You’ve decided you want to go electric soon, but how do you choose the right vehicle for you? You’ve probably got a few questions circling around about it, so here are a few tips to help you find the right electric car for your needs.
What’s available near you?
Firstly, check out what electric cars are available in the area near you. See if any brands you’re already aware of and like have EV showrooms nearby.
Decide on a budget. It’s no secret that electric cars generally cost more than petrol cars. The theory is that lower maintenance costs and charging costs could compensate for this.
Questions to ask yourself
You’ll need to weigh up a few things about going electric before you decide which model is best for you. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a charging point at home or could you install one? Charging at home overnight is generally cheaper than using charging stations, albeit a bit longer.
- Do you have enough local charging points that you can use, if not? Is there usually a free spot or do other electric cars fight for it? And what prices are associated with these chargers? A rapid charger often costs the same or more as petrol, while slower chargers help you save some money.
- What will you be using the car for? If you mainly drive around town, a car with a low range might suffice. But if you take a lot of long motorway journeys, you should be looking for one with a higher range. Otherwise, you could be stopping frequently at service stations to charge (and those service station chargers aren’t cheap!)
Embrace the tech
You’ll probably find yourself downloading a few apps to help you with your new electric lifestyle, so be prepared for this.
Some of the cars themselves come with an app you can download to your phone to control parts of the vehicle, such as the doors, boot and heated seats.
Some public chargers also require you to download an app in order to use them. These apps will often give you the option to turn the charger on or off remotely and see how much longer the car needs to get a full charge.
You should also download Zapmap, a handy app that tells you where the nearest charger to you is and if it’s free. Without this, the whole thing is guesswork, and you could waste time looking for available chargers.
Understand the maintenance
One of the massive upsides of going electric is that these cars have far fewer parts, which heavily reduces your maintenance costs. It will still need an MOT, but this won’t include an emissions test and with fewer parts, there’s a lower chance of needing repairs.
Some of the things you will still need to check are:
- The tyres: you’ll still need to keep an eye out for wear and tear. Replace them with some sturdy Uniroyal tyres if necessary.
- The brake fluid: This should be checked during servicing, but it doesn’t hurt to check it now and again yourself too.
- Coolant fluid: EVs still need coolant to regulate the temperature of the battery, so it’ll need a check every so often.
An electric car isn’t cheap, so you should be sure what you’re looking for in the vehicle before you purchase it. If you find the one that ticks all your boxes, you might never want to look back to petrol cars again!