While an electric car’s list price can be more expensive than the equivalent petrol or diesel, this doesn’t paint the whole picture, as the total cost you pay over its lifetime could be less.
Electric vehicle (EV) batteries are the most expensive component, but when you consider the fuel savings they equate to, the initial premium can be offset across ownership. Even partially electric cars, like the Citroen C5 Aircross SUV Hybrid, offer electric-only motoring for over 30 miles per charge. That’s enough to get most to work and back.
When considering potential savings in taxes and servicing costs, a Citroen electric car could be more suitable than you think.
WHAT IS A HYBRID?
As a mix of electric and traditional combustion power, hybrids offer the security of petrol or diesel with the added benefit of improved miles per gallon (mpg) and reduced emissions.
Hybrid (HEV): Generally a car with a small, self-charging battery and electric motor to operate at lower speeds and in tandem with a traditional engine.
Plug-in hybrid (PHEV): Similar to a ‘standard’ hybrid, but usually with a bigger battery that is recharged through the mains and a cable, like the Citroen C5 Aircross SUV Hybrid.
Mild hybrid (MHEV): Mild hybrids have less of a reliance on electric than a HEV or PHEV, and often use a small battery and electric motor to assist in setting off from a standstill and maintaining a steady speed. These don’t usually have an all-electric driving mode.
With several types of EV, from all-electric cars to plug-in hybrids, keeping up with the terms can be confusing. But, it’s important to understand which is best for you when considering a switch to electric.
WHAT DOES THE 2030 BAN ON PETROL AND DIESEL MEAN FOR ME?
Originally announced for 2040, the government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans has since been brought forward to 2030. Select hybrids, as cars that partially rely on petrol or diesel, will be exempt until 2035, but only those with a “significant zero-emissions range”.
Used sales and owning of petrol- or diesel-powered cars and vans will not be affected, however, only brand-new sales. EV funding and infrastructure is growing all the time, so by 2030 it’s likely electric motoring will be more practical for UK drivers.
WHY ARE PETROL AND DIESEL CARS BEING BANNED?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson included the ban on new petrol and diesel sales in his 10-point plan to tackle climate change and achieve the UK’s goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The initiative will also boost the British economy through the creation of jobs in green energy and transport.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO PETROL AND DIESEL CARS AND VANS?
When the sale of new petrol and diesel cars ends, we’ll naturally see a reduction in the number of them on the road, although buying, owning and driving second-hand and existing models will still be possible. As the average lifespan of a car is around 12 years, the phasing out of combustion-powered cars on UK roads will be gradual.
As such, traditional fuel pumps will remain after the ban but they may decrease in numbers and be replaced by charging points as the balance of cars swings towards EVs. Explore the Citroen electric hub to find out if switching ahead of the ban would work for you.
WHAT IF ELECTRIC CARS AND VANS ARE NO GOOD FOR ME?
Petrol and diesel cars and vans are still available for purchase until the 2030 ban, and select hybrids until 2035. After this point, you’ll still be able to own and drive a combustion-powered car, but the benefits of doing so may be outweighed by EVs by that point.
That said, you may be surprised by the actual costs of owning an EV even now. While the list prices and monthly payments can be higher, the fuel and tax savings could offset that and bring the overall costs in line with or even lower than a petrol or diesel equivalent.
ARE ELECTRIC CARS REALLY GREEN?
Although EV manufacture can require more energy than a petrol or diesel model, through the materials and processes involved, this is offset by the reduced emissions across the car’s lifespan. In the case of all-electric models, the exhaust emissions are removed completely.
WHAT MEASURES DOES CITROËN TAKE TO MINIMISE THE IMPACT OF BATTERY PRODUCTION?
Some EV battery materials, particularly lithium and cobalt, draw criticism because they can come from countries and mines with poor environmental and human rights records. Citroen and parent company Stellantis, however, works with suppliers to ensure responsible procurement practices throughout the supply chain.
WHAT HAPPENS TO ELECTRIC CAR BATTERIES WHEN A CAR IS SCRAPPED?
As batteries are expensive and contain precious metals, it’s far more likely they’ll be recycled or reused.
Some houses already make use of ‘second life’ EV cells, which capture solar and wind energy and feed it into the home. This form of recycling means battery packs could have an additional decade of use after they’re used in a car or van. After this point, or in the case of damaged batteries, the precious metals can be retrieved and used to make new batteries.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO DRIVE AN ELECTRIC CAR?
Electric cars tend to be automatic, without clutch pedals and gear sticks, making them easier to drive. The initial acceleration is also surprising to many drivers, as the electric motors can deliver 100% of the torque (a car’s pulling force) instantly.
In the case of pure electrics, the power is provided across a single band or ‘gear’, so acceleration and speed changes are seamless and without engine noise. Even plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) that switch between electric and combustion power, like the Citroen C5 Aircross SUV Hybrid, are much smoother and quieter than many expect.
HOW DO I GET THE BEST OUT OF MY NEW EV?
Citroën electric cars feature selectable driving modes to alter the car’s performance and feel, from the range-extending ‘Eco’ mode to the more performance-focused ‘Sport’ setting. Citroen’s PHEVs will also get underway in electric only, but this can be locked in for silent, emission-free driving.
Another standout feature is regenerative braking, which channels unused power back into the battery when lifting off the accelerator. This is a handy method of saving charge and getting more miles from your EV.
CAN I TOW WITH AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE OR PHEV?
As with petrol and diesel cars, towing affects efficiency and range. Although some EVs are capable of towing, especially PHEVs that can also rely on conventional engines, it’s best to speak to the team at your local Citroën dealership to check the guidance for a model you’re considering or have purchased.
RELIABILITY AND BATTERY LIFE
ARE ELECTRIC CARS RELIABLE?
Because of their lower number of parts compared to conventional cars, EVs can be surprisingly reliable. Without exhausts, fuel delivery systems, oil filters or clutches, they can actually be easier to repair and maintain.
Modern car batteries themselves are largely free of maintenance as they’re designed to last the lifetime of the car, or even longer. For added peace of mind, Citroen electric cars come with a warranty that guarantees 70% battery capacity for 100,000 miles or eight years.
HOW LONG WILL AN ELECTRIC CAR BATTERY LAST?
While a degree of battery performance loss is expected over the course of ownership, an electric car’s batteries are more robust than the kind you’ll find in household electronics like mobile phones or laptops.
They’re designed to last the lifetime of an EV, and even after that can be used in other forms of power storage. Our sales and maintenance teams are also on hand to offer tips for maintaining your batteries’ performance.
DO ELECTRIC CAR BATTERIES NEED SPECIAL CARE?
Citroën’s battery packs are maintenance free for the driver, so you don’t need to add fuel, oil or water to keep it in check. All you’ll do is charge it. During a service, a Citroen technician will perform a battery health check and advise on practices to ensure it has the longest life.
These tips include only charging to 100% when it’s needed. If you don’t need a full charge for a particular journey, it’s best to top it up to only 80% or less if possible. The charge level can be pre-set in the car’s EV menu.
CAN AN ELECTRIC CAR BATTERY BE REPAIRED?
EV batteries are designed to be maintenance free for drivers and shouldn’t need any repairs in their lifetime. They’re also protected by steel casing to prevent damage from water, road debris or accidents.
In the event of external damage or malfunction, the car’s systems will also ensure the battery remains safe. The packs can then be removed by Citroen technicians and assessed for faults. If necessary, individual cells can be replaced to restore the battery back to working order.
DOES THE BATTERY NEED SERVICING?
EV batteries still require servicing, but as they’re designed to last the lifetime of the car without oil or parts changes, the costs could be 30% lower than the equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle on average.
That doesn’t mean your battery won’t be regularly checked and assessed, though. During servicing, a Citroen technician will check the status of the battery packs and ensure it’s performing as it should be.
WHAT DOES THE BATTERY WARRANTY COVER?
Citroën vehicle warranties cover all models for material and manufacturing defects for three years or 60,000 miles from the first registration. This rises to 100,000 miles for Citroen commercial vehicles.
The lithium-ion battery packs themselves are covered for eight years and 100,000 miles for extra peace of mind. This guarantees at least 70% charging capacity for that time, with cost-free repairs and replacements if the capacity falls below the mark. As an added benefit, roadside assistance is included as part of the package.
HOW CAN I CHECK THE RANGE OF MY ELECTRIC CAR?
Like in an internal combustion-engine vehicle, the consumption information for an electric vehicle is located next to the speedometer. Range is calculated in real time, and takes into account your driving style, in addition to other factors. However, there are a few things to note: for a plug-in hybrid vehicle, a blue light on the rear-view mirror informs you when you are in 100% electric mode. In addition, your gauge displays the electric range on one side, and your fuel range on the other. You can use the MyCitroën application to remotely check your vehicle's charge status.
WHAT IS THE RANGE OF MY ELECTRIC VEHICLE?
The range of your electric vehicle depends on your driving, the load you are carrying, the gradient of the road and your use of air conditioning or heating. C5 Aircross SUV Hybrid has a 100% electric range of 34 miles under the WLTP standard. For vehicles in the 100% electric range, with the ë-C4 and ë-Dispatch the range goes up to 217 miles and 205 miles in WLTP mode.
WHERE AND HOW CAN I CHARGE MY ELECTRIC CAR?
You can plug into different rated power sockets and the vehicle will charge at the maximum rate of power available, capped by the capacity of the vehicle on board charger. 7kW is the level of power that is most commonplace and suitable for UK domestic properties installing chargepoints.
Home: if you have off-street parking, we recommend you get a charging point installed and there is a grant available from the government to support this. Citroën have partnerer with Pod Point for home charging - and your Dealer can start the process for you.
Work: many workplaces already have electric vehicle charging points installed, and the government offers grants to workplaces for this.
Public: there is a vast network of publically available chargepoints across the country and many of them are completely free to use. There are a number of different providers however, so www.zap-map.com is the best place to do research on whats available in a certain area from all providers. The biggest UK charging network is run by bp pulse (formerly called Polar) - and as a Citroën electric vehicle customer, you can benefit from 6 months free membership.
On-Street Residential: in you don't have off-street parking at home, it is worth contacting your council to find out what they are doing in this area. Central government has funding available to local councils for them to provide charging points for residents who have to park on the street.
The charging time depends on the type of charging point you use. There are several types of terminals, both domestic and public, with several power levels. Find all the information you need on the dedicated vehicle pages.
Citroën vehicle socket: Type 2 connector
Citroën battery electric vehicles on board charger:
7kW (monophase) as standard: charge time - 7 hours 30 mins
11kW (three phase) as factory option: charge time - 5 hours
100kW CCS Rapid Charge as standard: charge time 30 mins to 80%
Citroën plug-in hybrid on board charger:
7kW (monophase): charge time - 1 hour 40 mins
Citroën supply an 7kW accelerated charging cable as standard, to connect to a 'type 2' charging point, as it’s the recommended method for daily charging any electrified vehicle. If you wish to charge from a 3-pin domestic socket, a cable is available for purchase as an accessory. Rapid charging for full electric vehicles does not need a seperate cable, as these are always tethered to the charging point.
HOW CAN I INSTALL A CHARGING POINT IN A MULTI-FAMILY RESIDENCE?
Citroën's charging partner is Pod Point, so they can assist with installing a chargepoint at your home. Pod Point are fully approved under the government Homecharge scheme, so if you have off street parking, you can usually benefit from grant funding of £350 towards the cost of this. It can be more challenging to get charging points installed in shared
residences and apartments. Pod Point can update you with the latest
advice on how to navigate this topic.
WHAT WILL OWNING AN ELECTRIC CAR DO TO MY ELECTRICITY BILL?
If you’re charging an electric car regularly, there’s no escaping the rise in your energy bill. But remember that trips to the petrol station are removed or reduced, depending on your EV type, and electricity is generally around a quarter of the price of conventional fuel.
There are also suppliers who’ll offer cheaper tariffs for use overnight, so you can charge your car at a reduced rate while you sleep. This can cut costs by a third or even more. Public charging can also alleviate the electric use at home, whether at the shops or at the office, where it isn’t considered a taxable benefit.
IS IT EASY TO CHARGE AN EV/PHEV?
All you need is a domestic socket to charge an EV, but we recommend having a dedicated home wallbox installed. This will make charging much faster, safer and more convenient.
There are two types of charging available: AC, which is typically the sort that powers a home wallbox, and DC, which provides rapid charging and is often found at public charge points like service stations or outside supermarkets.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I RUN OUT OF CHARGE?
While PHEVs will automatically switch to petrol or diesel power when the batteries are drained, an all-electric car owner will need to be a bit more forward thinking. However, you’ll get plenty of warning before the battery is completely drained.
It’s best to always keep the car charged up for impromptu trips out, to avoid unexpected breakdowns.
IS CITROËN LOOKING AT HYDROGEN AS AN ALTERNATIVE POWER SOURCE?
Citroen strives to bring the most efficient technologies to market and support the UK in becoming a world leader in green motoring and technology.
However, the practicalities of producing, storing and distributing hydrogen mean that battery-powered electric vehicles are much more viable for cars and light vans in the UK right now. They’re also cheaper to buy and run.
WHAT ABOUT SYNTHETIC FUELS?
Some experts point to synthetic fuels to reduce carbon, through the likes of hydrogen, which can be burned in a conventional combustion engine. However, creating these fuels can require a lot of energy and it may be a power source that’s more appropriate for heavy vehicles like buses and trucks.
In the UK and Europe, with rapidly advancing electric infrastructures, Citroen believes EVs are the best way to contribute to the decarbonisation of transport for light vehicles and vans.
CAN I PROGRAM THE CHARGING OF MY CAR?
Yes, you can program deferred charging and pre-heat or pre-cool your vehicle by subscribing to our free connected service e-Remote Control through the MyCitroën app.
ARE THERE INSURANCE POLICIES SUITABLE FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES?
Yes, most insurers offer policies for electric vehicles.
IS IT EXPENSIVE TO SERVICE ELECTRIC CARS?
With fewer moving parts than a petrol or diesel equivalent, electric cars can actually be easier and cheaper to maintain, with savings of around 30% on average.
There are still aspects that require looking after, such as suspension components and body panels, but these are shared with combustion-engined cars and are no more expensive. Also, through the use of regenerative braking, EVs tend to be much lighter on brake wear. If you are worried about costs, our service plan could provide peace of mind and spread the payments over the year.
CAN EVERY DEALER LOOK AFTER AN ELECTRIC CAR?
Yes, Citroen technicians undergo a series of certified training courses to ensure they’re able to maintain and repair all electric models. They’re also supported by Citroen’s engineers and experts, leaving no doubt they’re the best team to look after your EV.
DO ELECTRIC CARS NEED SPECIFIC SKILLS TO REPAIR?
Many vehicle components are shared with petrol and diesel models, so it’s usually just the electric powertrain that requires a different approach. However, all Citroën technicians undergo certified training to ensure they’re up to speed on your car, how it works and how it’s maintained.
Your car will only be handled by trained, qualified technicians who can ensure your car functioning reliably.
HOW CAN I CREATE A MY CITROËN ACCOUNT?
The My Citroën app is available on Android and iOS. To register, you need your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), found on your windscreen and registration document - so you can pair your vehicle with the app and take advantage of all the features. Take advantage of your car's entire digital ecosystem and the Citroën connected services compatible with your vehicle.
This is fully dependent on where you charge and the cost of your electricity. Some public chargepoints are completely free, whereas others have variable charges. You can also install a chargepoint at home and pay for the electricity you use to charge.
Electricity is priced by kWh (kilowatt per hour) - so for a full battery charge you multiply the price per kWh by the capacity of the battery (in the same way today you would multiply the price per gallon, by the fuel tank capacity).
Many energy companies are now offering ‘electric vehicle tariffs’ where charging at certain times is cheaper. Citroën make this easy for you to manage, from either the vehicle or through downloading the MyCitroën app, which allows you to programme your vehicle to start charging at a time convenient to you.
WHAT INCENTIVES ARE THERE TO HELP ME SWITCH TO ELECTRIC?
In short, plenty! The government is keen to encourage EV uptake through several incentives and grants. The most notable is the plug-in car grant, which contributes £2,500 to the cost of a new all-electric car priced under £35,000, meaning the new Citroen e-C4 is eligible.
It also covers 35% of the purchase price up to £3,000 for small vans and up to £6,000 for large vans. To be eligible, EV vans must have emissions below 50g/km and have an all-electric, emission-free range of at least 60 miles.
I’M A COMPANY CAR DRIVER. WHAT BENEFITS ARE THERE TO SWITCH TO AN EV?
If you’re lucky enough to have access to a company car scheme, it really could be worth your while to make the switch to electric because of government incentives and low BIK (benefit in kind) tax rates.
In the 2021/22 tax year, the rate is only 1%, offering big savings to both company car drivers and their employers. The savings could even run into the thousands each year. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) aren’t subject to the same rates, but there are still substantial savings to be had. Another bonus is being able to charge your car at your employer’s premises without it being deemed a taxable benefit, regardless of if the car covers personal miles.
WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN FUTURE TO EV TAXES?
We can’t predict future government policies, but the UK’s commitment to tackling climate change and air pollution means electrified transport is essential.
However, it’s unlikely the generous incentives will continue once EVs become mainstream and new petrol and diesel sales are banned in 2030. The current plug-in car grant has funding until 2022/23, but as we’ve already seen the actual grant amount can change within this.
ARE ELECTRIC CARS SAFE IN AN ACCIDENT?
Euro NCAP, the independent testing organisation, tests most cars on sale in the UK and has found that electric cars are as safe, if not safer, than a conventional car in an accident. Citroen vehicles are fitted with the latest safety tech to present accidents happening in the first place, but in that event, our cars’ strong shells and passive safety systems ensure the safety of occupants and electric systems.
CAN YOU DRIVE ELECTRIC CARS IN A FLOOD/HEAVY RAIN/CAR WASH?
Citroën's engineers go to great lengths to ensure our EVs can be used in all the conditions a conventional car can. Long before our models enter production, they’re tested in heavy rain, standing water and, of course, car washes!
They’re even tested in a lightning strike situation and found to be just as safe. There’s no need to modify your driving behaviour in an electric car.
LOW- AND ZERO-EMISSION ZONES: WHAT ARE THEY AND WHAT DO THEY MEAN FOR ME?
Low- and zero-emission zones are designated as only being suitable for traffic producing little to no exhaust emissions and are usually found in densely populated areas where air quality is poor.
The first of these zones are in London but will eventually be extended to other UK areas. Only certified vehicles are permitted to drive within these areas, such as Citroen’s new e-C4, which produces zero exhaust emissions. Plug-in hybrids, like the C5 Aircross SUV Hybrid are also permitted, but such models may have to operate in electric-only modes to comply.
WILL PHEVS BE ABLE TO DRIVE IN ZEZS?
Officially Zero Emission Zones (ZEZs), only vehicles with no exhaust emissions are permitted to drive through these. However, the rules on plug-in hybrids, which have limited electric-only modes, are yet to be finalised.
As the schemes develop, it’s expected that a system will be developed to allow PHEVs in these areas. Citroen is committed to electric mobility for all and will ensure all of its EVs are ZEZ compliant when a final decision is made.
ARE ELECTRIC VANS SUITABLE FOR MY BUSINESS?
Electric vans can be just as or even more practical for businesses than their petrol or diesel equivalents. With electric-only ranges of up to 200 miles and above, they can offer significant savings in running costs, reduced maintenance time, reduced driver fatigue and also exemption from congestion charges.
Rapid charging is also compatible with Citroen electric vans, so the batteries can be charged up while out and about.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE RANGE WHEN I HAVE A LOAD?
All of the official range figures for Citroen electric vans are calculated with the vehicle carrying half of its max load. This will be more than many businesses need, and also means a lighter vehicle will travel further on each charge.
Speak to the team at your local Citroen dealership to see if an EV is the right choice for you and your business.
WHAT GRANTS ARE THERE TO HELP ME BUY AN ELECTRIC VAN?
As commercial vehicles usually do more mileage than cars, the government is keen to encourage the adoption of zero-emissions vans. This is reflected in the incentives, with a contribution of 35% of purchase price for small and large vans. The former is capped at £3,000, while the latter is £6,000.
To be eligible, vans must have CO2 emissions below 50g\km and be capable of travelling 60 miles in an all-electric mode. Such vehicles are also exempt from road tax, congestion charges and the ULEZ levy.
CAN I HAVE AN ELECTRIC VAN CONVERTED TO SUIT MY NEEDS?
Citroën’s electric vans are already versatile, with a choice of models and bodystyles to suit a range of needs and uses. The e-Dispatch, for example is available in three wheelbase lengths.
However, we also know your requirements may go beyond dimensions and cover the need for refrigeration, racking or lighting, to name just a few. Citroën works with a network of approved installers and suppliers who can help design the van that’s perfect for your business. Speak to a Business Specialist at your local Citroen retailer for more on the options.