Experience Electric

EXPERIENCE ELECTRIC DRIVING WITH VAUXHALL

Electric vehicles are revolutionising driving and the government has set a 2030 deadline for the end of new petrol and diesel sales. 

 

“As of 2028, Vauxhall will only offer fully electric cars and vans in the UK.  The future of the automotive industry is electric – and Vauxhall will lead that in this country. We are on a journey to reinvent Vauxhall and heading towards a net zero CO2 future – CO2 is the new currency in our industry.”  - Paul Willcox, Managing Director, Vauxhall Motors. 

 

But what’s it like to be an electric driver? Below we’ve attempted to answer some of those questions but it’s best experienced for yourself. So during September, we’re offering a 24-hour test drive of our all-electric models.

What are electric vehicles like to drive?

The best way to find out is to drive one! But we can give you an idea.

 

Most first-timers find the experience a pleasant surprise.They often mention the simple, familiar controls, powerful acceleration, better traction, and a quieter ride.

 

Most of the controls are familiar, which makes things easy. There’s no clutch pedal or gearstick because all electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) are automatic. So just press the start button, select ‘D’ for drive, release the parking brake and you’re off.

As a new EV driver, you may notice how fast it can accelerate. An electric motor delivers all of its power as soon as you press the accelerator pedal, so it feels faster than many sports cars up to 30mph.

What are electric vehicles like to drive?

The best way to find out is to drive one! But we can give you an idea.

 

Most first-timers find the experience a pleasant surprise.They often mention the simple, familiar controls, powerful acceleration, better traction, and a quieter ride.

 

Most of the controls are familiar, which makes things easy. There’s no clutch pedal or gearstick because all electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) are automatic. So just press the start button, select ‘D’ for drive, release the parking brake and you’re off.

As a new EV driver, you may notice how fast it can accelerate. An electric motor delivers all of its power as soon as you press the accelerator pedal, so it feels faster than many sports cars up to 30mph.

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A pure EV has no gears, so acceleration is seamless and there’s no engine noise. PHEVs can also run on electric power only – but if the engine cuts in to give you extra power or because the battery’s empty, you’ll barely notice.

Finally, you’ll love how your EV holds the road. The heaviest part of the car (the battery pack) is under the floor, giving you far more control and stability on corners.

How do I get the best out of an electric vehicle?

Electric and plug-in hybrid cars are easy to drive. You can also tailor your car’s handling to suit you, using smart features like driving modes and regenerative braking.

 

All Vauxhall electric and plug-in hybrid cars feature driving modes that change the way the car feels and responds. These include an ‘Eco’ setting, which helps extend your driving range, and a ‘Sport’ setting which gives you more power and punch, but is less efficient.

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Our plug-in hybrid cars always start in electric mode. You can also lock the system into electric-only mode to make the most of the silent, emission-free powertrain in cities, for example.

 

Another innovation is regenerative braking. When you lift your foot from the accelerator pedal, the electric motor acts instead as a generator – charging the battery with power that’s usually wasted.

 

You can adjust the level of this regeneration to suit the way you drive, ranging from weak to strong.




How do I get the best out of my new EV?


Electric and hybrid cars are easy to drive. You can also tailor your car’s handling to suit you, using smart features like driving modes and regenerative braking.

How do I charge an electric vehicle?

It can be as easy as plugging in your phone or laptop. All you need is a domestic socket. However, for maximum speed, convenience and safety, we recommend you have a dedicated home wallbox installed.

 


Away from home, you can choose from two types of charging: AC or DC. 

 

  • AC is the same charging method you might use with your home wallbox. These units are found in places where you’ll be parked longer – train stations, shopping centres, office buildings and so on.
 
  • DC or rapid-charging units are usually found in service stations or near supermarkets, restaurants and the like. They can charge a Vauxhall at up to 100kW – much faster than AC units – so you can use DC to top up your batteries on longer journeys.

Is it easy to charge an electric vehicle?

It can be as easy as plugging in your phone or laptop. All you need is a domestic socket. However, for maximum speed, convenience and safety, we recommend you have a dedicated home wallbox installed.

 


Away from home, you can choose from two types of charging: AC or DC. 

 

  • AC is the same charging method you might use with your home wallbox. These units are found in places where you’ll be parked longer – train stations, shopping centres, office buildings and so on.
 
  • DC or rapid-charging units are usually found in service stations or near supermarkets, restaurants and the like. They can charge a Vauxhall at up to 100kW – much faster than AC units – so you can use DC to top up your batteries on longer journeys.

How long does it take to charge an EV?

This depends mainly on the kind of electrical connection you use. The slowest is a normal three-pin socket – best reserved for when no other option is available. More effective options are a home wallbox, public AC chargers and the powerful DC ‘rapids’.

What will owning an electric car do to my electricity bill?

If you use your electric vehicle (EV) regularly, it’s true your energy bill will rise. However, you’ll never need to use a petrol station again – so that cost will disappear. What’s more, the electricity for your EV will cost about a quarter of your previous fuel bills.

 
Read on for more savings tips and offers

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Once you have an electric vehicle (EV), shop around for energy deals that reward your higher usage and reduce the price per kW/h unit. Many suppliers will also offer you cheaper energy prices at night – when EV owners often charge up – via a smart meter.

We’ve worked with British Gas to create off-peak electricity deals for Corsa-e, Mokka-e and Vivaro-e Life owners. The offer also gives you electricity credits equivalent to ‘30,000 free green miles’. Read more details using the link below.

To top up while you sleep and benefit from cheaper rates, just set your car’s charging timer in the infotainment menu (or via the MyVauxhall Connect app). This can cut your charging costs by a third or more.

Look out for shops, businesses and other sites that offer free EV charging. In addition, if you can charge at your workplace, it won’t be deemed a taxable benefit.

How do I charge away from home?

 

Many owners charge mostly at home or at work. You park your car while you sleep or get on with your day, then return to find your battery topped up.

 

 But for longer journeys, you may want extra power to extend your range. If so, just use your VauxhallConnect app to find charging points along your route. Then choose one that offers the type of connection you want.

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Parking for more than an hour, or plugging in a PHEV?

Use an AC charger. These don’t usually have a cable, so you’ll need to use the ‘Type 2’ lead supplied with your car. Follow the instructions on how to access the point, then start the charge after connecting up to your car’s charging port.

 

Want the quickest charge for your pure electric car?

Use a DC charger (also called a ‘rapid’). You’ll find more and more in service stations, supermarkets, restaurants and other locations.

 

These chargers add a lot of power, fast. They have cables, so park as close as possible to your charging port, then select the plug marked ‘CCS’. It will slot straight into your car (you may need to remove a protective cover).

 

Again, follow the instructions on how to start – and stop – the flow of energy. The rate of charge will tail off fast when the battery reaches 80% capacity, so stop before this level and free the unit for other users.

 

Paying for charging?


The nationwide public charging network is made up of different companies. They usually offer either a subscription service or pay-as-you-go. Or both. 

 

To help, with every purchase of a Vauxhall electric vehicle we offer a free 6-month subscription to bp pulse network (the UK's largest network of public charging points), and then just £7.85 a month thereafter.1

OTHER COMMON QUESTIONS 

OTHER COMMON QUESTIONS 

What happens if I run out of charge?

If you’re driving a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), the car will simply switch to petrol power instead. Simple.

 

In an electric vehicle (EV), it’ll be like running dry in a conventional car – but you’ll get many warnings before your EV literally stops.

 

As the battery level runs low, your car will also offer to find the nearest charging points using VauxhallConnect.

 

But what if you still run out of power? No problem. You’re protected with Roadside Assistance for 8 years. VauxhallConnect can call our mobility service, sharing your location and other details. Your EV will then be taken to the nearest charge point to get you back on the road.

 

Why are electric cars more expensive?

While electric vehicle (EVs) may retail at higher prices than conventional cars, this isn’t the full story. When you take into account the total cost over the time you own your EV, it’s likely to be the same or less.

 

The most expensive part of EVs – the battery – costs a lot to make, as it must hold a huge amount of energy. It must also be reliable under a range of conditions and perform well after thousands of charges.

 

Making the battery smaller could cut the cost dramatically, but EV drivers prefer to have a significant range between charges.

 

The benefits of going electric 

In purely financial terms, EVs start to pay you back very quickly. Most cars are bought on finance deals such as PCP, PCH and leasing, which are all cheaper if the car holds its second-hand value well. As EVs are in demand as both new and used vehicles, the monthly finance payments are often equal to, or lower than, a similar petrol or diesel car. That’s especially true if you take advantage of a government incentive scheme such as salary sacrifice, which takes leasing costs out of your gross pay.

 

But the biggest saving in electric comes from its cheaper ‘fuel’. If you charge at home, you can expect to see a modest increase in your electricity bill. But you’ll never have to visit a petrol station again! Even at average domestic electricity rates, you’ll end up spending about a quarter of the amount you used to spend on fuel. With a smart meter, you can get much cheaper power at night, so your car will always have a full ‘tank’ when you wake. And electricity only costs a couple of pounds to give you 150 miles of driving.

 

Add this to lower servicing costs and tax savings, and your EV could work out even cheaper. Why not use our calculator to see how much you could save?

 

Are electric cars safe in an accident?

The independent testing organisation EuroNCAP has found that electric vehicles are as safe, or safer, than a conventional car in an accident.

 

The welfare of our customers and other road users is our top priority. That’s why our engineers ensure all Vauxhalls are fitted with the latest technology to prevent accidents happening. But if an accident does happen, our cars’ strong shells and passive safety systems will ensure that the occupants and electrical systems are protected from harm.

 

Can you drive electric cars in a flood, heavy rain or car wash?

We all know electricity and water don’t mix. That’s why our engineers ensure Vauxhall electric vehicles (EVs) can be used safely wherever you’d expect to use a conventional car.

 

We’ve driven our prototypes in heavy rain, standing water and – of course – car washes. They’ve even been tested in lightning-strike situations and proven to be safe.

 

So you can drive your EV in the same conditions and in the same way as a petrol or diesel vehicle.

 

What is a Zero Emission Zone (LEZ)?

These are areas reserved for traffic that produces little or no exhaust emissions. They’re usually densely populated urban areas with poor air quality.

 

The first Low and Ultra Low Emission Zones appeared in London. Vehicles that enter these zones must have modern emissions equipment or cleaner engine types. (That includes modern petrol and diesel cars, as well as electric and hybrid cars.) Vehicles that don’t meet the standard usually pay a fee to enter London, currently £12.50 per day.

 

What is a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ)?

Oxford City Council is piloting a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) trial scheme in Oxford city centre. London is also trialling ZEZs in certain streets, including city centre areas. Only vehicles that produce zero tailpipe emissions while in the zone will be permitted. This will mean only pure electric vehicles, or  plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) capable of running in electric-only mode, can enter.

 

Other British cities have or plan to introduce similar zones, including Aberdeen, Bath, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Switch It Up and get a feel for our electric cars?

 

From 1 September to 30 September 2021, you can take a shiny Corsa-e, Mokka-e or Vivaro-e for an 24 hour test drive. Share a few details below and we’ll get back to you.

BOOK YOUR TEST DRIVE