Are you considering moving to an electric vehicle? If so, in additional to the normal stuff you look for when buying a new car, there are specific questions you need to consider to help you select the best model for you.
So whether you want an electric car for environmental reasons, to save on your fuel bills or for the latest technology, here are four key questions you should ask before you take the leap.
1. What is your daily mileage?
Compared with traditional vehicles, some EVs have a much more restricted travel range; this can be from as little as 80 miles for the Nissan Leaf to over 200 miles for a premium model EV. Although charging points are becoming much more accessible, even in service stations and shopping centres, re-charging is not the same or as accessible as filling up at traditional petrol stations. Charging an EV can take hours at a time at standard charging stations, but less at super charger points, meaning that battery range will need to be carefully monitored and accounted for in all your daily travel plans. Mileage needed is therefore a crucial element to consider before purchasing an EV, and it is important to select an EV that won’t run out of juice in normal use. Weather conditions should also be taken into account in these calculations, since cold, wind or rain can reduce range by as much as 30 per cent.
2. How will you charge your EV?
As alluded to, the battery range of your EV is an important factor to consider before purchase, but so too is your ability to recharge, and this will also involve prior planning. The majority of EV cars can plug into a ordinary household socket and fully charge overnight. However, you may also have the option to have a free fast charger installed at home, which will shorten charging times. Of course, if you live in a complex building or flats, then this could pose further issues and you may not get access to a power supply for your overnight, or for long enough for a decent charge. Depending on model and journey distance, even with an overnight charge you may need to top up your battery while on the go. You should check out external charging points in your area, and most electric car dealers will have such information freely available on their websites.
3. Have you considered battery replacement costs?
Standard cars require regular maintenance, but as EVs have fewer moving parts, there is less to maintain. However, one thing to keep in mind is the cost associated with battery replacements, which will eventually need to be confronted. Although these batteries are not cheap, costing £4,920 for the Nissan Leaf battery replacement and higher on other models, it’ll only be an issue every 120,000 miles or so, which still probably means an overall saving on the equivalent maintenance of a fuelled vehicle.
4. Will an EV increase my utility bills?
Although you will no longer have to pay out for increasing fuel bills, powering your EV will increase your electricity bill at home. It is a good idea to review and research utility tariffs before purchase, as some energy providers have tariffs specifically for EV owners that include cheaper rates for electricity used overnight.
Though the move to an electric vehicle can requires more thoughts over purchasing a standard car, EVs have many of their own unique benefits; being cheaper to run, more environmentally friendly and more efficient. All that’s needed is a little sensible research into these important questions before you make the all-important switch.
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