The selection of electric vehicles is currently increasing rapidly and, at the same time, the prices of the individual models are also falling. Electric mobility is therefore becoming affordable for a broad public, and the question is increasingly arising: What should I look for when buying an electric car? We have compiled the most important information for you and tell you which details you should pay particular attention to before purchasing.
- Which model is the right one for me?
- How long should the range of my e-car be?
- Should I buy the battery or would I rather rent it?
- Where do I charge my electric vehicle?
- Charging at public charging stations and e-filling stations
- What are the advantages of buying an electric car?
- What do I need to consider when buying a used e-car?
- Do e-cars burn faster?
Which model is the right one for me?
Well, this question does not only apply to the purchase of an electric car, but also to any new car purchase. However, the selection of electric models from each manufacturer is very limited and you should consider whether the size of the car or the brand is more important to you. Electric SUVs, for example, are only available from Hyundai and Audi, while Renault, Peugeot, BMW and VW each offer at least one small car model.
How long should the range of my e-car be?
Range is still the most decisive criterion and the biggest concern for consumers when it comes to choosing an e-car. For purely urban use, a battery with a shorter range is quite sufficient. The prerequisite, of course, is to plan charging a bit in advance so as not to experience any nasty surprises.
For people who regularly have to cover long distances, there are now also powerful batteries with a range of around 500 kilometers. Please note that the figure given is only a guide. Consumers such as the air conditioning, windshield wipers and infotainment system also require electricity and reduce the range of your e-car accordingly.
You can also positively influence the range with your driving style, for example by avoiding rapid acceleration and overtaking maneuvers.
Important: If you really want to do something good for the environment by purchasing an electric vehicle, you should choose the smallest possible battery. After all, the larger the battery, the more resources are needed and the more CO2 is emitted during its production. The guiding principle for your electric car’s battery should therefore be “as big as necessary, as small as possible.
Should I buy the battery or would I rather rent it?
Many car buyers are unsure about the service life of the battery and possible damage or malfunctions. Manufacturers have recognized this concern and therefore also offer battery rental for e-cars. This means that you buy the electric vehicle, but only rent the battery and can have it replaced without complications in the event of problems. The monthly rate usually includes a certain number of kilometers driven per year, and you will be charged extra if you exceed this limit. Of course, you must adhere to certain contractual agreements in this case. These include, for example, the method of charging and discharging and the prohibition on simply reselling the vehicle.
If you buy the battery, most manufacturers offer a warranty of five to eight years or a mileage of at least 160,000 kilometers, and you are not bound by any specifications. However, if problems occur after the warranty period, battery replacement can be quite expensive.
Important: The warranty is linked to a complete service booklet. So make sure that you always go to the specialist workshop for all service appointments!
By the way, the cold does much less damage to the battery than you might think. So you don’t have to worry about your e-car in winter.
Where do I charge my electric vehicle?
Of course, the easiest way is to charge your electric car at home in the garage or carport or at work. After all, the vehicle is usually parked there for several hours and the battery can be charged in peace. By the way, this is also possible via a normal power socket. For safety’s sake, you should have it checked by an electrician before using it, so that there is no short circuit or even a cable fire.
Even if it works, this type of charging puts a strain on both cables and the socket in the long run, and the charging process takes an unnecessarily long time. Therefore, the purchase of a so-called wallbox for home makes sense.
Charging at public charging stations and e-filling stations
If these two options are out of the question for you, you can also fill up at public charging stations. There are special fuel cards for this purpose, which you can use to charge your e-car at certain filling stations. Since there are sometimes large price differences between the individual providers and different tariff systems and billing models, you should research well beforehand which provider best suits your needs.
What are the advantages of buying an electric car?
Achieving the climate target in 2030 is closely linked to individual mobility and thus also to the reduction of vehicles with combustion engines. To make the purchase of an e-car attractive to as many people as possible, there are a number of perks and benefits:
- No mineral oil tax
- No engine related insurance tax
- Free parking with green license plate
- Lower maintenance costs than an internal combustion engine due to few mechanical wear parts
- Electricity is far cheaper as a fuel than gasoline or diesel. With the right charging management and your own photovoltaic system, you can optimally reduce your costs.
What do I need to consider when buying a used e-car?
The market for used electric vehicles is still very limited. On the one hand, this is because the cars themselves are still very new and not many owners want to sell their vehicles yet. On the other hand, there is also a great deal of uncertainty among potential buyers – especially when it comes to the condition of the battery.
If you are interested in a used e-car, you should definitely test drive it, preferably with a fully charged battery. This is the best way to assess the actual range and capacity.
Here’s what you should look out for: Modern e-cars usually have a heat pump. It requires less energy for air conditioning the vehicle and thus enables a longer range.
Do e-cars burn faster?
Videos of burning electric vehicles are seen time and again on social networks, and some drivers are concerned that their own e-car could simply burst into flames. In fact, electrical short circuits are responsible for most vehicle fires, not accidents, and these also occur in combustion engines. There are no verified figures to prove that electric cars actually start to burn more often than diesel or gasoline cars.
Once an electric car is on fire, it is often a difficult task for firefighters to extinguish the fire. The battery must be cooled over a long period of time to bring the fire under control. In some cases, the fire department uses containers filled with water, in which the cars are then stored for safety.
Important: The battery of an e-car can still start to burn 72 hours later after an accident. Accidental electric vehicles should therefore always be stored outside and under supervision.