If you’re considering whether to buy an electric car, then now more than ever is the time to make the switch. Here’s our guide as to why:
Be an early adopter
We all know that electric cars most definitely turn heads. Tesla’s are becoming more popular now but still people aren’t quite used to them yet. The eerie humming sound a Renault ZOE makes, still seems strange to many. However to those driving an electric car, there’s most definitely a cool factor.
At the moment, Tesla’s are easy to charge due to ample charger availability. In addition, for many driving a pre 2019 Tesla model, they are free to charge via Tesla’s superchargers. If you’re a business person, then plenty of networking can also be done at the Tesla superchargers. Just like dog walkers, Tesla owners are incredibly social creatures. Yes we said creatures, as we imagine Tesla owners to be the epitome of innovation gods and goddesses. So come on, is there really any other reason to buy an electric car?
Electric cars are cheaper to run than petrol or diesel counterparts
The initial outlay of buying an electric car may well be higher than that of a petrol or diesel counterpart. However in the long term you will save money.
- Maintenance costs are cheaper. For one there are fewer moving parts in an electric vehicle compared to internal combustion engines (ICE cars). This means there is much less to go wrong with an EV.
- Electricity is cheaper than petrol or diesel. Just look at the energy tariffs compared to filling stations selling petrol or diesel. The gap between these two costs makes a compelling argument for choosing to go electric. In a recent article, Direct Line stated it is now on average £107 cheaper per year to own an electric car compared to a petrol or diesel one. If you generate power via solar panels, then the cost of owning and using an electric car can be even cheaper still.
The UK Government is pro EV adoption
The UK Government wants people to make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric. That is why the government is introducing many attractive incentives for doing so.
First of all if you buy an electric car and you live in London, you will benefit from not having to pay the London Congestion Charge. This will change in 2025, but if you buy an electric car, you will still have a good few years to enjoy even more savings!
By 2035, the UK government will ban the sale of petrol or diesel cars. By 2050 the UK government plans to be completely carbon zero, meaning that only electric cars will be on the UK roads.
Is now the right time to buy an electric car?
There are so many incentives for those wanting to drive electric cars at the moment, that we would say yes. Now is a great time!
However, in our opinion it really depends on where you are located in the country and how much driving you do. Another point to consider is whether you are nearby public charging points. If you live in London or in any of the surrounding counties then there are ample public charging stations. Similarly being close to other major cities such as Birmingham up to Manchester, you shouldn’t have too much of an issue being able to charge your EV on a journey.
Zap-Map shows you where every charging point is within the UK. If you download the app, you can enter the postcode of your location and the app will automatically find all of the charging stations nearby. According to Zap-Map, within the UK there are more than 12,000 locations, 19,000 devices and 33,000 connectors mapped. These figures are growing daily. According to data published by Nissan in 2019, there are now more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the UK than fuel stations.
Alternatively, carwow have also developed an interactive Electric Car charging point finder tool to help EV and hybrid car owners find the nearest electric vehicle charging stations.
If however you live in certain remote areas such as in the West Country, parts of Wales and Scotland, you may want to wait a year or more before making the switch. Just until the charging network improves and catches up.
Preparation before you buy an electric car
- Before you buy an electric car, download and look at the app Zap-Map. See which charge points are near to your home or workplace.
- Find out which plug the car you are looking to purchase accepts. There are a number of plugs including CCS, Chademo and Type 2. Another important thing to know is that some of these use AC current and some of these use DC current. You can add a filter on ZapMap that will show chargers only with those plugs, which will make things even easier.
- When out and about with your EV, make sure you know where your slow, fast and rapid chargers are located. Again you can do this via the Zap-Map app.
- Actually go out and visit the different charging locations near to you. This will really help you familiarise yourself with the different types of plug and how they work. Usually you will find instructions on how to use the charger and whether you need to get yourself a Polar card or download the ecotricity app for example as payment methods.
- The main charging networks are Polar, Ecotricity and PodPoint. Before you buy a car, make sure you know everything about these three networks. Download the apps, register to get the RFID cards and then when you go to a public charger you will be set up. Some other charging network providers allow you to pay by contactless. Most supermarkets or shopping centers allow you to plug in and charge your EV for free.
- Before you buy an electric car, look at the summer and winter range. The range will differ depending on the season. In summer you will be using the air conditioning. In the winter, you will be using the heating. Another factor to consider is electric vehicles do not like the cold and so you will get a decreased range in the winter. So find out these two numbers for each EV you look at. They will vary depending on the car type.
- Look at EV insurance. Yes it is actually a thing! You generally get more benefits from insurance providers when you have an electric car. This can include charging cable cover and also free recovery if you run out of charge. You might also get battery cover under EV insurance, which generally covers a battery related fire, theft of the battery.
Charging an electric car at home
Charging an electric vehicle at home is pretty easy, but only really if you have a driveway. The reason being is that the EV needs to be close to an external wall. This is in order to easily get power. You can simply plug an electric vehicle into any standard outlet. A 3-pin plug will charge your electric vehicle, however it may well take a few hours and so charging at night or when you’re not using the vehicle for a long period of time will be much better.
In addition, you will have a trailing cable, so having your EV away from pedestrians will be better to prevent trip hazards.
If you live in a flat or apartment or a terraced house that does not have a driveway or any other means of charging your electric vehicle, then at this moment in time an EV may not be the right choice.
So to charge your electric car at home, you will first need to find an approved EV charger installation company. You could try EV Chargers UK, a lot of people say that they are one of the cheapest around and the process with them is quite simple.
Tethered or Untethered Unit
When having a home charger installed you will want to decide on if you want a tethered or untethered unit.
An untethered unit basically means you do not have a charging cable built into the unit. It’s a socket on the wall and you use your own cable to plug into the vehicle. It’s usually a cheaper option than going for tethered. It’s also future proofing, as if you change the car or upgrade your cable, you essentially have a socket in the wall, so there’s no messing around later down the line.
You may prefer to have a tethered unit whereby the socket is already there with a cable and then you don’t have to worry about finding a cable in order to charge your car. It keeps things neater, if you don’t want to be rolling up a cable all the time.
To put it simply, tethered or untethered is really just down to personal choice.
Get the charging sorted before you receive the car
The last thing you want is to buy an electric car and then worry about charging for it. So make sure you’ve liaised with the charger installation company. It can take a few weeks to get everything sorted and the charger installed. Ensure your charger is first completely installed and only then buy an electric car.
Look at your energy supplier
Many energy providers now have a special EV rate so check whether your current energy provider can offer you this. If not then you may wish to shop around and change energy providers in order to get the best rate.
Many EV energy suppliers have special rates for charging the vehicle overnight, so this is something to look into further before you buy an electric car.
If you are buying an EV for environmental reasons then you will have peace of mind knowing that most EV energy companies are backed by renewable energy sources.
What about EV aftercare?
As we’ve already mentioned, the running costs of owning an electric car are very minimal. This is because statistically less is likely to go wrong with an electric vehicle compared to a petrol or diesel car.
Most people when buying electric cars are concerned about the battery life. According to EDF Energy, the current prediction is that an electric battery will last from 10-20 years before they need to be replaced. That’s quite some time, especially when you think the average person changes their vehicle every 6 years.
Be sure to have your EV serviced by a specialist garage or go to the manufacturer to have it serviced.
When getting an EV charger installed, again make sure you are using an approved installer.
Don’t let the battery completely drain and try to charge your car to 80% only, rather than 100% as this will help to prolong the lifespan of your battery.
All of these things will help to ensure your electric car is as well-maintained as possible, therefore meaning the lifespan of your EV will be that much longer.
Ready to buy an electric car?
If you need any help or assistance when it comes to buying an electric car from us at EV Sales, our EV specialists will be more than happy to guide you through.
We have a wide array of electric vehicles available for sale. You are also more than welcome to visit our EV Sales center and fully look over all of the EVs available to buy. We will talk you through which EV is right for your needs.
Contact us to discuss your EV requirements, find out which EVs are available to buy or book at appointment to visit our EV sales center by emailing email@example.com or call us on 01634 914063.