Electric vehicles

Printer-friendly page

Car ChargingElectric vehicles (EVs), including ‘pure EVs’ (which run solely on batteries) and ‘plug-in Hybrid EVs’ (which also have a diesel or petrol engine), provide a number of financial and environmental benefits over conventional petrol or diesel powered vehicles. The advantages of pure EVs include that they:
  • Produce one half to one third of the greenhouse gas emissions of a comparable combustion engine over their life cycle 
  • Release no air pollution to the place where they are operated
  • Drive smoother and are less noisy 
  • Do not consume energy when they are stationary
  • Can be fully charged for just £2-3 and will give a typical range of 100 miles (driving the same distance on petrol or diesel would cost £12-18)
  • Are exempt from paying Road Tax
  • Are exempt from the London Congestion Charge
  • Are eligible for free or reduced parking in some areas 
  • Have fewer mechanical components so servicing and maintenance costs may be lower
  • Are eligible for Government grants to assist with initial purchase costs.
Plug in Hybrid EVs, although still using diesel or petrol, are much more efficient than their conventional counterparts. They also have the ability to be charged directly from charging points and can be driven like an electric car, with the added advantage of having an on-board engine when the battery is depleted.

EV charging points

Charging points are available at the following locations in the St Albans district:
  • London Road, St Albans (outside Morrisons Local)
  • Charter Close, St Albans (opposite multistorey car park, outside park)
  • Upper Dagnall Street, St Albans (on the other side of the road from the White Swan Public House and slightly down the hill)
  • Hall Place Gardens, St Albans (opposite house numbers 1-5)
  • Bowers Way car park, Harpenden
  • Waitrose car park, Mayne Avenue, St Albans
  • St Albans City Rail Station
  • Glyn Hopkin, Lyon Way, St Albans
  • Toyota, Radlett Road, Frogmore
If you would like to use these charging points simply pre-register online with Source East for £10 per year. You will then be able to use these points to charge your vehicle without any additional costs. Any pure or plug-in Hybrid EV can join the Source East scheme, including cars, motorbikes, vans and trucks. 

More information about the scheme is available at Source East including a map of the live availability of EV charging points across the East of England.


Grants and subsidies for EVs and charging points

The Government provide a grant to help with the higher initial costs of electric vehicles. The Plug-in Vehicle Grant provides a subsidy of:
  • 35%, up to £5,000, towards the cost of an electric car
  • 20%, up to £8,000, towards the cost of an electric van (under 3.5 tonnes)
The Department for Transport's website has a list of eligible cars and vans. The grant is automatically deducted from the retail price when an eligible vehicle is purchased, so there is no additional paperwork to complete, and you don't pay the full retail price upfront and then have to reclaim the benefit.

There are also a number of grants available for the installation of EV charging points from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme is intended specifically to assist households wishing to install charging points. Eligible households may receive up to 75% of the upfront costs of purchase and installation covered (capped at £700, inc. VAT).

Support for businesses

Small and medium-sized enterprises can access grants of up to 25% of the cost of installing EV charging points. For more information please visit the Evalu8 website.

Date of last review: 24 August 2015