key changes happening in Manchester, and across the UK as a whole, which is going to involve some considerable changes for individuals and businesses alike. The biggest, and more immediate, change is the introduction of a Clean Air Zone across Manchester (and other cities) which is going to limit what types of transport and engines are going to operate within certain areas. We are not just talking about cars; vans, taxis, buses and lorries will be affected by all of this updated approach. However, in our market, cars and light commercials, customers are going to have to consider very carefully about the next vehicle they decide for them, their employees or their families particularly if they are commuting in and out of Manchester (or any other city). This goes hand in hand with the rise of product available in the EV market.
Charging your EV – how do I plan properly?
I appreciate the move to electric vehicles but I can’t charge it anywhere! What do I do to make sure I have enough charge? The available of a dedicated charge point is one of the main barriers to buying or leasing an electric vehicle. As you may know already, there is no combustion engine in an electric car so if there is insufficient charge the vehicle will not work. It’s only the same if you don’t put enough petrol or diesel in your car! The reality is that the charging obligations do mean you have to consider if an EV will be suitable for you, or the business moving forwards. Are there enough electric charge points in the UK? Partly because non-EV drivers are not taking note of charge points (or they simply do not know what they look like) there is some ignorance as to the volume of points available throughout the UK. If you head over to the website/App which Zap Map have created (https://www.zap-map.com/) you will see there are literally thousands of public charge points available for drivers to use. Indeed there are more charging points than petrol or diesel fuel pumps. As at today’s date, there are nearly 30,000 connections. Thanks to the Zap Map app allowing companies and drivers to update their connections, you can get a live review at – https://www.zap-map.com/statistics/#region
So what types of charge points are available to me or the business?
You have a number of options for charging your car – have a charge point installed at your home address, your workplace or utilise the public charge points in your region. The most practical starting point is to have one installed at your home. There are so many companies who can help you organise this for example Polar, ChargeMaster, Rolec and our selected partner ChargePoint (via Raw Energy). To further assist you, the Government will offer a £500 grant towards the installation and you should not need to spend more than £500/£1000 for a quality smart charge point. In having the point at your home address you have the ability to “fuel” your vehicle every night if necessary. However, this does rely on off-road parking; you cannot have cables crossing a footpath or public highway!
If you own your own business and can install one at work, or encourage your management/owners to do so, a workplace charging scheme is another ideal solution. Indeed, if your premises is suitable you could even add the faster 22kW AC or 50kWDC rapid chargers. While more expensive than the 7kW charge points often installed at a home address (even after the £500 grant) the quicker charging solutions allows for employees to completely charge their vehicle in 3-5 hours thereby allowing another employee to have a turn on the point. As we move towards electrification one of the most obvious conflicts is going to be between employees looking to charge at work. If there are a number of vehicles and only 4 or 6 points, there will need to be a rota put in place to stop any issues. For some of us already operating an EV, we are experience issues of “non-EVs” parking in an electric charge point spot. The issue is that applications like Zap Map let you know if a charge point is available to use BUT only if a car is connected. Where a non-EV parks here, the application could lead you to believe that the point is available for usage.
The final solution to your charging conundrum is the use of public charge points . These can be put in operation by private companies who are effectively creating electric fuel stations or who are placing their charging infrastructure across key locations – supermarkets, shopping centres, coffee shops etc. In addition, some local authorities are placing cost-effective charging solutions at public car parks, private car parks, train stations and around town centres to help their constituents. With EVs still being such a small proportion of the UK’s fleet demographic these are a great options. However, with the rapid increase of vehicles on the road, competition for charging points will only increase. The end result will be that a public point might not be completely reliable for you and a home or work solution will be essential.
For anyone looking at a new pure electric vehicle, just head over to our website to read our guides and understand how an EV could help (or hinder) your transporting requirements.
Details of the new Merc EQC the eCarLease team reviewed
In terms of the car shown, the Mercedes-Benz EQC ESTATE 300kW Sport 80kWh 5dr Auto, this is based on the following configuration:
- Obsidian Black Metallic Paint
- Artico man-made leather – Silk beige/black
- 19″ 5 twin spoke alloy wheels
If you want to alter the configuration just head over to the Mercedes website at http://bit.ly/37jFq5H
Equipment for the EQC Sport
As standard the car includes heat and noise insulating glass, privacy glass, active brake assist, navigation, active lane departure warning system, blind spot assist, cruise control, easy-pack tailgate, EQ navigation services (display charging stations/pre entry climate control), traffic sign assist, DAB radio, 2 x 10” displays with touchpad, front and rear LED light band, multibeam LED headlights, 3-spoke multifunction leather steering wheel, 64 colour ambient lighting, seat comfort pack, stowage pack, 40/20 split folding seats, heated front seats, 19” alloys and artico upholstery. You cannot add any options – you need to upgrade to the AMG Line (with Premium/Premium Plus) for more specification.
Technical data on the electric Mercedes
In terms of the technical data company car and business users can note the P11d at £66,350.00 and CO2 0g/km. The 80 kWh lithium-ion battery delivers 259 NEDC range (on Urban) but this will be more like 200 miles in cold weather. The Type 2 charge port will allow charge times of circa 12 hours on a 7.4W but much better for the CCS port which can be rapid charged (at 100kW DC) in 40 minutes. The 1 speed auto engine will offer 400ps and 0-62 times of 5.1 seconds.
So would the Mercedes be your select electric car leasing option? Or would the Jaguar I-Pace or Audi E-Tron be your preference?