Are you one of those people who heard rave reviews on hybrids and electric cars and immediately wanted to get one for yourself too? Or did you recently jump on the we-all-need-to-be-more-environmentally-conscious bandwagon and ended up selling your old, air-polluting vehicle to a we buy any car car buying company? Either way, you are now in the market for a brand-new electric car, and we’re here to help you find the perfect model for you.
Choosing an Electric Car Model? Factors to Consider
But first, let’s quickly go over what an electric car is so that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
An electric car or electric vehicle (EV) is a kind of automobile that runs on electric motors which are powered by electricity stored in rechargeable batteries or fuel cells within the vehicle. They don’t need any petrol or diesel for propelling the car unlike conventional gas engine vehicles or even hybrid vehicles for that matter.
When you’re choosing an electric car for yourself, consider these factors to get the most out of your vehicle.
1. One charge driving range
How far you need to drive every day from wherever there’s a charging station will play a prominent role in deciding which model is best for you. This range is not the total number of kilometers you drive in a day but rather the total number of kilometers you’ll drive on a single charge of the car before the battery drains out and you need to recharge it. There a lot of models out there which offer different ranges. Low-end brands, for example, the Nissan Leaf, can not go more than a hundred kilometers while high-end luxury brands, such as Tesla’s Model S, can go up to 450 km even.
Before you decide on any particular electric car, you should observe your driving range and routes for a few days. How far is your office or how many times do you have to go out during a day, knowing all this will help you make a more informed decision. While your needs will be met with a low-end brand if your work and the home commute is short and if you don’t take long trips, you’ll need to invest in something a little costlier if the distances you travel are longer.
2. Access to charging stations
Unlike traditional petrol or diesel-powered vehicles or hybrids, you can’t just refill an electric car if you run out of fuel. Since electric cars aren’t yet common on the roads, their charging stations aren’t widely available either. This means you’ll only get to charge it at home but make sure you have enough to get back within a single charge. Or if you can arrange to charge it at your office, then you can do so while you work and it won’t be that much of a problem. But whenever you’re running low on the battery charge, you have to make sure you’re somewhere near a charging station.
If your daily commute involves long routes then an electric model with a more extended range, like the Chevrolet Bolt, will be a better fit. Many car manufacturers are working to make more charging points available for easier and longer drives.
3. Charger Types
Electric cars can be charged through your regular home sockets, but it can take up to ten or twelve hours a day to reach full charge. If you’re running out of time, you can install a faster charging outlet that will cut the charging time in half to about five to six hours a day, depending on the car model and battery capacity. This charging time is ideal if you spend a lot of time sitting at home or the office anyway.
But if you go through several charging cycles in a day, you’ll need even faster charging which comes in the form DC fast charging (DCFC). This kind of outlet can charge about eighty percent of your battery in thirty to forty-five minutes. If you don’t use your car for more than a couple of hours every day, any model compatible with a standard fast charger will be fine as long as you have one at home and another at your workplace.
If you do need to charge several times or have to drive a lot with not much time available for charging, you’ll need DCFC which is currently only compatible with Tesla’s electric car models.
The price and your budget will be a considerable factor in ultimately deciding which electric car model you end up buying. Different features like whether the car has a gearbox or a direct-drive system, what its battery capacity is, how far it can go on a single charge, all will determine the price of the car. If you want more features and better performance, you can go for premium luxury cars like the BMW i3. However, if you don’t have that kind of a budget and would prefer going for something more economical, something like the Renault Zoe would be more suitable.
5. Government subsidies
Governments in many states offer grants for the purchase of electric cars to encourage more people to leave behind their conventional gas-emitting vehicles and switch to environmentally friendly electric cars, as is the case in Norway. The more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient an electric car is, the more the subsidy. For example, models such as Citroen CZero, Kia Soul EV, Toyota Mirai, and many more offer zero emissions which earns them the highest grants.
Choosing the perfect car isn’t as hard as it sounds, but you can’t buy an electric car on a whim either because you’ll be making a significant investment even if you pick out an economical vehicle. The best way to get the perfect model that fits your needs is to track and study your current driving habits and match them with the electric car models available on the market so you can purchase your ideal car. Even if you’re scared, you can rest assured that in the long run, you’ll be doing your pocket and the planet a huge favor!
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