Governments around the world work hard to make electric vehicles more available. But, the biggest question is whether people will buy them.
With many drivers nervous about buying an electric vehicle (EV), here is a 10-point checklist with all the things you need to consider when shopping for your first EV:
1. Car Model: Like shopping for a petrol or diesel car, size and suitability should be the top consideration when buying an EV. If you make a lot of small journeys and need to park in small spaces, then your car model should reflect that.
2. How Much Will It Cost to Insure? Before committing to an EV, make sure to check on insurance costs. New data from insurer LV= claims some electric car models are cheaper to insure than conventionally powered other models. So the cost of insurance shouldn’t be a barrier. As well as checking your insurance with comparison websites like Uswitch, some manufacturers have arrangements with certain insurers, like Tesla and Direct Line.
3. Battery Range: EV range has vastly improved, and many models can travel 200-250 miles and some more than 300 on a single charge. For example, charging for between 30-40minutes can get you an 80% recharge (about 200 miles). When shopping for your EV, ensure you know how long and how often you would need to charge and if this fits in with your lifestyle.
4. Battery Health: We’re seeing an increasing amount of secondhand EV’s coming onto the market, which is excellent news for those shopping on a budget. But, it’s worth finding out about the manufacturer’s guarantee on the battery (as many offer extended warranties).
5. Do You Plan to Buy or Lease Your New EV? Whichever way you choose to fund your EV, make sure you have carefully planned your budget – and stick to it. There are great deals to be had with manufacturers and dealers, so don’t be afraid to haggle to make your purchase as affordable as possible.
6. EV Experience: Never driven an EV? It could be wise to rent on before you take the plunge. This way, you’ll have hands-on experience with the car and can understand if it’s the right vehicle for you.
7. Home Charging: Government research shows that around 80% of all EV charging happens at home, so you need to factor a charging point into your budget.
8. Public Charging Infrastructure: There are around 25,000 public charging points, and you can find your nearest one using a website like Zap-Map. Check your most-travelled journeys to see if there are charging points along the way in case of an emergency.
9. Money-Saving Benefits: From road tax to clean air zones, there are some serious cost savings to be made, which can be reinvested into other areas of your purchase, such as a higher-spec vehicle to installing your EV charging station at home.
10. Environmental Benefits: EVs are so clean that they don’t even have an exhaust system. This means they don’t emit pollutants such as CO2, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. The only caveat here is that cobalt and lithium batteries must be mass-produced in factories and produce toxic waste that must be disposed of responsibly.
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