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5 things to consider before buying an electric car

We’ve come a long way from the first petrol fuelled car. With the popular Toyota Prius hybrid bridging the gap, and now big names like Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi offering fully electric cars, it’s no surprise that brands like Tesla – who are dedicated to providing you solely with electric vehicles – are now thriving. With such a rapid advancement in recent years, it seems only right that we explore what factors you should consider before buying an electric car.

BMW i3  Front Left

BMW i3 electric car / Photo credit

1. Is an electric car for you?

It’s important to know whether going electric is suitable for your lifestyle before digging any deeper into the owning and running of an electric car. Charging an electric car requires access to off street parking – so as long as you have a garage or a drive, then you will have ample space to house an electric car charging point. Although you can apply for the local installation of one if you do not have these facilities, there is no guarantee that one will be made available, or how close it will be to your home.

2. Pricing

If you’ve made the decision that electric is a viable option for you, then knowing expenses will probably be your next priority. When it comes to buying an electric car, the initial price may seem high, but is reflected in how much you’ll save in the long run. However, even for initial costs, government grants are available. If eligible, you could receive a 25% grant off the original price, which is set to change to 35% from April 1st, 2015. As long as the car is new and meets CO2 emission requirements of 75g/km or less, you could qualify to save a significant sum. Full electric cars must have at least a 70 mile range, while hybrids must have at least 10. All cars must also be able to reach 60mph to qualify. Eligibility will continue until 50,000 grants have been issued, or until the end of the budget period.

3. Running Costs

Among the many advantages of electric cars, the relatively low running cost probably ranks the highest. Averaging only 3p a mile once fully charged, and with no congestion charges when in London or any road tax to pay, drivers can make savings of thousands of pounds a year. Free parking perks are also available in certain locations, and servicing and maintenance costs are usually very minimal due to the reliable construction of the vehicle.

4. Potential Concerns

As with any innovative technology, people often have reservations or anxieties about potential issues. As long as you prepare for the running of your electric vehicle effectively, you shouldn’t encounter any problems. Charging points when on the road are readily available throughout the capital, and though lesser outside of London, are also located up and down the UK. A full charge of an electric car lasts an average of 100 miles, and with 95% of drivers’ journeys clocking up far less than this, running out of charge is unlikely to be a problem.

5. Charging your Electric Car

Most people will charge their electric car overnight, with a slow charge usually taking between 6-8 hours. If you ever need to charge your electric car when on the road, there are two more suitable settings available. Fast charge can recharge models in as little as 3 hours, but if you’re in a real rush then rapid charging can provide up to 80% charge in only half an hour. Not all models support rapid charging.

Decision Time

Now that you know the most important electric car facts, you can decide if owning one is for you. Driving an electric car is certainly a different experience to a fuel operated car – in more ways than one – but it is slowly becoming a much more common alternative, and for good reason. For financial as well as economic benefits, check out https://www.nextgreencar.com/electric-cars/buying-guide/ today to get one step closer to going green on the road.

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