Although petrol and diesel-powered cars still dominate the market, electric vehicles’ rising popularity means that EVs are the future of personal transport. Of course, the electric vehicle segment is still in the developing phase, and there is a lot of misconceptions about owning and operating an EV. Today, we will tell you about ten things you need to know before buying an electric car. These are some of the basics that every prospective EV owner must know to understand how these vehicles function and have an enjoyable user experience.
- Real-life Range
The first and most important thing is the range, and even though range figures advertised by the manufacturers might tempt you, you must know that this is just an estimated or predicted range. The real-life figures are often much lower and depend on various circumstances. In order to avoid nasty surprises and get stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery, it is best to be cautious and closely monitor the range on your board computer. Most owners report different results from factory specifications. Almost always, the real-life range is noticeably lower than advertised numbers.
- Energy Consumption
Petrol and diesel vehicles use more fuel in urban driving than on the open road, and it is perfectly logical since city driving has much more stop and go traffic. On the motorway, the engine runs steadily, and fuel consumption is significantly less. However, electric vehicles are the complete opposite of that. The EVs have a more extended range in the city than on the highway, which is very important to know. The electric vehicle uses regenerative breaking to harvest as much energy it can and fill the battery. In city driving, there is much breaking (and lower speeds), so the charge lasts longer. There is no braking on the open road (or very rarely), draining the battery much faster.
- EV Vehicles Have Great Acceleration
Almost all-electric vehicles have superb acceleration figures, much better than their petrol or diesel counterparts. The reason is much simple: the electric engines can instantly deliver the maximum torque from 0 pm, which means that you have access to full engine power as soon as you press the accelerator pedal. In the world of high-performance machines, EVs like Rimac or Porsche Taycan Turbo S has been known to outrun the fastest petrol-powered hypercars. However, not all EVs are drag racers; some economy-spec models have modest acceleration numbers simply because manufacturers have decided to concentrate on range and comfort rather than performance.
- Potentially Expensive Maintenance
Since electric vehicles represent the latest automotive technology and are filled with the newest and most complicated systems, they can be difficult and expensive to maintain and repair. This means you cannot take your Tesla to your local mechanic which hasn’t got any of the tools or equipment even to diagnose the problem. Replacing the battery is known to be very expensive, and even if you own an economy-spec EV like Nisan Leaf, the cost of a new battery is around 5,000 pounds. Also, since the vehicle is powered by electricity, maintenance requires particular safety procedures.
Due to varying ranges, electric vehicles are usable only in areas that are well-covered with charging stations. This means that you can safely use your EV in major urban areas where you can charge your vehicles quickly and at various locations. This means that EV is not practical if you plan to drive long-distance or have a long daily commute. However, suppose you are driving only in the city. In that case, an electric vehicle can be a great form of transportation since you can enter the city center and park in designated places, which is a significant advantage over petrol or diesel vehicle.
- Consider Investing in Home Charger
One of the best ways to keep your future electric vehicle optimally charged is by investing in a home charging system. If you live in a house, you can plug-in your vehicle at night and have it fully charged in the morning. This way, you are pretty much independent and can live away from urban areas and charging stations. Yes, the home charging system is not cheap, and it will significantly raise your electrical bill, but it will give you important peace of mind.
- Electric Vehicles Are Costly
You probably noticed that almost all-electric vehicles cost significantly more than comparable fossil-fueled competitors. Once again, cutting edge technology is pricy, and in this early phase of the EV revolution, manufacturer’s investment is recuperated through higher sticker price. However, the price shock is somewhat softened by governments’ grants and various initiatives, but still, even the Mini EV costs 25,000 pounds. That is why leasing instead of buying might be a better idea.
- Electric Cars Are Surprisingly Easy to Drive
Even though such advanced technology might sound frightening and complicated to use, electric cars are a breeze to drive. First of all, there are just two pedals (stop and go), no gears, the steering is electric, and most models are equipped with modern systems like adaptive cruise control, autonomous driving, emergency braking, etc. Not to mention that they are very quiet and have good handling. The upscale models are fantastic, which is to be expected, but even the economy models are quite pleasing and enjoyable.
- The Range Can Be Affected by Cold Weather
The freezing temperature is known to be disastrous to your range since lithium batteries all EVs use don’t like the cold. In fact, low temperatures make the battery less efficient it will drain much faster than normal. In some cases, even 40% faster, which is alarmingly high. Not to mention that in cold weather, cars use more energy to warm the interior, unfreeze the windows, and heat the seats. This means that your range is much smaller, and you will need to charge the car more often.
- Some Models Have Low Top Speed
Even though some experimental EVs are known for high top speeds, most of the models on sale today are not as fast, although they have excellent acceleration. Drag and rolling resistance play a major part in energy consumption at high speeds, which is significantly higher, and electric vehicles traveling at prohibited speeds have minimal range. The economy models like Volkswagen ID3 or Nissan Leaf have top speeds just slightly above the national speed limit. For example, ID3 can reach 100 mph, and Leaf is limited to only 90 mph.