If you charge your electric or plug-in hybrid at home, you can expect to see an increase in your electricity bill. However, even at the average rate for electricity in NZ, you should spend about a quarter of the amount you used to spend on fuel. This, added with the lower servicing and maintenance costs plus the Clean Car Rebate, could end up meaning that an electric car works out cheaper for you.
What is a hybrid?
There are several different types of hybrids, usually grouped by acronyms which most people will be unfamiliar with. It can be confusing even for the experts!
In its simplest terms a hybrid is a car that uses a combination of a conventional engine powered with petrol or diesel and an electric motor to power the car forward. But that isn’t the only advantage of owning a hybrid, with some having electric motors which will bring only small differences in efficiency, all the way up to others with batteries big enough to cover most average journeys on electric power alone.
Mild hybrid (MHEV): As the name would suggest, MHEVs have very little electric assistance. Usually, they are a larger version of a standard car battery and have a very small electric motor that lends a hand to the conventional engine when the car is starting from a standstill or accelerating at a rapid pace. This helps to save fuel, however, it’s only around 5% more efficient on average. MHEVs are not capable of being propelled by the electric motor alone.
Hybrid (HEV): A hybrid has a larger battery than an MHEV which is able of propelling the car using electricity alone for very short distances, such as in a traffic jam. The battery cannot be connected to a main socket and is recharged continuously by the petrol engine as the car moves forward, or by harnessing the energy when the car slows. Hybrids typically offer a 20% saving on fuel.
Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV): The PHEV is at the top of the hybrid tree, which has the largest battery of them all. The car can be connected to the mains to recharge. It can cover large amounts of ground using only its electric motor. PHEVs also offer much larger savings than the other types of hybrids as electricity is cheaper than fuel.
Are electric cars really green?
No car can be totally ‘green’, but there are choices that motorists can make which will minimise the environmental impact of producing, driving, and disposing of vehicles.
It is accepted generally that producing an electric car uses more energy than manufacturing a petrol or diesel vehicle at the current time. Although, the EV is then able to be run on renewable energy sources while the internal combustion engine must use fossil fuel. Cars powered by fossil fuels also require maintenance that includes the use of oils and filters which need careful disposal.
The UK government’s environmental report “The Road to Zero” supports this, saying:
“Electric Vehicles have substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional vehicles, even when considering the electricity source and the electricity used for battery production.”
PEUGEOT is committed to lessening the impact of EV production, so we are investing considerably in renewable energy and sustainable supply and distribution chains.
What measures does PEUGEOT take to minimise the impact of battery production?
Lithium and cobalt have been the source of much debate and controversy due to the fact they can come from countries and mines which have been accused of having poor environmental and human rights records.
PEUGEOT and its parent company Stellantis will not accept supplies which have come from these sources. We endeavour to work in partnership with suppliers to implement responsible procurement practices throughout the entire supply chain.
What happens to batteries at the end?
At the moment, EV batteries are expensive and contain precious metals. This makes it extremely unlikely that they will be thrown away at a scrapyard or landfill as they are simply too useful to waste. As an EV begins to approach the end of its life, the battery is likely to be removed and used for energy storage in other things such as home or businesses.
This means that the battery from a car like the PEUGEOT e-208 will have enough capacity to power an average NZ home for around three days. These play an important role in capturing energy from solar and wind and release it back to the home or even feedback into the electricity grid at night or the wind isn’t blowing leading to the national grid becoming more efficient.
Cells which are worn, damaged or do eventually because unusable will be recycled to retrieve the precious metals, which can then be reused to make new batteries.
All traction batteries are recycled locally using an approved lithium battery recycling company. If this resource is not available, it’s mandatory to send the battery back to Europe for full circle re-manufacture. There is a group who has oversight with all batteries imported into NZ called BIG.
What is it like to drive an EV / PHEV?
There is simply nothing like getting into an electric or PHEV and trying it for yourself. Although, we can tell you what to expect, as the experience really is a pleasant surprise to most motorists. You can request a test drive today with your local PEUGEOT dealer to try one yourself.
Most of the car’s controls will be well known to you so there is nothing to new to worry about. Electric and plug-in hybrid cars are all automatic, so there is no clutch pedal or gear lever. To start driving the car, press the start button to activate the system, select ‘D’ for drive, release the parking brake and set off on your journey.
As an electric motor delivers all its power as soon as you press the accelerator pedal, it feels faster than most cars powered by a combustion engine. They’re also great at holding the road. As the heaviest part of the car – the battery pack – is directly under the car. This means they have a very low centre of gravity which makes them extremely stable when driving around corners.
How do I get the best out of my new EV?
All PEUGEOT electric and PHEV cars feature selectable driving modes which change the way the car feels and responds. These range from an ‘Eco’ setting which enables you can prolong your precious energy over more kilometres to ‘Sport’, which gives you more power and an exhilarating driving feel but is less efficient on the battery pack.
PEUGEOT’s PHEV cars will always begin in electric mode as standard. Within the car, settings allow you to lock the system into electric-only mode, which allows you to make the most of the silent and emission-free powertrain when in cities.
The next feature that stands out on electric and hybrid cars is regenerative braking. This is a braking system that when you lift your foot from the accelerator pedal the electric motor switches to become a generator, harnessing the power that is normally wasted to funnel power back into the battery. You can select the level of regeneration depending on the way you drive, ranging from low to very strong.
RELIABILITY AND BATTERY LIFE
Are electric cars reliable?
Electric cars have proved to be incredibly reliable. A major reason for this is they have fewer moving parts than a conventionally-engined vehicle. For example, there are no exhausts, fuel delivery systems, oil filters, gears, or clutches to wear out, replace or maintain.
The electric motor which powers the car and batteries are largely maintenance-free and are manufactured to last the lifetime of the car – or even longer in some cases! Other than the electrical system, most of the other parts in PEUGEOT electric vehicles are shared with other models in the range. This means they have proven themselves as reliable over many cars and are easy to change.
PEUGEOT’s electric range of cars also conforms to all the same strict testing regulations as other PEUGEOT vehicles to guarantee it will give years of dutiful and reliable enjoyment on the road.
How long will a battery last?
Although EV batteries will likely lose some performance over time and use, they are designed to be much more adaptable than the power packs in household electrical items so they should last as long as the car.
The car’s electronics will carefully manage things that impact battery life such as high or low temperatures which might harm the battery cells, but owners can learn how to better look after their battery too. Your PEUGEOT dealer will help you understand these when you collect your car.
Does the battery need special care?
Your PEUGEOT battery pack is maintenance-free, so you won’t ever need to carry out maintenance to keep it healthy - all you will need to do is charge it when needed. When your car is serviced, your PEUGEOT technician will plug into the car’s computer and perform a health check of the battery and advise you on how to optimise your driving to give the battery the longest life possible.
The internal computer will do most of the work for you, making sure that the electrical cells are kept at the correct temperature in extreme weather or while rapid charging. This will make sure it can charge at the fastest possible rate but will also ensure the long-term health of your battery.
One tip to consider is avoiding charging up your battery to 100% if it is not needed. If you think you’ll need a full charge for your journey, it would be best to only top up to 80% or less if possible. Your EV will let you set the charge level in the EV menu.
Also, it isn’t optimum for the battery to be left with only a small amount of charge. Be sure to keep this in mind if you are going away on an extended holiday or not using the car for longer than a week or so.
Can the battery be repaired?
All PEUGEOT EV batteries are specifically designed to not require maintenance and shouldn’t need any repairs or maintenance it its lifetime. Additionally, it is also protected within a strong, sealed steel case to stop damage from water, road debris or an accident.
Although in the rare event there happens to be an issue caused by external damage or a malfunction, the car’s systems will make sure it remains safe. The entire battery pack can then be removed and looked at by PEUGEOT technicians to diagnose the issue. If necessary, individual cells within the battery pack can be replaced to restore it back to health.
What does the PEUGEOT battery warranty cover?
The new vehicle warranty that PEUGEOT offers on all its models covers material or manufacturing defects for a period of five years or 100,000 km from first registration.
We at PEUGEOT understand that some owners might be nervous about the new technology around electric vehicles, so the warranty for the lithium-ion battery pack is extended to eight years or 160,000 km for 70% of its capacity.
This ensures that at least 70% of the battery’s charging capacity is expertly maintained for the warranty period, or it will be repaired by PEUGEOT, subject to the usual terms and conditions. The standard warranty offered by PEUGEOT also includes roadside assistance as part of the package.
Is it expensive to service electric cars?
Compared to cars powered by fossil fuels, it is not expensive to service electric cars. In fact, the maintenance costs of electric cars are around 38% less on average than an equivalent petrol or diesel – meaning the motorists save money in the long run.
On average, electric cars are much lighter on brake wear too as they use regenerative braking, where some of the energy from slowing down is used to recharge the battery rather than being wasted.
If you are concerned about service costs, then your PEUGEOT dealer will be happy to discuss a service plan package and guarantee predictable expenditure to make it more affordable.
Can every PEUGEOT dealer look after an EV?
Most of the vehicle components are shared with the petrol and diesel models, with the main difference being the electric powertrain. It is actually much simpler, however conducting repairs requires special training to ensure everyone is kept safe – after all, there is high voltage and a lot of power involved.
Your PEUGEOT dealer’s expert technicians have undertaken a series of training courses which ensure that they are able to maintain and repair electric and hybrid vehicles. At the end of the training, they are certified as experts in electric vehicle maintenance.
It’s essential that any accidental repairs are undertaken by technicians who are qualified to work with electric vehicles. This will mean that any damage to the EV battery, motor or charging systems is handled properly to keep everyone safe and ensure the systems continue to function reliably.
Are electric cars safe in an accident?
The independent testing organisation EuroNCAP tests most cars on the market and has discovered that electric vehicles are as safe - or even safer - than a conventional car in the event of an accident.
The welfare of our customers and that of other road users is our top priority, so PEUGEOT’s engineering team ensure that all our vehicles are fitted with the latest technology to prevent accidents from taking place in the first instance. In the unfortunate event of an accident, the car’s strong shell and passive safety systems will ensure that the occupants and the electrical systems are well isolated from harm.
Can you drive EVs in a flood/heavy rain/car wash?
It’s well known of course that electricity and water don’t mix, which is why PEUGEOT’s engineers go to extraordinary lengths to ensure its EVs can be used in all the same conditions you would expect to use a conventional petrol or diesel car. Prototypes have been tested in heavy rain, standing water and other extreme weather conditions. They have even been tested in a lightning storm situation and been found to be perfectly safe.
In general, there is no need to modify your behaviour in an electric car as both electric and cars with a combustion engine are both perfectly safe to drive in extreme weather or a car wash.
Charging your EV or PHEV can be as simple as plugging in your phone or laptop, and all you need is a standard NZ domestic socket. Despite this, we do recommend owners have a dedicated home wallbox installed at their home. This will make charging far faster, safer, and more convenient. Away from home, you will have the choice of two different types of charging.
AC: It’s similar to what you might use with your home wallbox. These charging units are typically found in places where you will be parked for a longer period, such as train stations, shopping centres and office buildings.
DC or ‘rapid charging’. They are specially designed to top up your batteries while you are on a long journey on the road, or perhaps to do a weekly charge if you don’t have access to off-street parking. These can charge a PEUGEOT at up to 100kW, making them much faster than NZ standard AC outlets. Note, only EVs can be charged at a DC fast charging station.
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
The amount of time it takes to charge an electric car will depend, mainly on the type of electrical connection you have access to. The slowest charger is a normal three-pin socket, which is best kept for ‘emergency’ use when there is not any other form of charger available.
The amount of electrical charge from these is around 1.8kW per hour. The average capacity for a car battery is around 50kWh. Do the calculations and see that will take a long time to get to 100% full. They can be extremely handy if you just want to get a few extra miles in the ‘tank’ though.
The most common charger for EV owners is a wallbox, which will normally feed power at 7.4 kWh. There are also public AC chargers, that have similar outputs to a wallbox, which takes 7.4 hours to charge from empty.
The biggest and fastest chargers of all are called DC ‘rapids’ and can be found at selected locations up and down the country. a 100kW fast charger can provide up to 80% charge in 30mins.
What will my EV do to my electricity bill?
If you have an electric car for daily use, it can be expected that your energy bill will rise. The benefit, of course, is that you will never have to go to a petrol station again, so that cost will disappear. In general, the cost of the electricity will be about a quarter of the price of the fuel you used to fill your petrol-powered car up with.
Once you have purchased your electric car, it will be worth shopping around for different energy deals which consider your higher usage and reduce the price per kW/h unit. Many suppliers will also be able to offer you cheaper energy prices at night by using a smart meter.
Simply by setting your PEUGEOT's charging timer in the car’s infotainment menu, you will be able to take advantage of cheaper electric rates to top up while you sleep. This will help you cut the cost of recharging by up to a third or even more.
Another efficient way of cutting costs is looking out for places which offer free electric car charging. Some shops and businesses will let you plug in for free and you may be able to charge at your place of work without it being considered a taxable benefit.
How do I charge away from home?
Most EV owners will charge their car at home or work most of the time, just because it is so convenient. You can park your car while you sleep or get on with your day of work or leisure and get back to find your battery has been topped up. However, there’re likely going to be times when you need to charge your vehicle away from your home.
You can find convenient charging points along your route with the NZ Transport Authority. Once you have located the charge point, may sure to make a note of the type of charger it is.
If you plan to be parked for more than an hour or are plugging in a PHEV, an AC charger will be the most suitable for your vehicle. These do not usually have a cable attached, so you will need to use the ‘Mode 2’ lead which comes complete with your car or purchase a Mode 3 cable as an accessory.
For the quickest and most efficient charge for your pure electric car, look for a DC charger, usually referred to as a ‘rapid’. Rapid chargers work at a very high voltage and can add lots of power extremely quickly. They have cables that are attached to the charger unit, so make sure to park as close as possible to your charging port, and then select the plug marked ‘CCS’.
What happens if I run out of charge?
You may have heard of ‘range anxiety’. This is something which can be experienced by most first-time electric car owners. If you are driving a PHEV, the car will simply switch to petrol power once the battery has run out of charge. However, in an electric car, you will experience much the same sensation as if you ran out of fuel in a petrol car, although you will be warned several times before you get to the stage where the car won’t move.
If you do find yourself having run out of power, the MYPEUGEOT app is also able to call PEUGEOT assistance. It will provide information such as your location. Your vehicle will then be transported to the nearest charge point to get you back on the road as soon as possible.
Is PEUGEOT looking at hydrogen & synthetic fuels?
We work continuously with experts from different parts of the globe to ensure the fuels used in our vehicles are as efficient and sustainable as possible.
However, the practicalities of producing, storing, and distributing hydrogen mean that battery electric vehicles are a far more viable option of cars in NZ right now. They are currently much cheaper to purchase and operate too.
Some industry experts have also put forward synthetic fuels as a way of reducing carbon and being kinder to the environment. Like hydrogen, they are created using electricity to manufacture a fuel which can then be burned in a conventional internal combustion engine. Due to this, existing cars and commercial vehicles can also use them with no changes needed to infrastructure.
PEUGEOT believes the best way it can contribute to the decarbonisation of transport is to continue producing affordable and attractive battery-electric and PHEV vehicles which drivers will be proud to own and drive.
Can I tow with an electric vehicle or PHEV?
Currently PEUGEOT EV passenger cars are not permitted to tow. In most cases, towing trailers, and other items with your PHEV or e-Partner EV will hamper the efficiency and reduce the electric-only range available to the driver. Petrol or diesel car face similar issues, which will affect the fuel economy of the vehicle.
This is, however, being worked on as EVs become more powerful and efficient.