What do I need to know when leasing an EV?

Leasing an EV

Well, it’s time to change your car; you’ve done your due diligence and decided your next car will be a full-fat EV. Good choice. We probably don’t need to tell you, but you are not alone. EV sales are soaring; the Society of Motor Manufacturers and traders (the SMMT) reports an increase of 48% against 2021 for the UK’s Electric vehicle registrations so far in 2022. 

Whether you have placed your order for your new EV lease and are now waiting patiently (you may have to). Or are still doing your research and getting prepared, we look at some of the things you might consider before you take delivery of your shiny new electric motor.

In this guide we’ll cover:

  • The best apps for your iOS and Android (Yes your new car probably has its own app too!)
  • Where to obtain data and stats on charging your EV
  • Some essentials like where you’ll find your owners handbook


EV Charging Station

Before you go any further, and if you haven’t already, it could be wise to get up to speed with all things EV. Namely the jargon, DCs and ACs, charging speeds, apps, cables and ranges. All can be busted in a flash! Check our handy guide to EV jargon. 

EV Database

On this seemingly data-driven planet, it’s refreshing when we are all allowed to access it! For example, on a genuinely helpful website that offers real-world driving data for pure EVs. So, not the manufacturer or government-based data, real-world driving info about what you can expect from an EV, in all kinds of conditions. We recommend you look at the EV Database to give a little more insight into what you can expect regarding charging speeds and accurate range on your chosen EV.

EV Home charging network

Home Charging (or workplace charging)

One of the things that makes life a whole lot easier when running an EV is having easy access to charging. Firstly, if possible, a home charger is a real boon. People didn’t realise early on, when the Nissan Leaf blew everyone’s socks off (No? Just us?), that although the range might not have been stellar, you could leave your home every day with a full charge. And indeed, most people don’t do anything like a 150-mile round daily commute. Range anxiety was, therefore, potentially created by those not actually owning an EV! So, if you can get a home charger fitted, get one. And if not, maybe your employer might be willing to have one (or more) fitted – letting you charge when at the office. 

You will also want to think about your electricity tariff. Probably not right now, with everything that is going on with energy prices in the UK, but many energy suppliers offer deals for EV owners allowing them to take advantage of cheap nightly tariffs. When these are available, you can significantly reduce your fuel costs.

We recommend our trusty wall box partners Project EV. They can offer advice on fitting your charger at home or at work and offer various kinds of chargers. They are also extremely competitively priced in the marketplace! But we would say that.

Best App for Android and iOS

Best App for drivers – ZAPMAP

If you are unable to have either of the above and need to rely on public charging, never fear! Another great tool harnessing the power of the web is ZAPMAP. An app you can download to your Android or iOS device that displays all the latest charge points across the whole of the UK. It has real-time data showing if a charger is inoperative or busy. It can show you alternatives or offer other chargers in an area you might be driving to. We recommend paying for the annual subscription for those out and about in unfamiliar places. This lets you use the route planner and save your journeys. By inputting your car details and actual world range, it will let you know how far you can go and where the closest chargers might be to your route. It also enables you to filter chargers for speed or type of connector. Not only this, but with the subscription, you can use the app with Apple car play and Android auto to display all of this on your car’s media system. Nice.

Be patient and get to know your EV

Another piece of advice is to get to know your EV. And it might take a little time; if it’s your first EV it could be a bit different to what you are used to. But tools like the EV database above and zap map will help make your transition much more straightforward. If you are out and about a lot and using the likes of ZAPMAP to get around, you will want to understand what charging speeds you can utilise and what side (or where) the charging port is. Also, some cars offer their own charging networks (like Audi or Tesla), making charging a bit easier. Efficiency modes or range extending modes can sometimes be found in the driving settings, these help with longer journeys or critical situations when charge is getting low. Taking all this into account, it’s probably worth understanding how these work and what they do before setting off. Have a gander at your owner’s manual for this kind of information (it’s most likely digital now, too – but you can ask us where to find it!).

Download the app

Download the app for your car

More technology! What did you expect? You’re about to lease a new electric car! Right? Tesla started this trend by having a car app for your phone. And to be honest, it’s not the worst idea; since their inception, they have become increasingly helpful. Let’s look at some cool features you can expect from some of the manufacturers’ mobile apps. 

Locate your car

Most manufacturer apps will now let you locate your vehicle anywhere, using something like google maps or waze. This is always handy if you regularly forget where you’ve parked!

Cabin preheat

Being able to heat your car remotely. Need we say more? Well, yes, a little. When plugged into the wall, some vehicles can heat the car without using the battery so that you can leave with a warm car and a full charge, nice. Often, cabin heating can be preset, so it warms the car on the days when you know when you’re leaving the house. 

Some manufacturers combine this with a battery preheat function, like Jaguars I-Pace. The app will pre-warm the battery to help improve range, often by using the plug instead of the battery. You can’t help but feel smug getting into a warm car in the middle of winter. 

Cabin technology

Secure your vehicle

Most apps will let you check to see if you have locked your car and if any windows or doors are open. And better remotely lock them if you have forgotten. Tesla takes this even further with a ‘sentry mode’ feature that will use the car’s 360-degree cameras to record events while you are away from the vehicle. Some apps even let you use your phone as a key; we don’t need to explain how handy this can be!

Servicing booking & recalls

Like the manufacturer’s own portal to your world, you can now book in your vehicle for regular bits and bobs through their app. The app (and the car’s media system) will act like the old ‘service booklet’ we used to know and love (but it was horrendous if you lost it). It will even alert you when there is a recall, clever thing. 

Owners Handbook

To further help the environment, your manufacturer’s connected app usually contains a digital copy of your owners’ handbook. Meaning you can easily lookup things up from the palm of your hand, and having it there saves the trees.

Check the owners handbook

Round up

There you have it. Switching to a new EV is hopefully a bit less daunting than it may first appear. And with some of the latest innovations and with greener, quieter motoring, hopefully, it will be a switch that brings lots of benefits too. To find out about all things vehicle leasing, to check out our latest leasing deals or to talk about leasing an electric car, get in touch with FVL today.

This entry was posted in Advice and Guides, Car Leasing, Electric Cars, Viewpoint and tagged , , , by Tony FVL. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony FVL

Tony has been interested in cars since he was lucky enough to take the wheel of Red BMW M6 down a disused air-strip in Ayrshire aged 6!! He first started in the motor trade, working with Volkswagen as a trainee sales person in 1999 and hasn't looked back since. He joined First Vehicle Leasing in 2007. Tony's other passion is Road Cycling where he regularly rides with the Velo Club Glasgow South (VCGS) and is only to keen to talk about it!!