You have questions. wE have answers.

Here are the answers to some more of your Frequent Asked Questions on electric vehicles 

What is EVANI?

Electric Vehicle Association Northern Ireland is a not-for-profit organisation with the mission of promoting electric vehicle adoption and representing electric vehicle drivers interests. EVANI was formed out of the NIEVO group established in 2016.

Who is EVANI?

EVANI was established by a group of long term EV drivers who have a passion for promoting and advocating for the growth of electric vehicle usage. See our About Us page for more information.

How is EVANI operated?

EVANI was formally incorporated via Companies House in 2021 as a Community Interest Company. As such we have a board of Directors and Articles of Association that guide our operational principles.

How does EVANI make decisions?

Policy-related decisions are ultimately the responsibility of the Board of Directors. However, members will have their input in decisions through consultations, surveys and the Annual General Meeting.

How is EVANI funded?

EVANI is a not-for-profit community interest company, meaning the bulk of our income comes from membership subscriptions, other donations, grants or other fund raising activities. Any income generated goes straight back into the organisation for the benefit of members and the work carried out for members.

Who can join EVANI?

Membership is open to existing, new and prospective drivers of EVs, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. We welcome drivers of all types of EVs.

How much does it cost to join EVANI?

We have two levels of membership, a free associate membership and a paid full membership, find out more on our JOIN page.

What does EVANI offer Members?

With full membership, you will receive an exclusive Membership Pack, which will provide useful information on living with an EV. You’ll also receive access to events, newsletters and unique deals from EV industry partners.

I do not have an EV, can I still join?

Yes you are more than welcome. We will support prospective and existing EV drivers.

What if I live outside NI?

We work closely with other EV interest groups including EVA Scotland, EVA England and Irish EV Owners Association as we have issues that are common across UK and Ireland but some that are unique to Northern Ireland. You do not have to live in Northern Ireland to be a member.

How do you represent EV drivers?

We represent the interest of local EV drivers and work with National Government, Local Government, Councils and industry organisations to ensure we are building a future transport system that addresses the concerns of local drivers.

Is EVANI another talking shop?

No absolutely not, we are a group of enthusiastic electric vehicle owners who want to make Northern Ireland a better place for EV drivers with the environmental and economic improvements that it brings. We aim to encourage and empower others who have made, or are considering making, the switch to EVs and guiding them to make appropriate decisions.

I heard batteries won’t last more than 3 years?

There are many EVs that are still on the road many years after leaving the factory and manufacturers warrant batteries for 7-10 years. One taxi company in England operates the Nissan Leaf as part of their fleet and have put 120,000 miles on the clock before seeing any degradation in performance.

Can batteries be recycled?

Modern EV batteries are reusable and recyclable. Some manufacturers are using battery packs that are not suitable for vehicle use and reusing them as home storage units where power to weight is not important. When a battery is at the end of its life batteries are highly recyclable to extract all the useful materials. The battery materials can be recycled multiple times so minimising the need for virgin materials.

Aren’t Lithium mines very dirty?

There are multiple methods of extracting lithium from hard rock mining, extraction from underground reservoirs and geothermal water extraction. Each process has varying degrees of environmental impacts. Battery manufacturers are very conscious of these impacts and are working to reduce their impact and be sustainable for local indigenous communities and the wider supply chain. The ability to recycle batteries is well proven and the volume of virgin materials needed will reduce.

Is Cobalt used in batteries mined ethically?

There are many formulations of battery technology and they are constantly evolving. Whilst a large amount of cobalt originated in the Congo, battery producers have stepped up efforts to ensure ethical sourcing and supply chain integrity. Equally important is the announcement by some manufactures to eliminate cobalt from their battery chemistry.

Aren’t EV’s are powered by fossil fuelled power stations?

This is a slightly more complicated one to answer but in short, pick an energy supply who sources electricity generated from renewable sources then your vehicle will have zero emissions. In NI approximately 50% of our energy comes from renewable sources so even going with a standard tariff means your overall emission contribution is lower than many fossil fuelled vehicles and you are reducing other emissions into the local environment.

Are maintenance costs very expensive?

This is not the case, as an example the annual maintenance cost of the Leaf is £130. One of the advantages of an EV are the low running costs, no exhaust to replace, no annual oil and filter changes, reduced wear on brakes.

Are EVs slow like a milk float?

An EV almost alway outperforms its pistons powered alternative. But don’t take our word for it, just take one for a test drive and you will feel the acceleration and smooth speed of an EV.

But an ICE car can go faster?

Probably not, many performance ICE manufacturers are switching to EV powertrains because of their performance.

Aren’t modern engines are much more efficient?

While it’s true that modern petrol and diesel engines have improved over the years, they are still only around 20-30% efficient. An EV motor by comparison is 80-90% efficient.

But EV production has a big impact on the environment?

All cars take a significant amount of resources to manufacture, from extraction of the raw materials, making of the component parts, use of plastics and transportation. It is important that a vehicle is selected that meets our needs and after production has the smallest impact on the environment. An EV could be charged on 100% local renewables whereas an ICE vehicle will need crude oil extracted, transported, refined and distributed to a dispensing network, all of which add to the emissions before it even gets burnt in the vehicle it is powering.

But an EV won’t transport my large family?

If you have a large family then a traditional ICE car is unlikely to satisfy your needs just as an EV wont. You probably need a people carrier or minibus and whilst these vehicle configurations may not be available today they will come as the UK government has placed a 2030 limit on the sale of ICE vehicles.

Can I tow anything with an EV?

Not all EV’s are rated for towing but a growing number now have the ability to fit towbars and tow sizeable loads.

Are EVs just for the wealthy?

There is a growing spectrum of EV’s available covering different vehicle criteria and budgets. Not everyone can afford a top end EV just the same way as not everyone can afford a Range Rover. There is a growing market for used vehicles where a Renault Zoe or Nissan Leaf can be found starting at around £6,000. These make very reliable vehicles with low running costs. As more new vehicles come on the market then so will the level of choice on the preowned market

I’ve heard the public charging infrastructure is unreliable?

unfortunately there is no denying that the charging network in Northern Ireland is not well maintained and is not growing with the increasing number of vehicles on the road. We see this as a major concern for both current and future EV drivers. We are working to address these concerns with local council and government leaders. Please join EVANI to keep up to date with developments.

How can I charge at my terrace house or apartment?

Where you cannot have direct access to your own chargepoint you will need to rely on the public charge network. We understand that this is a weak point at the moment so perhaps waiting for that to improve may be necessary.

Why are you advocating more cars on the road?

We are not advocating for more cars on the road, rather a switch to EVs. We believe a mix of transport options is required including active travel such as cycling and public transport. With 1 in 3 people living rurally in NI (and growing) the the car is still needed to complement these other forms of mobility. Where we still need to use vehicles these should be EV’s, not petrol or Diesel cars.

Cars will be self driving in the next 10 years so why bother?

We have seen leaps and bounds in the level of sophistication of autonomous vehicle features and no doubt that we will see a shift when private car ownership moves to TaaS (transport as a service) in the future. Those vehicles will still need to be recharged and until then we will still have to drive ourselves and our families around for another few years.

How can I drive from Belfast to Cork without stopping?

That’s a journey of 261 miles or 4 hours 20 minutes, true some of the earlier EV’s would require multiple stops but that journey is around the range of some of the new EV’s like the VW ID.3. Many of the service stations along that route now feature Rapid chargers so give yourself a break, grab a coffee and stretch your legs.

How do I fix an EV myself?

Hopefully you won’t need to. EV’s are more reliable than ICE vehicles as there are not so many moving parts to wear out. So whilst you should definitely stay away from the High Voltage systems in the car you could still visit the local mechanic to have brake pads changed or tyres replaced. On the subject of brakes as EV’s use regenerative braking to slow the car the wear on the brakes is much less than a traditional ICE so they shouldn’t need to be replaced as often.