Imagine a busy modern lifestyle with less noise and no pollution.
The choice of electric vehicles such as cars, bicycles, scooters, vans, and lorries are increasing.
And as demand increases, they’re going down in price too.
Electric vehicles produce no greenhouse gas emissions from an exhaust pipe when we drive them.
Plus electric vehicles in Guernsey are powered with a mix of electricity that includes over 93% imported energy, which is 100% renewable. By driving electric, you’ll be helping our island reach net carbon zero.
During winter, the power station is used to top up our electricity. If you want to drive on 100% renewables, charge your EV between 23:00 and 05:00 as during this quiet, off-peak period the power station is not needed.
We strongly recommend having a charging point installed at your property where possible.
Set your on-board charger to charge between 23:00 and 5:00 for 100% renewable power to your vehicle
These compact systems will charge your vehicle faster and more safely than a conventional wall socket.
You can also help future-proof your home when you’re considering any renovations that involve modifications to your electricity wiring. This can be done by having cables installed beneath your property that will allow an electric vehicle charging point to be fitted when you need it.
Most people only need to charge up once a week because of the short distances in Guernsey, making electric vehicles the perfect choice for a small island.
And by charging your vehicle overnight during off-peak periods, you can benefit from cheap electricity and a lower carbon footprint as during this time we do not need to rely on the power station for our electricity.
Guernsey Electricity has been making substantial changes to meet the growing demand for electricity as more people switch to electrical solutions such as electric vehicles.
Electricity substations and fusing points across the island are being replaced, upgraded and modernised. And where necessary, areas are also being supplemented with additional substations to make sure they’re ready to meet the future demand.
Registering an EV
If you’re importing a new or used electric vehicle into the island, the registration process is exactly the same as for a petrol or diesel vehicle. However, you won’t have to pay the First Registration Duty as battery electric vehicles are zero-rated.
This duty is based on a vehicle’s carbon dioxide emissions per km which means that some hybrid vehicles are also zero-rated.
An electric vehicle’s superior efficiency, the relatively low cost to charge the vehicles, and the high usage of corporate fleet vehicles means businesses can quickly recoup the up-front cost of an electric vehicle and achieve a lower total cost of ownership.
The variety of electric commercial vehicles is growing all the time. You might be surprised to learn there are electric buses, refuse trucks, articulated haulage lorries, as well as mid-sized vans for trades.
Having electric vehicles on a company’s asset register will also support your business sustainability and carbon reporting while providing the cost-saving opportunities.
Companies can describe the climate-related risks and opportunities identified and implemented by choosing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through switching a corporate fleet to electric.
How much do electric vehicles cost to buy?
This depends on the make and model – but prices are getting lower.
Battery production advancements means prices are falling and likely on par with fossil-fuel vehicles soon.
It’s in the car industry’s interest to increase affordable electric models to secure a share of tomorrow’s car market, helping balance supply and demand in buyer’s favour. Global transition to cleaner transport means adapting to meet demand, especially following climate change agreements phasing out new fossil-fuel cars.
Nowadays manufacturers design EVs from scratch, rather than adapting existing design structures known as “platforms”. And second-hand EVs will become normal; in 2019, many commercial fleets were bought in the UK following tax breaks. These companies then sell to second-hand buyers after a few years.
How much does it cost to run electric vehicles?
It might cost you around 2p per mile to drive an electric vehicle.
Check out this handy calculator to see for yourself
If you’re an average driver in Guernsey , you might be driving your car 14-20 miles a day. EVs cost around 2.1p per mile, meaning you could be driving your electric car for just £2 a week.
Comparatively, a petrol vehicle may cost 90% more to run at 20p per mile. And bear in mind that cost to drive may increase if more duties are levied on fossil-fuels.
If you’re a more frequent driver or want to take your car on longer journeys, you will need to charge your EV more often. However, the cost to fully charge a battery compared to the cost of filling a fuel tank with petrol or diesel is still far less.
When is the best time to charge an EV?
Between 23:00 and 05:00
This is the cheapest*and least carbon-intensive time to charge an electric vehicle in Guernsey.
During off-peak periods, less people are demanding electricity from the network meaning less demand for a diesel-generated top-up from the power station. As well as great news for the planet, it’s also great news for your pocket as for many customers, the cost of electricity is less than half price overnight.
And timers in your electric vehicle mean that you won’t need to wait until 23:00 each time you need to charge as you can just set your on-board charger to start charging at whatever time you choose.
*Cheapest for customers on an Economy 12 low-rate tariff whose overnight time band begins on or before 21:00.
Will the car battery run out of charge quickly?
New electric vehicle models have a range of 200-250miles, and as technology advances, the range capacity in every electric vehicle produced will increase.
‘Range anxiety’ is now a common expression, but is something that manufacturers will be highly aware of during product development.
Battery life can be extended with some subtle tweaks to driving habits, such as anticipating stops rather than breaking hard, and using less of the in-car entertainment systems and other accessories that rely on battery power.
The climate you’re driving in will also affect the battery life. In Guernsey, our mild climate means we can get more miles from our batteries than drivers in very hot or cold climates.
Will our network be able to cope when everybody is driving electric?
Where possible, it’s best to charge an electric vehicle overnight. And if you set your on-board timer to charge between 23:00 and 05:00, you can charge your vehicle using 100% renewable energy.
We’ll never charge all at once, and most people will only need to charge once or twice a week. Switching on kettles at the same time would cause problems too, but this never happens either.
Electricity usage follows our behaviour patterns and the network experiences ‘rush hour’ periods known as peak times. These usually happen around 8am, 2pm and particularly at 6pm when most people head home after work and use a lot of electricity until they wind down for the night.
On the flip-side, we can actually make the most of the overnight off-peak periods which are cheaper, less carbon intensive, and helps the network balance our consumption. Charging vehicles or using certain appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and water heating between 21:00 and 05:00 is the best way we can do this.
If you see workmen out on the roads with Guernsey Electricity vans and uniforms, they’re probably upgrading our network for us.
Dedicated teams at Guernsey Electricity who manage and maintain the network have been making substantial changes to meet the growing demand for electricity as more people switch to electrical solutions such as electric vehicles. Electricity substations and fusing points across the island are also being replaced, upgraded and modernised. Where necessary, areas are also being supplemented with additional substations to make sure they’re ready to meet the future demand.
Is an EV better for the environment?
At the moment, EV production does indeed have a higher carbon footprint.
But carbon impact must be a lifecycle assessment. Basing decisions on production stage alone while ignoring operation, maintenance and end-of-life impacts both cost and carbon savings.
Guernsey EV’s are powered with over 90% imported hydro, wind and solar energy, meaning around 65% less lifecycle ¹ carbon emissions compared to most petrol and diesel vehicles.
Lifecycle emissions include:
- lithium-ion battery production;
- charging with both imported renewable and on-island diesel-generated electricity
- vehicle and battery disposal
Legally manufacturers must take back and recycle EV propulsion batteries, according to Mike Hawes, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which helps re-supply raw materials.
Plus, an extra benefit of an EV is overnight charging. Set your on-board timer to charge your vehicle between 23:00 and 05:00 to power up using 100% imported renewable energy.
This off-peak period is both better for your pocket and for the planet as we do not need to rely on the power station to top up our electricity during these quieter periods.