Written by: Giles Kirkland
Have you been thinking about buying an electric car?
If so, you’d be in good company. It’s estimated that there are over five million electric cars on the road, and that number is expected to climb to represent 30% of all one billion vehicles in the world by 2030.
Hybrids are an option
If you’re not yet convinced about electric vehicles, one option is for you to go for the middle ground and to buy a hybrid. These use a mixture of traditional fuels and more environmentally-friendly options, and so many manufacturers are now making hybrids that you’re not going to struggle to find one to suit you.
Except for the environmental aspect, the main advantage of hybrids is that they are less fossil fuel dependent. Due to its electric motor, a hybrid vehicle needs less fuel, which results in lower emission and smaller fuel dependency. That is why a reduction in gasoline prices is the main factor behind the popularity of hybrids.
Nevertheless, the main disadvantage of this type of vehicle is the price. On average, a hybrid costs five to ten thousand dollars more than a regular car. On top of that, it is crucial to consider the high maintenance costs. Due to its dual engines and relatively new technology, the repairs and spare parts might cost significantly more.
However, buying a hybrid is a one-time investment that can help you to save a lot of money over the life of the vehicle. Moreover, repairs and maintenance costs are also the case when it comes to regular cars. That is why, nowadays, hybrids are becoming more and more popular.
Range anxiety is a real concern for many people who are looking into buying electric cars, but the good news is that it’s becoming less and less relevant as time goes on. The term refers to the idea of being limited by how far a vehicle can drive before it needs to be recharged. The good news is that batteries are getting more powerful, and charging points are becoming more efficient and more widespread, and so range anxiety is really just as much of an issue for traditional vehicles as it is for EVs.
Grants and incentives
As part of our global drive to be more environmentally-friendly and to reduce our carbon footprint as species, many governments and local authorities offer cash incentives to people to encourage them to purchase or run an electric vehicle. It’s worth checking what’s on offer in your area before you buy so that you can take advantage of any financial aid that might be out there.
Repairmen may be specialists
Of course, one of the downsides of buying an EV is that you may need to find specialist repairmen or order parts in from suppliers if you need to carry out maintenance. This is true of pretty much any non-mainstream vehicle, and it’s one of the few problems that classic cars and modern EVs have in common. Even if you’re able to find someone with the expertise that you need, they may charge a premium and cost you more than a regular mechanic.
In the same way that a Harley Davidson isn’t particularly useful if you’re moving house and you have a bunch of stuff to shift, EVs aren’t always the most practical of vehicles, especially if you have special needs such as if you’re looking for an off-roader. Electric cars are getting more and more diverse as more manufacturers get into the game, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a model that’s perfectly practical for your own unique use case.
Whether you’re buying an electric vehicle or a gas guzzler, obsolescence is always worth thinking. About your goal should be identifying a model that has everything you’re likely to need, both today and in the immediate future. If you can, try to learn what you can about how different electric vehicles operate to try to find one that will age well.
It really does make a difference
The last thing for you to remember is that switching from a regular vehicle to an electronic one really does make a difference. Especially if you go the extra mile to make sure that the juice you use to recharge is coming from renewable sources. Even the most jaded and cynical petrol-heads agree that electric vehicles are the future, and with good reason. They have a lot going for them.
By now, you should have a good idea of what you need to know before you buy an electric car, which means that you should be well-prepared to start shopping around. Bear in mind, though, that it can be worth watching the market for a while to see what’s out there.
Another thing to remember is that as electric cars become more and more commonplace, the used market will continue to grow and evolve. That means that you may be able to save a bunch of money by buying used, especially as more and more EVs hit the market.
Have a great day!
“Giles Kirkland is an automotive industry researcher and writer. He focuses on the technological, scientific and sustainable aspects of the automotive. As the world evolves faster than ever, he enjoys keeping track of all current developments and sharing his knowledge and experience with other motoring and technology enthusiasts across the globe. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Oponeo“