If you pay any attention to the news headlines recently, you might think that now is a better time than ever to ditch Petrol or Diesel cars in favour of all-electric. Many people who want to buy an electric car or EV, often make the mistake of putting the solar-powered cart before the horse. So what should you know before you take the plunge?
Here is what to consider before buying an electric car.
Protect Your Investment
Remember it's 2017 and most people keep their cars for around 3 years. Some manufactures are already pledging to make only Electric vehicles by 2020. Diesel or Petrol internal combustion engines (ICE as they are called in the EV world.) cars could potentially drop in value more than usual during ownership. Especially as more EV models come to market.
Look At Your Driving Habits.
Before you consider which electric car to buy, you should look at your driving habits. We don't mean if you keeping both hands on the wheel. We mean the journeys you take and more precisely, the length of those trips. It's no good buying a BMW i3 with a range of around 114 miles if your round trip to the office is greater. You're going to be running out of power unless you can charge all day at work. You certainly don't want to be charging on the way home from work everyday.
As an experienced electric car owners we can tell you that you're going to need something that can provide a day trip range on as least public charges as possible. This should then cover your daily commute, ideally in one charge. If it's the main car for the household, then your going to be looking at something that can cover minimum of 200 miles on a full charge. This brings us onto the next point. Charging at home and how long is your car stationary?
Where and How Are You Going To Charge Your Electric Car.
Charging while you sleep is a painless. Our home charger will charge the car at a rate of around 20 miles range per hour. If you arrive home 6pm and leave at 8am this would give you 14 hours charge time. Giving you a potential range of 280 miles providing the battery has the capacity. Everyday you will start with a full battery and maximum range. However if the car is only stationary at home for 6 hours then range is down to 120 miles plus what is in the battery. This is why home charging speed is important and you should not overlook. We recommend charging overnight and using economy 7 tariff, as it's the cheapest time to charge.
There are also public network chargers and these vary in rate of charge (speed) depending on the location. By far the fastest chargers out there are DC chargers and the most well know are the Tesla Superchargers. A Tesla supercharge can deliver 170 miles range in about 30 minutes. That's a massive 340 miles per hours of charge. No other charging network comes close. You can see your local charging network or national network by using sites like Zap-map to view that networks on your routes.
Cost Of Charging At Home.
The cost of charging you electric car is going to be dependant on suppliers your energy tariff. In an ideal work you'd charge at home from a Solar installation on your roof. Lets face it, most of us go out to work and need to charge at night. Naturally you could install solar and a bank of Tesla Powerwalls but that not really cost-effective at the moment. We use Bulb as our energy suppler and our current night tariff is just 6.62p per kWh.
Check Your Energy Tariff
You should do a home energy check up using a site like GoCompare or Compare the Market to see who is offering the best tariff. Defiantly consider getting an Economy 7 meter installed. Do the comparison using your real consumption as it is now. Don't guess the extra you'll be using with an electric car, in real terms it won't be much more, your just switching it from petrol or diesel to electricity and an electric car is around 60-70% more efficient.
Then try Bulb using our link below as your going to get £50 account credit and £50 credit for anyone you could recommend that joins. With millions of people in the UK that's a lot of people to convince to join and get £50 credit a time for. They'll also pay any exit fees from your old suppler.
The Maths Bit - This is an estimate based on a Tesla Model S 60 with a battery size of 60.0kWh. Charging from 1% to 100%, using a total of 59.4kWh. At a maximum (AC) charge acceptance rate using a Type 2 (IEC 62196) charge outlet of 7.3kW at 90% efficiency. For range, we use manufacturer EPA ratings. Electric range for this Tesla Model S 60 of 210 miles. The theoretical speed is 8 hours and 9 minutes, however our estimate is based on the charging becoming slower the more charged the battery is. This estimate should be closer to the speed you can expect to get out in the real world.
The cost is £3.92 at 6.62p per kWh. How many Petrol or Diesel cars can do 210 miles at a cost of less that £4. At 50mpg a petrol or diesel car would cost over £4.00 to do 50 miles. That's a massive 75% fuel cost reduction.
No Off Road Parking At Home?
Okay, so if you live in a block of flats or park on the street you can't really dangle a cable across a public footpath to charge. However you can get a grant to install a charger at work. Car sale teams shoulf be able to help you with this. It's called the Workplace Charging Scheme.
Cost Of Charging On The Road.
Public re-charging varies massively from network to network, but with careful planning you can do it for as little as possible or even free. We've mentioned the Tesla Supercharger network which gives you 60o kWH or in real terms about 1000 miles depending on how heavy your right foot is, free per year or totally free if you use this link to buy your new or inventory Tesla.
There are also networks such a Pod Point and EcoTricity which charge you an admin free and or per kWH of energy used. Some networks are app based, some are RF card based. There are also new electricity supplier tariffs that include membership of public charging networks all bundled in the cost.
We don't do much public charging, so we have stayed away from these tariffs and went with Bulb which works out cheaper for us and uses renewable "green" energy power generation.
Charging While You Shop.
Supermarkets and retail parks are now installing charging points in their car parks so you can "top up" while you shop. These are not parking spaces, but charging spaces and should be only used if needed and vacated when finished. There is even an app call Charge Bump to inform other EV drivers you need to charge.
You can find it in the Apple App Store or Google play. All you do is install the app, register your car reg, and then wait for a bump notice, or bump another driver using their reg plate. It's so simple and free.
We get the same question time after time. What you do you do if you run out? Well the answer is simple, it's like a conventionally fuelled car, you fill it up, but with electrons not fluids. The simple fact is with an electric car you can "refuel" at home every night, this gives you a battery full of electrons every day. Naturally this gives you max range every day. If you do get low on a trip you charge up just like refuelling you normal car, but a little slower. Charging speeds are increasing as the technology advances.
EV's now capable of over 200 miles, that's near three hours driving at motorway speeds you should be taking a break anyway, so pulling in to a charge point and taking a break and charging the car is really no problem.
Buying Your New Electric Car.
There are now various ways of buying any car on the market, but there is one way that makes dealers come to you. They literally compete for your business. You may have heard of CARWOW. Carwow is the new way to buy a new car. Dealers quote you their best price on a vehicle whilst competing against each other. You're going to get a few quotes for the same make and model car but from different dealers at vastly different prices. The only draw back is they may not be local. However what's better than a road trip in a nice new car?
We have tried Carwow and received offers with massive discounts on various cars. Much better than anything we could get in a dealer showroom. It's free and could save you thousands. Try Carwow, and as they say, car buying with you in the driving seat.
One brand you won't find on Carwow is TESLA. This is due to Tesla owning all their showrooms and gallery stores. In-fact, if you visit Tesla you won't buy the car in a conventional manor, you'll be invited to sign up to the design studio to try different configuration's of your new car without committing on the internet. You can try it right now on and use our referral to get free Supercharging and money off. Tesla say they don't discount their cars, but we know that at coming up to each quarter end there are deals to be hand on inventory cars. So do try it out at your local showroom and give the sales person this code nigel5844 to get £750 off (}only until 31st October 2017) and free supercharging (up to Dec 31st 2017).