Choosing Your First Electric Vehicle

by | Sep 11, 2023 | Guide

As the world shifts towards a more sustainable future, electric vehicles (EVs) have taken centre stage in the transportation revolution. With an array of models on the market, selecting the right EV to suit your lifestyle and preferences can be both exciting and challenging. This guide aims to provide an overview of the factors to consider when choosing the perfect electric vehicle for your needs, helping you make an informed decision.

 

Understand Your Driving Patterns

Before delving straight into the world of EVs, it can be useful to take a moment to reflect on your daily driving habits. Consider the following:

 

Commute Distance:

Determine the average distance you drive daily, whether this will be work, leisure or both. This will help you evaluate the range requirements of different EV models. Most modern EVs should offer a range suitable for most people’s daily commutes, but if you frequently embark on long road trips/ journeys, you may want to focus on models with extended range capabilities.

 

Charging Infrastructure:

Before purchasing an EV it may be worth researching the availability of charging stations in your local community, along your regular routes, and at your workplace. Easy access to charging can create a simpler choice for your choice of electric vehicle.

 

Types of Electric Vehicles

There are many different types of EVs to choose from to help cater to the individual preferences and needs for the consumers, these can usually be grouped into 3 main types:

 

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs):

These are pure electric vehicles that rely solely on battery power. They produce zero emissions and offer a quiet and smooth driving experience (Without the need for gears).

 

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs):

PHEVs combine an electric motor with an internal combustion engine. They offer the flexibility of running on electric power for shorter distances and switching to gasoline for longer trips, with these vehicles usually having a substantially lower battery range than BEVs.

 

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs):

HEVs are similar to PHEVS except they cannot be actively charged. Using both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. They cannot be plugged in and the only way the battery can be charged is through regenerative braking and engine power.

 

Range Considerations

One of the primary concerns when choosing an EV is its range. This refers to the distance the vehicle can travel on a single charge. As battery technology advances, EV ranges are improving. If you have already analysed your daily driving patterns this step should be simple for you. But we always recommend considering a vehicle with a slightly higher range than your daily needs to accommodate unexpected detours or changes in routine, giving you peace of mind.

 

Charging Options

If you’re looking at getting either a PHEV or a BEV you should now evaluate the charging options available to you:

 

Home Charging:

If you have a garage or a dedicated parking spot at your home, a home charging solution can be one of the most convenient options for you. The biggest downside to home charging is the slower speed due to the usually lower power outputs for home locations usually being limited to 7kW.

 

Public Charging:

Research the availability of public charging stations in your area, especially if you don’t have the option for home charging. Consider the charging speeds and the types of connectors the stations offer. If there is limited availability in your area you can write to local companies and council to express your interest in seeing this growth. See our guide on public charging here.

 

Performance and Features

Modern EVs are designed to provide a thrilling and unique driving experience, often offering instant torque and smooth acceleration. Look into the performance specifications of the EV models you’re considering and assess whether they align with your driving preferences.

 

Additionally, explore the various features offered by EVs, such as advanced infotainment systems, driver-assistance technologies, and luxury amenities. These features can greatly enhance your driving experience. As well as of course looking at the aesthetics of these vehicles too.

 

Total Cost of Ownership

While the upfront cost of an EV might be higher than that of a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle, the total cost of ownership over the vehicle’s lifespan can be lower. Some factors that you should consider include:

 

Purchase Price:

Compare the prices of different EV models and consider any available incentives or rebates that are currently happening.

 

Charging Costs:

Electricity is generally cheaper than traditional fuels, resulting in lower fuelling costs for EVs compared to traditional vehicles.

Maintenance:

EVs have fewer moving parts than conventional vehicles, reducing the need for certain maintenance tasks.

 

Resale Value:

Research the resale value of the EV model you’re interested in, as this can impact your long-term costs.

 

Environmental Impact

One of the key motivations for choosing an EV is reducing your carbon footprint. Research the environmental impact of different EV models, including manufacturing processes and energy sources used in their production. Some EV manufacturers prioritize sustainable practices, which can align with your values. These companies include: Ford, Mercedes and Audi. This is due to their activeness in working towards carbon neutral vehicle manufacturing with most of them seeing drastic reductions in their carbon footprint over the past 5 years.

 

Reliability and Warranty

Check the reliability ratings of the EV models you’re considering. A reputable manufacturer with a history of producing reliable vehicles can provide peace of mind. Additionally, review the warranty offered, especially the coverage for the battery and electric components.

Conclusion

 

Choosing the right electric vehicle involves a blend of practical considerations, personal preferences, and a dash of future-thinking. By understanding your driving patterns, evaluating different EV types, considering range, exploring charging options, and factoring in performance, features, costs, and environmental impact, you can confidently select an EV that aligns with your needs and values. Embracing electric mobility not only benefits you but also contributes to a cleaner and more sustainable transportation future. If you want your chargers along side your car reach out now.

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