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Do electric cars produce less CO2 than other cars?

Do electric cars produce less CO2 than other cars?

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What is CO2

CO2 is the chemical symbol for carbon dioxide. It’s a gas that’s polluting our planet, heating it up and changing the delicate balance of our climate. Every country in the world will be affected by climate change if we don’t start cutting the amount of CO2 we produce. 

Unfortunately, driving petrol and diesel cars is a big problem because they burn fuel and pump a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere. And the process of making cars produces a lot of carbon too. 

If you drive a petrol or diesel car for 15 years, over about 160,000 miles, you’ll add around 42 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. 

image of sky with clouds

And why is that bad?

One way to answer that is to define how many trees you’d need to plant to absorb that amount of CO2. This is called offsetting.

It’s only a rough calculation but you’d have to plant a staggering 100 trees every year for 7 years just to absorb the CO2 emitted by one petrol or diesel car .

The good news is, when you drive an electric car there aren’t any carbon emissions from the exhaust. Yes, there’s still some CO2 produced in the manufacturing process, but the best car makers are working on that all the time.

So just by switching from a conventional car to an electric one, you can prevent 20-40 tonnes of CO2 from polluting our planet.

Plus, electric cars last a lot longer than petrol or diesel and have far fewer complex parts. So you don’t need to replace your electric car or repair it as often, saving even more CO2

Going electric is one of the easiest ways to be kinder to the environment. 

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I like the idea of an electric car – where do I start?

I like the idea of an electric car – where do I start?

Electric cars are a great option if you want to save on running costs or go greener. And you’ll be ahead of the game before the planned 2035 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

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Step 1 – Where will you charge? 

Let’s start by thinking about where you can charge an electric car; we know that’s what most people worry about when thinking of going electric. 

If you have a drive or garage at home it does make life easier, because you can have a home charge point installed which is the cheapest way to charge.

If you don’t have the option to charge at home, find out where your nearest public charge point is located. This might mean an on-street charge point (lots of local councils have installed them), a trip to your local supermarket, petrol station or public car park, or charging your car at work. You can track down one of the 53,906 (Dec 2023) or so public charge points across the UK using our charge point map.

electric car charging on driveway with charger in the background

Step 2 – Where do you drive to and how often?

Now let’s think about your daily commute and how many people you need to fit into your car.

The average UK round-trip commute is under 30 miles. That’s easily within the travelling range of any electric car, even the oldest second-hand models run for 60-80 miles on a full charge. If you often drive longer distances, look for an electric car with a more powerful battery. Most new models do over 200 miles on a full charge. 

Like petrol or diesel vehicles, most electric cars comfortably seat 4 people –  5 at a squeeze. But what if you need something bigger? Until recently, you had just a few pricey electric cars to choose from. But that’s slowly changing with cars on the market with six, seven or more seats. The Citroen ë-Spacetourer can almost fit a football team in.

image of car driver with sat nav

Step 3 – What’s your budget?

EVs can be leased from CBVC, our leasing partner from as little as £260 a month with some models available within 30 days – view our range of electric cars to lease.

Some workplaces offer electric car salary sacrifice schemes, where the money for the lease is taken at source from your gross salary, resulting in you paying less tax each month. You can talk to us about salary sacrifice too.

Electric car charge point

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Driving tips for new electric car owners

Driving tips for new electric car owners

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Are you ready to go electric?

Want to know if an electric car is the right choice for you?

Join in with our simple online quiz to find out more.

Start the quiz

How can I get the most from my electric car? 

Driving electric isn’t scary. You’ll find it easier to drive than your old manual and it’s much the same as getting used to any new car.  

Here are some of our top tips for getting the most from your new motor. 

Driving tips

  • The first thing you’ll notice is no gearstick. You either see a flat joystick or buttons, usually where you’d find your gearstick. You push the joystick or press the buttons for Drive/Reverse/Neutral/Park. Then touch your accelerator pedal to go and your brake pedal to stop. Couldn’t be simpler.

  • When you switch the car on, you won’t hear any noise or feel any vibration. When you pop the car into drive it might creep forward like an automatic, but some cars let you turn this off. 

  • The lack of a gearstick doesn’t mean lack of acceleration though. You’ll feel the power straight away and this can feel very fast. Some cars have an Eco/Chill mode so you can start with that while you get the hang of things.

  • Lift your foot off the accelerator and you’ll slow faster than you would in a petrol car. This is because some clever tech called regenerative braking kicks in. As you slow down and press the brake pedal your car stuffs energy back into the battery, giving you more miles (10% or so) and creating less wear on your brake pads. Coming to the lights? Take your foot off and save yourself some money.
Woman using graphical display in electric car

Charging tips

  • Keep your charging cables in the boot. You never know when you might need your cables or have the chance to grab a free charge.   
  • Not a fan of cold mornings? Set your car to finish charging just before you need it, so the battery’s warmed up, meaning more miles on a charge. You can even defrost your windscreen and heat the inside (using an app) from the comfort of your bed with some electric cars.  
  • Keep an eye on how much power you’re using. Most electric cars tell you how you’re driving on the dash so you can ease off the accelerator pedal and save money. 
  • Check out your local charge points or plan them out for long journeys on a charge point app or map. At the moment, there isn’t one payment system that covers all charge points, some take contactless cards, or you might need to download an app or get a plastic tag called an RFID (radio frequency identification) in advance. 
  • Want even more miles on a charge? If your car has it, pop it on eco mode. 
  • Out and about and using a rapid charger? It’s best to charge to around 80%. And don’t leave it plugged into a rapid charger for hours, you’ll annoy anyone who wants a quick zap and go.  Some chargers may also apply an “overstay fee” which can be costly.
  • Fancy free parking? Some councils offer free or discounted parking for electric cars. Check and register with your council.  

As time goes on, you’ll notice one big difference between electric and petrol or diesel. And that’s less time in the garage for services or repairs. Fewer moving parts mean more money in your pocket. 

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Do breakdown services cover electric cars?

Do breakdown services cover electric cars?

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Do breakdown services cover electric cars?

Can I get roadside assistance if I drive my electric car?  

Yes. All the main breakdown services cover electric cars and more and more local garages can help out too.  

What if I have an accident in my electric car?

Electric cars have fewer moving parts, so tend to break down less than petrol and diesel cars. If the worst happens and you do break down or have an accident, some breakdown services like the AA, RAC or Britannia Rescue can pick you up on a flatbed truck.

If you have an accident always contact your insurer first, as you might have free recovery under your policy.

What if I run out of charge?

If you’ve run out of charge in your electric car, most will take you to the nearest charge point. Some breakdown services, like LV=’s Britannia Rescue even have a big battery in their van to give you a zap and get you on your way. 


But it’s not likely to happen because electric cars, just like petrol or diesel, warn you miles before you run out of juice.

And that’s plenty of time to find one of 53,000 or more public charge points around the UK (as of January 2024).  

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FAQs

Frequently asked questions

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New electric car leasing customers

As electric car leasing and insurance specialists, we’re trusted to have great deals and stock availability.

We provide your car – plus delivery, collection and car tax. So you’re all ready to roll…

No, it’s just the same as leasing a conventional petrol or diesel car.

When we say in stock deal, we mean that the car is already built and here in the UK – so delivery can typically be within two weeks but there are limited model options and colours. Meanwhile, a factory order means we will order your car with the manufacturer and the estimated build time might be 6-8 months. But it will be built to your specific options and colour.

Most people lease for two – four years.

Yes. You must be 18 to take out a lease.

Most leasing companies and brokers don’t take trade-ins direct. Some do have tie-ins with car buying companies. But this is generally completed as a separate transaction. 

Yes. The business will be credit checked and you’ll pay Benefit in Kind tax rates, which are currently very low for electric cars. The main benefit from leasing through a business is tax efficiency: if the business is VAT registered, most of the time you can claim back half the VAT on your lease payments, and all the VAT on maintenance contracts. The company can also offset lease payments against corporation tax, and it reduces the employer’s Class 1A National Insurance contributions.

Yes. You’ll be credit checked and the lease will be classed as regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Rental costs can also be offset against tax.

Each lease contract will be treated as a separate agreement. This is usually only accepted for spousal or life partner applications.

Generally, smaller city cars are more affordable – such as the Corsa-e, Fiat 500 and Smart EQ Forfour. 

Yes. Usual DVLA costs apply. The plate can be changed either before or after delivery, depending on when you request this – for example, some cars are pre-registered.

Once your lease vehicle is in stock, we’ll contact you to arrange the best delivery date for you.  Then we’ll keep you up to date by email, phone or SMS. 

The financial stuff

When you choose to lease, you’re renting the car from us – so you don’t own the car. PCP is a purchase agreement which means you’re buying the car but can return it.

Leasing is far more predictable, especially when maintenance is included – so you’ll know what you’re paying and when. You also don’t need to worry about what the car will be worth at the end of the contract.

You just pay for the use of your car over the agreed term. Insurance, service and maintenance costs can also be covered as optional service packages.

No, you don’t need to pay a deposit but you’ll pay a fee when your car’s delivered. You can pay from 1-12 times the first month’s rental. The more you pay in the initial payment, the lower the monthly rental charges work out, but you’ll pay the same over the contract.

Yes. All leasing companies are statutorily regulated to make sure you can afford payments.

All leases include car tax throughout the contract. If the government puts up taxes, you might be charged a bit extra to cover it (but we’ll give you plenty of notice if that happens).

No, but If you lease with us, you can add breakdown cover from just £33 per year per car. LV= Britannia Rescue gives you access to over 4,000 breakdown professionals across the UK who will help to keep you moving. 

BIK is an HMRC tax based on a variable percentage of the full price of your company car – calculated by CO2 levels. Electric cars currently have a BIK of 2%, which is deducted from your personal income tax allowance. 

If you’re a VAT registered business, you can usually claim back half the VAT for the financial part of the rental. You can reclaim all the VAT on any maintenance package you take.  

We charge a fee for our services: arranging the sale, ordering the car, arranging the finance and organising delivery.

Insuring your electric car with Allianz

If you buy your policy from Allianz, you’ll find there are specific benefits that are included within their policies for electric vehicles. They’ll cover all your accessories including charging cables and wall boxes plus the batteries will also be covered as part of their comprehensive cover.

Yes. Just like any car insurance policy. The excess is the total amount you have to pay yourself if you make a claim. This is calculated by combining two types of excess – compulsory & voluntary. 

Yes. You will need to take out separate policies for each vehicle but you can insure more than one vehicle with Allianz. 

Yes, that’s fine. All insurance companies will ask who the registered keeper is and will give you the option of selecting the lease company.

Yes. The easiest way to do this is by going directly to our insurance partner at Allianz

Yes. Allianz will cover your car’s battery for accidental damage, fire and theft – even if you’re leasing it separately from the car (although this is very rare).

Charging your electric car

Prices vary depending on supplier, but around £900 should cover a 7.2kW home charging unit. Prices vary depending on supplier and installation factors. If you live in a flat or you rent then you can get a £350 government grant or 75% off the cost to buy and install, whichever is lower (from April 2022), which requires a certified electrician to fully install the charge point.

Manufacturers offer a lengthy battery warranty, often for eight years/100,000 miles.

Most drivers charge at home or at work. And public charge points can be located using charge point maps.

Just like the electric motor and battery, the systems that charge your electric car are weather-proof within reason. Whatever the conditions, taking a cable from your boot and plugging it into the car will be absolutely fine.

No, there’s really no need. It’s recommended that you keep the state of charge at around 80% or lower, to maintain battery health.

It’s very rare because most charging cables lock at both ends which prevents theft. When charging, the cable locks at the charge point, and again when your car is locked. 

Don’t Panic. If you’ve got breakdown cover with either Allianz insurance or through Britannia Rescue directly and you do run out of charge, then they’ll take you to the nearest charge point in the UK.

Existing electric car leasing customers

Yes. You can exit your lease early with an early termination request – but you’ll need to pay a fee and return the car. Just ask your lease company and they’ll let you know how much it’ll cost. It’s normally a percentage of your remaining rental fees (often half), but it can be the full fee if you’re coming towards the end of a contract. 

No. You can’t transfer the lease to another person.

It’s just the same process as with any purchased car – first off, you need to contact your insurance company for advice. If you’re with Allianz, use car insurance support.

Like with hire purchase and PCP, you’ll need to pay an early termination fee – and most of the time the insurance money will cover it.  Insurers only pay the market value of the car, though. So there’s a possibility – particularly early on in your term if you’ve only put down a low deposit – that a pay-out won’t cover it. If there’s any difference, you’ll need to pay it.

Don’t worry – you can keep using the car. You’ll need to pay an excess mileage charge, though, which is a pence-per-mile figure. You’ll agree the amount at the start of the lease and you’ll need to pay it when you give the car back.

It can range from as little as 5 pence-per-mile for smaller cars, up to 50 pence-per-mile for premium vehicles. It’ll also be higher if you have a maintenance package as it covers maintenance costs for the extra mileage.

If you know you’re going to go over your mileage then get in touch with your lease company. You can often raise your mileage monthly payments during your lease period.

Your estate would need to pay the early termination fee. 

We’ll simply collect your car. Apart from damage and mileage conditions, there should be no extra costs. You can find further information in the BVRLA’s Fair Wear and Tear Statement

Other electric car info

Electric cars are tested to the same high standards as conventional new cars. And you’ll find that many models achieve high ratings from the independent safety body Euro NCAP.

All cars may struggle in particularly extreme weather. But electric cars can perform in all kinds of weather conditions just as well as a petrol or diesel model – although range will dip a bit in cold weather. All electrical systems are sealed and insulated against the elements.

No. All electric cars are automatic only. 

If you have any complaint, please email: electrix@lv.co.uk 

For car leases contact CBVC on 0330 818 7555. Service hours are Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm

Are electric cars safe and reliable?

Are electric cars safe and reliable?

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How reliable are electric cars? 

Electric cars are very reliable. They have fewer parts than the cars we’re used to driving and that means there’s less that can go wrong. There’s no clutch, gearbox, spark plugs or exhaust on an electric car.

Electric cars are also very smooth to drive and they generate less heat and vibration, which means that there’s less wear and tear too.  

The motors in electric cars can drive for hundreds of thousands of miles without any issues. Nowadays their batteries have got an equally impressive lifespan. It means that a modern electric car can easily save hundreds of pounds every year in maintenance, especially as they get older.  

All in all, they’re far less likely to let you down than an average petrol or diesel engine, which is probably near the end of its life somewhere around 150,000 to 200,000 miles.  They’re so simple and reliable that you’re likely to find that servicing, basic maintenance and repairs at your local garage are cheaper too.  

Electric car charge point

And what about safety? 

Fire

Even if there was a collision, the battery pack in an electric car is extremely unlikely to burst into flames. Whereas a petrol or diesel fuel tank could easily catch fire in a disaster. 

The battery pack in an electric car is made up of lots of individual cells which are almost impossible to damage in the same way a fuel tank could be damaged. Even in a crash it’s hard to damage the cells because they’re so well protected by loads of advanced safety features and even if you damage one cell, it’s hard to damage them all at the same time.  

Although it’s possible for a battery cell to explode, it’s more like a little firework going off than the sort of car chase explosion we see in movies. In itself, it wouldn’t pose a threat to your life in the same way a burning fuel tank can.  

If something goes seriously wrong with a battery, you get plenty of warning from the car – just like you do with warning systems on petrol and diesel cars. A flashing light on the dash is enough to give anyone the jitters, but with electric cars you’ll always get more time to pull over, get to a garage, or get out of the car if there’s a problem.  

Rain and floods

If you’re driving an electric car in torrential rain. It’s good to know the battery packs are well sealed and weatherproof. So you don’t need to worry about mixing electricity with water. You can happily and safely charge them in heavy rain or run them through the car wash. 

And if you’re still in any doubt that electric cars are safe and reliable compared to the cars you’re used to driving, check out the 5 star safety ratings they’re attracting from Euro NCAP | The European New Car Assessment Programme.  

Overall, although there’s always some danger being out on the road, electric cars are very reliable. 

Is an electric car
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Are electric cars better for the environment?

Are electric cars better for the environment?

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Are you ready to go electric?

Want to know if an electric car is the right choice for you?

Join in with our simple online quiz to find out more.

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Are electric cars greener? 

The short answer is, yes. If you compare them to cars with petrol or diesel engines, EVs are better for the environment.  

When you drive a petrol or diesel car, CO2 from burning fuel are released into the environment from the exhaust. These are dangerous emissions that are contributing to air quality and the environment. On the other hand, when you drive an electric car you’re not creating any exhaust emissions at all. So the main way electric cars are better for the environment is because there are no emissions from burning fuel.    

Driving an electric car does produce some emissions from electricity generation – but you can power your car partly or fully using renewables. Like through solar panels and a smart charger, or by buying your electricity on a 100% green tariff from a green energy supplier. And even if you charge an electric car from a coal or gas plant. The carbon emissions still work out lower than from the petrol or diesel equivalent. 

What about electric car batteries and landfill? 

You might worry about car batteries cluttering up landfill sites or lithium in electric car batteries. The good news is battery tech is now so good that new batteries usually last as long as the car (Tesla, the electric car pioneers, even have a ‘million mile’ battery!). Yes, electric car batteries do degrade but only very gradually and they will still have enough oomph for most people’s needs even when they’ve covered hundreds of thousands of miles. 

In an unlikely scenario where a battery needs replacing, it can usually be used in another way, like powering the National Grid for example. You can rest easy knowing that a car battery goes on being useful for years afterwards before it’s recycled  – and there are lots of companies building up state-of-the-art electric car battery recycling facilities already. Batteries very rarely end up in landfill at all.  

Electric car batteries need lithium, but luckily there is more than enough of this natural resource in the world. There are different ways it can be extracted and here in the UK we’re leading the way in producing lithium from brines in ways that have less environmental impact. 

Other factors

Any kind of manufacturing process tends to use energy and create waste and car manufacture is no different.  

But with so much growing awareness of the dangers of Climate Change. Car manufacturers are finding ways to reduce the negative impact of their manufacturing processes, and create genuinely eco-friendly cars.  

The best brands are looking carefully at every stage of the process and trying to cut out the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) they produce because CO2 is one of the most harmful greenhouse gases causing the planet to become dangerously warm.   

Many car makers are aiming to go zero carbon and where that’s not possible, they’re making up for their carbon emissions by investing in climate friendly projects such as tree-planting. Those trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere which slows down global warming. 

Some people think synthetic fuels are the way forward, but although they’re an alternative to petrol and diesel. The complex process of making them and transporting them to fuel stations uses several times more energy than making and running an electric car. And burning the fuel is bad for the environment.

It’s greener to drive an electric car because the National Grid infrastructure is already in place to provide the electricity to charge your car, cutting down on transportation of fuel.

There are more and more renewable energy tariffs available from your energy provider  which means that the electricity you use comes from things like wind and solar power,So whichever way you look at it, it’s still greener to power and drive an electric car than to use synthetic fuel. 

We know that carbon emissions are bad because they’re causing global warming but tiny particles, which are too small to see, are a problem too.

Unfortunately all cars produce some of these harmful particles from their tyres and brake pads. However, electric cars produce less than normal cars because of the way the electric motor recycles energy. This means there’s less use and wear of the brake pads.  

But the vast majority of these dangerous particles are pumped out of the exhausts of petrol and diesel cars. In heavily built up areas with a lot of traffic, these particle emissions are leading to serious health problems.

Is an electric car
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Planning a road trip in an electric car ?

LV= and ElectriX team up with Ordnance Survey to create a series of 250-mile maps

graphic of trees

ElectriX, part of LV=, has teamed up with Ordnance Survey ahead of the summer holidays to launch a series of 250-mile road trips around Great Britain which can be driven on a single charge and help challenge common misconceptions around electric vehicles.

Members of the public can choose from four different mapped routes to download, covering the South East, North West, Wales or Scotland, all of which can be completed over the course of a weekend. The 250-mile routes highlight fun activities for all the family as well as scenic landmarks up and down the country, from the Scottish Highlands and the Pembrokeshire Coast to the Yorkshire Dales and the South Downs National Park. Each map comes with its very own itinerary, making it easy to get on the road and see the best sights Great Britain has to offer! 

250 mile EV charging map

The project has launched as new research reveals that 60% of us weren’t aware that an electric car can travel for distances as long as 250 miles without needing to be charged, with adults thinking they can travel an average of just 169 miles in an EV before needing to stop.

Each map contains information on where you can find public charging points to ensure that you’re fully charged before you set off on your adventure.

To find out more about electric cars click here. 

graphic care with electric car



Route: North West

Download map



Route: South East

Download map
graphic outdoors with electric car
graphic of electric car and the grid



Route: Wales

Download map



Route: Scotland

Download map
graphic of electric car on road

What’s an electric car?

What’s an electric car?

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The basics  

What is an electric car?  

It might sound a bit of an obvious question, after all isn’t an electric car, well electric? 

But car manufacturers are making things tricky by calling different types of cars electrified, even when they aren’t a pure electric car.  

An electric car uses electric motors to move the wheels and the power comes from a battery. You charge your battery by plugging it in, kind of like giant smartphone. And you can do that at home or at one of the 53,000 or so public charge points across the UK as of January 2024.

You don’t need to fill it with petrol or diesel, just plain old electricity and as a bonus there are no nasty emissions coming from the car. You might hear electric cars called EVs (electric vehicles) or BEVs (battery electric vehicles). This type of car is your best option if you want to go greener and reduce running costs.  

Reasons to make the switch to electric:

  • Smoother and generally more comfortable drive    
  • There’s no engine, so less to go wrong    
  • Easier to drive as they’re automatic 
  • Cheaper maintenance       
  • No high costs for petrol and diesel 
  • Clever apps to make your life easier – defrost your car while sat in bed 
  • Cars for everyone – from a nippy city zip about to a luxury ride     
  • Governments grants to help you buy your car and install a home charge point.
Electric car on charge

Is an electric car
right for me?

Discover electric cars that are available through our partner CBVC today.

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Can you drive electric cars in the rain?

Can you drive electric cars in the rain?

With the recent storms and flooding and the particularly soggy British weather months still to come, what does that mean for electric vehicle drivers? There’s plenty of misinformation around, so ElectriX is here to answer some of the most common questions around mixing EVs and water.

graphic of electric car camping

Is my electric vehicle ok to drive in the rain?

Yes – treat it exactly as you would a diesel or petrol car.  

Just remember that all cars can handle differently in wet conditions. you’ll need to apply the usual road safety rules in wet conditions – think about your braking distances and ensure your tyres are well maintained to ensure maximum grip.

Can I charge my electric vehicle when it’s raining?

Yes – all EV chargers, public and home chargers, are waterproof. 

The process for charging an EV is the same whatever the weather. The great thing is EV cables and charging points are specially designed and waterproofed to ensure the user is safe. You should only use approved charging cables – multi-plug extension leads or domestic cables are not recommended.

Electric car charging in the rain
Charging in the rain

Is it ok to drive my electric vehicle through a flooded area?

You’ll need to use your judgement as to whether it is safe to proceed. However, you can treat an EV exactly as you would a diesel or petrol vehicle in hazardous conditions. The MET office advises avoiding flood water and finding another route wherever possible, as just 30cm of moving water can float your car. 

What if the battery gets wet?

In the event that water does get into the car. battery units – and the power lines to the motor – are sealed and isolated so water cannot get in.

However, if you are concerned that there has been water ingress in the vehicle, you should always contact your lease provider or local dealer for advice before driving the vehicle.

So, there you have it, get out there and enjoy your electric vehicle – it’s ready for the British weather, just don’t forget your umbrella.

Is an electric car
right for me?

Discover electric cars that are available through our partner CBVC today.

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