Having a new car can be exciting, however, when purchasing a car there are some factors you in to keep in mind. Buying a new electric vehicle is similar, there might be a few minor differences in the things you need to check off your list.
In the world today, electric cars are becoming more and more common. Battery electric cars, or BEVs, plugged into charging stations and seen on the road are becoming an increasingly regular sight. As a result, many producers are working hard to create new electric vehicles of all kinds and sizes as technology advances quickly.
With the market expanding and technology constantly changing, purchasing your first electric vehicle (EV) may be both an exciting and intimidating experience. Here is a roadmap to help you through this journey.
10 Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Electric Vehicle
The following are some of the things you should consider before buying an electric car (EV):
Understand Your Driving Needs
- Daily Commute: Calculate your average daily driving distance, though most modern EVs offer sufficient range for average daily use. Yes, EVs now offer ranges of 200-300 miles per charge, it’s essential to choose a model that comfortably meets your daily needs without frequent recharging.
- Long Trips: Consider how often you take long trips and the availability of charging stations along those routes. Then look for an EV with an extended range or plan your route around charging stations.
Research Different Models
- Range: Look for a model that offers a range suitable for your needs. Remember, the actual range can be affected by driving habits, weather, and temperature.
- Size and Type: Choose a vehicle that fits your lifestyle, whether it’s a compact car, SUV, or truck. Consider cargo space, seating capacity, and other practical needs.
- Performance: This means that you should evaluate acceleration, handling, and ride comfort.
Understand Charging Options
- Home Charging: Most EV charging is done at home. So, check whether you need a Level 1 (standard outlet) or Level 2 (faster charging) setup. Installing a Level 2 home charger (240V) is advisable for faster charging. Check the costs and requirements for installation.
- Public Charging: Familiarize yourself with public charging networks available in your area and along frequent travel routes. Apps like “PlugShare” or “ChargePoint” can be helpful in locating charging stations.
Brand and Dealer Reputation
- Research the reputation of the brand and the dealer, including after-sales service and customer support. Evaluate the manufacturer’s dealer network for maintenance and support. Some brands do offer mobile service units.
Consider Total Cost of Ownership
- Purchase Price: EVs can be more expensive upfront but often have lower operating costs.
- Maintenance Costs: EVs typically have lower maintenance costs due to fewer moving parts (no oil changes, for example). However, be aware of potential long-term costs, such as battery replacement. Look for federal, state, or local incentives, rebates, and tax credits.
- Energy Costs: Compare the cost of electricity in your area with gasoline prices to estimate savings. Consider off-peak hours for charging if your electricity provider offers variable rates.
Battery Life and Warranty
- Battery Degradation: Understand that batteries degrade over time, affecting range. Some manufacturers provide detailed information on expected battery degradation over time. So, check the longevity of the vehicle’s battery.
- Warranty: Check the warranty coverage for the battery and other EV-specific components.
Test Drive and Experience
- Regenerative Braking: EVs use regenerative braking which can feel different. Pay attention to how this affects driving during a test drive.
- Connectivity and Software Updates: Many EVs receive over-the-air updates. Check how these updates might improve the vehicle over time.
- Tech Features: EVs often come with advanced technology. Familiarize yourself with these features during the test drive.
- Research how well EVs hold their value. This can be influenced by factors like battery health and technological advancements. The EV market is rapidly evolving, so keep up-to-date with the latest developments.
Life Cycle and Environmental Impact
- Life Cycle Analysis: Some studies take into account the manufacturing process, battery creation, and the source of electricity to assess the total environmental impact of an EV.
- Environmental Impact Assessment: Consider the environmental benefits of driving an EV, such as reduced emissions. Also, think about the source of electricity (renewable vs. non-renewable) used for charging.
- Insurance for EVs can be different from conventional vehicles. Get insurance quotes to understand the cost.
Choosing and buying an electric car is not the same as purchasing a gas-powered car. Range, charging, cost, subsidies, and performance are the key EV factors. Remember buying an electric vehicle is not just a buy but a lifestyle change. Consider all aspects to ensure that your first EV is a perfect fit for your needs.
Is it worth buying a new electric car?
Yeah! EV is a good fit for you if affordability is your top priority. An EV is a wise purchase, though, for consumers who have a little more wiggle room in their budget, especially if they can readily charge their car at home.
What is the cheapest electric car to buy?
Some of the cheapest and most affordable electric cars today include:
- Citroen Ami
- Smart EQ Fortwo
- Renault Zoe
- Nissan Leaf
- MG ZS EV
- Mazda MX-30
- Vauxhall Corsa Electric
- MINI Electric
How to drive your new electric car?
Electric vehicles generate torque almost instantly, so it won’t take much to begin going, unlike conventional motors. If this is your first time operating an electric vehicle, go slowly at first and gradually pick up speed until you can accelerate to maximum power in a short amount of time.
Are there downsides to electric cars?
Yes actually, finding charging stations, charging durations, more starting expenses, a shorter driving range, and the potentially exorbitant cost of replacing battery packs are some of these drawbacks.