a Knowles Fleet - Electric Vehicle FAQs
Electric Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions
  • The majority of EVs available in the UK market can be leased via Knowles.
  • TIP: When requesting a quote, set the “Fuel Type” search option drop-down to “Electric” to see only Electric Vehicles. If you don’t see a specific EV listed, then call our Quote Team on 01206 255420 for further assistance.

  • Battery Electric [BEV] – Fully electric vehicles that runs solely on battery power. The battery will need to be replenished regularly by using a home or public charging station. The battery is also topped up by regenerative braking.

  • Plug-in Hybrid [PHEV] – Dual motor, typically petrol and electric. Can be driven solely on petrol but also has a battery powered motor which provides an all-electric range. As with BEVs you can recharge the battery using a home or public charging station. R regenerative braking is also used to top up the battery.

  • Full Hybrid [FHEV] – These self charging hybrids have a dual motor, typically petrol and electric. The battery will only recharge through regenerative braking – there is no plug in option. Cannot be driven in full electric but will occasionally switch to full electric when pulling away, generally up to a maximum speed of 20 mph, and only when the vehicle has restored enough charge to do so. The main function of the electric motor in a FHEV is to increase the vehicles MPG. There is no significant all electric range.
  • Manufacturers are currently taking around 26 weeks to produce and deliver a new car. However, this can be subject to change. Rest assured that Knowles will keep you fully informed with regular delivery updates once your order is placed.
  • EVs need less maintenance as the engine has fewer moving parts and no exhaust or gears. You also won’t need to change the oil and the brakes should wear less thanks to regenerative braking.
  • Teslas are offered on our website to lease (subject to your organisation’s lease policy) but there are number of issues which are unique to Tesla you need to be aware of:

    • Increased servicing/maintenance and repair times - In the event your Tesla must go in for maintenance work or accident repair, this can take longer than with other makes of car due to the availability of replacement parts. If you are issued with a courtesy car, it is unlikely to be Tesla.
    • It is possible that you may be required to collect your vehicle from your nearest Tesla Delivery Centre. You should take this into consideration when placing your order as depending on your location, you may need to travel a considerable distance as there are only a limited number of stores across the UK.
    • Range on collection - We have been advised that all Teslas leave the factory with only 20-30% range capacity. Whilst some dealerships ensure that your new car is fully charged for you prior to collection, we cannot guarantee this.
    • Correspondence directly from Tesla – If you receive any correspondence/updates directly from Tesla or via the Tesla website/app relating to your order, please forward this information to Knowles Fleet at your earliest convenience. Vehicle collection must be arranged via Knowles Fleet and not directly with Tesla. Failure to do so could result in you driving an uninsured vehicle.
    • Please note that the excess for insurance claims (excluding windscreen claims) for a Tesla vehicle is £750.
  • HMRC has set “benefit in kind” (BIK) rates for EVs at1% for tax year 2021/22, and 2% the following three tax years. The tax payable for future tax years is shown at the bottom of each quote. The low rates of tax make leasing an EV through your employer car scheme very cost effective.
  • Charging an electric vehicle is a lot cheaper per mile than filling up with petrol or diesel. You can compare the cost of charging an EV to fuelling a petrol/diesel car here: https://www.zap-map.com/tools/journey-cost-calculator/.
  • Yes, all relevant incentives have been included within the quote.
  • This figure is for HMRC benefit in kind (car benefit tax) purposes only and does not reflect the actual purchase price of the car.
  • Yes. The reimbursement will show as a credit on the quote.
  • The best way is to charge the vehicle when it is stationary is at home and/or at work. Like your mobile phone, plug it in at night and top up during the day only if needed. When a home or work charging point can’t be accessed, many public charging points are now available. Information on the location of public charging points is available online when planning a journey, for example here: https://www.zap-map.com/
  • Whilst EV’s can be charged using a three-pin plug socket, this could be problematic. This is the slowest way to charge your electric vehicle, meaning long charging times (24 hours +, in some instances). In addition, you will need to check with an electrician that your socket is compatible with long periods of heavy usage – failure to do so may cause over-heating. For this reason, some manufacturers don’t supply 3 pin charging cables as standard equipment.
  • Whilst the cost of installing a home charging point is not included with your lease, we have partnered with the UK’s leading charging point installation company Pod Point to offer you an easy and cost-effective solution which includes the available government grant under the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS). To take advantage of the priority service from our partner, please email evcharging@kafleet.com or call us on 01206 255420 so we can refer you.

  • Please note that from April 2022, the EVHS grant will be only be available to owners of flats or those living in rented accommodation. Please refer all requests for lease car information from your charging point installer to nigel@kafleet.com
  • Most manufacturers will include a charging cable with an electric vehicle, either a lead for a domestic 3 pin socket or a “Type 2” fast charging cable. Please check with the manufacturer which cable (if any) is included with your vehicle before placing your application.

  • Most home and public charge points use a “Type 2” connector and we recommend that you check with the vehicle manufacturer that the car you plan to lease has the appropriate cable included if you intend to have a charging point fitted at your property. TIP: You can order a Type 2 charging cable from our home charging partner when you use them to install your home charging point.
  • Here are some useful links to help you calculate charging costs:

  • Home charging: https://www.zap-map.com/tools/home-charging-calculator/
  • Public charging: https://www.zap-map.com/tools/public-charging-calculator/
  • There are several different types of charging options available in the UK. Rapid DC points use tethered cables which are attached to charging unit. It is important that you know what types of charge point your vehicle can use.

  • If you are charging a car with a domestic 3 pin power socket or 3kW charger, it will take around 12 hours. With a 7kW fast charger (such as home/public chargers) it takes around three to four hours. If you use the rapid AC/DC chargers found at motorway services, your battery will be 80% charged in approximately 30 minutes (though you need to remember that fast chargers are more expensive than standard charging stations).

  • Types of charge points include:

  • CHARGER TYPE NEW RAPID RAPID FAST SLOW
    POWER OUTPUT DC 15kKW DC 50kW 7kW UP TO 3kW
    SPEED (VEHICLE DEPENDENT) Up to 100 miles in 10 minutes Up to 33 miles in 10 minutes Up to 5 miles in 10 minutes Up to 2 miles in 10 minutes
    LOCATIONS BP forecourts Motorway services Home and workplace Home
  • You can use a public charging point. Now, there are over 28,600 public charging points and there are likely to be many more soon. You can see them all at www.zap-map.com
  • The UK has one of the world’s most advanced charge point networks, and it’s growing all the time. Many of the units can charge more than one vehicle at the same time. Most major routes are also well served by ‘rapid’ chargers at service stations and rest stops near motorways and A-roads. In England the average distance between rapid chargers is just 25 miles.
  • No. The European Commission set the Type 2 connector as the standard for Europe in 2013. Most manufacturers now use this for their vehicles and charging points typically have a Type 2 socket as well. Similar to a USB port, this means vehicles can be plugged in regardless of what socket they have on board. Rapid chargers are slightly different, as these have thicker and often water-cooled cables which are tethered to the unit itself. Again, there is a European standard (the Combined Charging System) used by most new cars, but charge points are usually fitted with several connectors, compatible with the three most common standards.
  • Only if you’re charging from a domestic plug socket. Travel adaptors to convert a three-pin plug are not suitable for the sustained high currents needed for electric vehicle charging. However, the Type 2 connector is standard across Europe, so public charge points at destinations and rest areas will have the same socket or leads as in the UK.
  • Ranges vary depending on make/model. An increasing number of vehicles will now cover 200+ miles on a single charge. For example, the latest Renault Zoe can cover up to 242 miles and the Tesla Model 3 up to 348 miles, all on a single charge. A comprehensive vehicle guide is available here: https://pod-point.com/guides/vehicles

  • Please note that the actual electric range achieved can vary depending on driving style, type of journey, weather conditions etc. Typically, 70-75% of the manufacturer’s quoted range is a realistic ‘real world’ figure to work to when looking at EVs and suitability. If you have any questions or concerns regarding range, please visit the manufacturer’s website, or contact us on 01206 255420 and we will happily answer any questions you may have.
  • It is important to understand that your vehicle’s range can vary as there are many factors which can have an influence, such as high driving speeds, stop-and-go driving, short trips, uphill travel, and inclement weather. The following tips will give you some ideas on how to achieve the maximum range from your vehicle.

    • Minimise rapid acceleration.
    • Reduce your speed.
    • Maximise your regenerative braking.
    • Reduce unnecessary use of climate control, heating and other electrical functions which will draw energy from the battery.
    • Choose a route that will minimise your power requirement. If possible, take a route that is direct but will require travelling at lower speeds and avoiding hills.
    • Keep your tyres at the correct pressure for maximum efficiency. The additional battery weight of these vehicles means the tyre life is likely to decrease more quickly if the correct pressure is not maintained.
    • Avoid carrying unnecessary luggage as additional weight can reduce your range.
    • Some vehicles have a ‘pre-heat’ function which can be set to warm the cabin and battery prior to your journey; a cold battery will not perform as well as a warm one.
    • Familiarise yourself with your vehicle’s eco settings which can be used to prolong your range. Details of the settings available on your vehicle can be found in the driver’s handbook or on the manufacturer’s website.
  • A typical EV with a 60kWh battery will take less than 8 hours to charge from empty to full. Many drivers top up their charge regularly, rather than waiting for the battery to empty.
  • Regenerative braking is a system that collects energy generated by friction that would usually be lost on conventional combustion engine vehicles. Once captured, the energy will be channelled back to battery which helps to extend your vehicle’s range. Most electric/hybrid vehicles will have various eco settings which offer different levels of regenerative braking.
  • Eventually, as in a petrol or diesel car, you’ll come to a stop. Electric vehicles provide plenty of warning when the range is running low, and some will limit power or shut off systems such as the air conditioning to extend the range. Range gauges are typically on the cautious side to reduce the risk of this happening.

  • The RAC is rolling out an on-board charging system on its latest vans which will enable them to top up EVs at the roadside. However, with rapid chargers every 25 miles in the UK, it’s more likely your vehicle will be towed to the nearest service station for a faster top-up.
  • Only a handful of electric vehicles are legally allowed to tow a trailer. Maximum towing weights are set during a process called ‘Type Approval’, which takes place before a new vehicle is put on sale. However, it’s an optional value and vehicles which are deemed unlikely to tow – including high-performance petrol cars and shorter-range electric vehicles – aren’t always approved to do so. If they are sold without a towing capacity, then it is illegal to use them for pulling a trailer.
  • Batteries are designed to last the typical lifespan of whatever product they are fitted to. So, while a mobile phone or laptop battery might show signs of degradation after a couple of years, an electric vehicle battery should have retained most of its capacity over a ten-year lifespan. This is reflected in vehicle warranties which are typically longer than you’d get with a petrol or diesel engine.

  • For example, Tesla offers an eight-year warranty on all its battery packs, guaranteeing it will retain at least 70% of its battery capacity over the timescale.
  • Electric vehicles can catch fire when they are over-charged or damaged during a crash, but the risk is much lower than for their petrol or diesel counterparts. Tesla claims one vehicle fire for every 205 million miles travelled in its cars, which is ten times less than the overall average. Even during a round of crash testing, which was far in excess of regulatory requirements, German agency DEKRA reported none of the vehicles caught fire or posed an electrocution risk to first responders. If they do catch fire, vehicles are typically soaked in (or submerged in) large quantities of water to cool the battery.
  • Simply visit the dedicated Low Emission Zone or Clean Air Zone website for the city you are driving in and register.
  • Batteries can have a second life as static energy storage after being used in an electric vehicle and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan. However, this isn’t always happening. The European Commission is considering setting targets for recycled content in new battery packs, warning that lithium – which is cheaper to produce from new than to recover from end-of-life batteries – is too often wasted.

  • Battery manufacturers are already preparing for an influx of recyclable materials as larger numbers of electric vehicles reach the end of their life. Northvolt, which will soon supply BMW and Volkswagen Group, will open a full-scale recycling facility in 2022. By 2030, Northvolt is targeting a 50% share of recycled content in new cells.
  • Absolutely. National Grid ESO says peak demand was at its highest in 2002, and it has fallen 16% since as appliances become more efficient and homes and businesses add solar panels. With smarter charge points enabling sessions to be scheduled to avoid demand spikes, and energy to be returned to the grid, it’s only projecting a 10% rise in peak demand once everyone switches to electric vehicles. That’s still lower than in 2002.

  • All new electric vehicle charge points, installed at home and in the workplace from May 2022, will be pre-programmed to switch off during peak hours to ease pressure on the National Grid. A ‘randomised delay’ of up to 30 minutes when there is high demand from motorists, will also be introduced as more company car drivers switch to EVs.

  • New chargers will not operate from 8am to 11am and 4pm to 10pm, but owners and fleets will be able to override the pre-set times to take account of night workers and people who have different schedules. Public chargers and rapid chargers, on motorways and A-roads, will be exempt.
  • Electric vehicles do require more energy to build than their combustion engine counterparts. But that’s only half of the story. According to a recent Volkswagen Group study, manufacturing the ID.3 electric hatchback (including processing raw materials) produces almost twice as much CO2 as the equivalent petrol or diesel Golf. However, it adds that, even without factoring in the carbon-neutral factory where the ID.3 is built, life cycle CO2 emissions comfortably undercut both versions of the Golf.

  • This isn’t an unusual scenario. New research suggests whole-life CO2 emissions for an electric car are lower than a petrol equivalent in almost every country across the world. Meanwhile, vehicle manufacturers are shifting factories to renewable energy, creating local supply chains to avoid long-distance shipping and CO2 emissions for electricity production are falling too. The average carbon intensity of the UK grid was two thirds lower in 2020 than in 2013, and the ambition is net zero emissions by 2025. All these steps help to extend the environmental benefits compared to a petrol or diesel car.
  • Yes. The UK Government is banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030, and hybrids will follow five years later. There are no plans to ban the use of vehicles sold beforehand.