Three things to consider when buying an electric car – opinion

Ross Hansen writes:

Making the decision to buy an electric car is a huge undertaking, particularly if you’ve never driven this type of vehicle before. From the way you fuel it, to the all round driving experience, EVs are completely different to petrol-powered cars. Whilst they come with lots of benefits, there are also plenty of potential pitfalls to being an EV owner that you should be aware of before making an investment. Here are three things to consider before buying electric. 

Cost

One of the biggest factors when making any sort of significant purchase is the cost. When compared to similar-sized petrol/diesel vehicles, EVs will nearly always be the more expensive option in terms of upfront costs. However, with the UK government pushing to reach net-zero targets in the not too distant future, there are grants and tax incentives available to help lower the costs and encourage more drivers to make the switch. 

Currently, the UK government offers a grant of up to £1,500 on the purchase price of electric cars priced under £32,000. Tax incentives for EV drivers mean that they’re exempt from paying vehicle tax. They’re are also exempt from paying the congestion charge that applies when driving through London. So whilst the initial cost may be higher, there are plenty of incentives to lessen the financial burden of switching to electric. 

Safety 

Electric vehicles are still a relatively new innovation, so it’s understandable that some people may have safety concerns. But, whilst the technology may seem a little alien to some, most EV designs are largely modelled around combustion engine-powered equivalents, so there are no significant safety issues to consider. In fact, removing flammable fuel from the car actually takes away one of the safety risks associated with petrol/diesel motors. 

Just like any other vehicle, EVs are rigorously tested before being sold on the market. Whilst the rating system varies in different parts of the world, EVs are typically placed into one of six categories for safety, ranked from five stars to zero stars. It’s crucial to check the safety rating of a vehicle before purchasing, to help put your mind at ease and ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. You can find out more about how EVs are tested in this guide on safety ratings

How will you charge it?

Charging is a sticking point for many electric car sceptics who are reluctant to make the switch. Whereas we all know where our local petrol stations are, finding easily accessible electric charging points can be a little more challenging, particularly for people living in rural areas. The best way to keep your car fully charged is to install a charging point at home, which means you can wake up to a full tank of power every day. 

But for people who regularly make longer car journeys, it will be useful to identify where the charging points are located along your route to save you from ever being caught short. In the UK, there has been a 44% increase on average every year in the number of public charging points, meaning topping up your EV is becoming easier than ever before.

Ross Hansen is Digital Media Consultant at Hansen Ross Media 

(Picture – Yay Images)

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