This year, in the UK alone, it has been reported that there are over 470,000 entirely electric cars driving around the roads. Many people each year are turning their attention to electric vehicles to replace their petrol and diesel vehicles, predominantly due to rising fuel prices as well as the impact that carbon emissions are having on the environment. While switching to an electric car isn’t going to completely eradicate your carbon footprint, it can reduce your contributions to pollution significantly, and it can be relatively affordable to run compared to older petrol cars. But what should you consider when buying an electric car, and what should you be wary of? This article aims to advise you on this matter and help steer you in the right direction when buying your new electric car.
Types Of Electric Cars
The first thing to consider is which type of electric car you’ll buy. There are a number of different electric vehicles to choose from today, and we’re not talking about the brands of cars. In fact, many manufacturers will make a variety of different electric cars to suit different purposes. To give you an idea as to which types of electric cars are available, here are a few to think about.
- Electric Vehicle
When we think about electric cars, this is what you’d generally consider the standard option. An electric vehicle will contain a battery that requires regular charging, similar to refuelling your car at a petrol station. As well as cars, there are a number of different electric vehicles you could consider. A tradesperson, for example, could get an electric van or pickup truck to store equipment, and a street food vendor could use an electric food truck to prepare and sell their food.
- Hybrid Vehicle
As well as entirely electric vehicles, the hybrid has been a very common option for people looking to cut down their fuel usage significantly. These vehicles can be powered both by electricity and fuel. This is especially useful when the battery runs out of power, allowing the driver to switch to fuel instead. These tended to be some of the earlier iterations of electric vehicles, as the batteries’ energy storage wasn’t exceptional. Today, people often don’t consider hybrids, especially if they’re looking to switch for environmental reasons, as they won’t want to use fuel at all.
- Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle
Another impressive electric vehicle is fuelled by the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. The reaction itself generates power, allowing the vehicle to operate. As well as this, the waste product from this reaction is something very simple and non-polluting: water. With a car that produces nothing but water as waste and simply requires two basic gasses to function, it’s no wonder these are a popular consideration for eco-conscious drivers. The only downside is that refill stations are rarer than changing points, and hydrogen fuel can be quite costly to buy, too.
Where To Buy An Electric Vehicle
When it comes to buying your electric car, there are several options available to you. Naturally, this works the same way as buying any car, such as buying from a dealership or leasing it via a car leasing company. If you want to buy something like a Tesla, however, you’ll not find these in a dealership and instead will have to order one online instead. You could also find an electric car via a second-hand dealership, including Teslas.
How Much Do They Generally Cost?
The cost of your electric vehicle, as with any other, is going to vary greatly. Generally speaking, though, electric cars often cost more than non-electric cars, as they are all still relatively new. Of course, if you’re looking to buy one while saving as much money as possible, it’s a good idea to consider second-hand models as they will naturally be cheaper. However, the downside to this is they’ll have a shorter lifespan than a brand-new car, but it’s worth remembering that degradation of batteries is usually a slow process and doesn’t happen to an extreme.
Taking Care Of Your Electric Car
As with any vehicle, there are quite a few things to consider when it comes to taking care of your car. The occasional repairs, keeping it running smoothly, keeping it clean, and making sure the battery remains in great condition are crucial to the longevity of your electric vehicle. It’s important to be prepared before you get your hands on an electric car, so here are a few things to keep in mind.
Understandably, the biggest concern that electric car owners have is knowing where they will be able to charge their cars. There is a concern among some that charging might be time-consuming, but you can find out more about charging times via the “how long guide” here from the experts at LV. Of course, you should note that different electric vehicles will take longer to charge than others, and the type of charging ports you use may also influence this time.
Don’t forget that just like any other car, you’ll have to ensure your electric car passes a yearly MOT once it passes three years old. These tests are very similar to conventional cars, but the main difference is that there is no exhaust or combustion engine on an electric car, and therefore no checks are required for these things.
- Repair And Maintenance
You may not know that while the general costs of buying an electric car may be higher, the actual repair and maintenance costs tend to be significantly lower than petrol and diesel cars. The electric motor in an EV is considerably less complex than a combustion engine and contains fewer moving parts. This means there are fewer things that can break.
Another thing you’ll need for your electric car is insurance due to the higher price point of most EVs and the more limited long-term data on their resilience and longevity. This naturally makes insurance providers slightly warier when offering insurance on an electric vehicle, but these prices are likely to continue to decrease over time.
Sadly, a popular perk for those looking to buy an electric car ended in June 2022. This perk was a grant offered by the government, in which buyers could claim up to £1500 to help purchase their electric vehicle. This was put in place to encourage more people to buy electric cars over petrol and diesel ones. However, while this may have ended, another grant is in place in which the government will offer up to 75% off for those that want to install an electric charging point on their property.
Paying Road Tax
When running a car in the UK, you’ll have to pay a road tax on your vehicle each year. However, for those that own electric cars, there is another great benefit in this area. All zero-emission vehicle owners in the UK are actually exempt from having to pay road tax. This helps electric car drivers save a substantial amount of money each year. However, your zero-emissions vehicle must get its electricity from a charge point or one of the previously mentioned hydrogen fuel cells. Cars that are hybrids or generate electricity from fuel combustion are obviously not exempt.