The world is pushing to become more environmentally friendly and aware, and cars are one of the first ways to tackle rising carbon emissions. Car are essential for modern day life, so making the switch to an electric car can seem daunting. Electric cars look similar to petrol cars, but they have different features and can behave differently. Here, we’ll provide some tips to help you with buying an electric car for the first time.
Hybrid or Pure Electric?
There are two main types of electric vehicle: hybrid and pure electric. The key difference between the two is that one uses a combination of electricity and petrol.
Electric cars have a battery that needs charging in order to achieve their range. Hybrid cars have a small battery, which has a smaller range. After this has been used up, the car switches over to fossil fuel. Hybrid cars are ideal for those needing to drive long distances, but who also want to be more environmentally friendly.
Considering a Charging Point
Electric cars will need a dedicated charging point, so before buying a car, you need to consider how you’ll charge it. Ideally, a garage is the best place to install an electric charging point. Many cars can be charged from a domestic plug, but some models have a charging panel that charges the car quicker.
If you don’t have a garage, a driveway is the next best option. Some new building developments are now including dedicated charging spots for electric vehicles, so it’s worth considering whether your flat has a secure carpark where you can charge an electric car.
What Will You Use It For?
Your daily driving and annual mileage are big factors to consider when purchasing an electric car. If you are traveling long distances every day, it will quickly deplete the battery, so you will want to get a car with a short charging period and a good range. This may mean you have to spend more to get a car with a higher range.
An electric car with a small range will prevent any long distance drives, but the good news is that there are more charging points available these days. This just means that some journeys will take longer with breaks required to top up on miles.
Tesla are top of the game for great range, however they are also at the top of the marketing with top prices. Cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe have smaller ranges, but are perfect for entry-level budgets.
Consider Making Use of Government Grants
Affordability is a huge consideration for many people, and the government recognises this. There are grants available up to the value of £4500 for cars that have very low carbon emissions. These are designed to be used by car dealers to take the price off the car at point of purchase.
Go for a Test Drive
Take some time to research the car you’re after, then ask the dealer to go on a test drive. You’ll get a good feel for the comfort of the car and how it actually feels to drive a car purely powered by electricity.