Five questions to ask yourself before purchasing an electric car

Electric cars are continuing to grow in popularity, with more people thinking green and wanting to reduce their carbon footprint.

An electric car plugged in to charge

But before you find out how much your car is worth and sell it in favour of a plug in electric car, ask yourself these five questions to find out if it is practical for your lifestyle:

What are the overall benefits of electric cars?

First things first, you should look at how much of an impact driving an electric car can have on both the planet, and your wallet!

Electric cars can help reduce emissions, and although may cost more money from the outset than fossil fuelled cars, they will save you money in the long run in fuel and maintenance costs.

Electric cars are also heavily discounted on the used market, so if you cannot afford to buy a brand new model, you can probably pick up a second hand EV for a decent price. The number of EVs on the roads continues to rise as more people seek a greener way of life, as well ways of saving money over the long term.

How far do you drive on a daily basis?

Mileage is something you should consider before you pick an electric vehicle, because you have to keep in mind the distance you can cover in between chargers.

You may only have to travel a short distance from your house to work, but if your lifestyle involves a lot of running around, your average daily mileage may well increase. For example, you may be a parent who does the school run every day, which would add a significant amount of miles onto your car each day.

Take a look at the number of miles you travel each day, match them up with the listed range of different EVs and decide from there if your driving pattern fits in with the range restrictions posed by electric cars.

Do you have access to a charger?

Whilst you look at whether your daily mileage fits in with the EV restrictions, you should also look at how accessible a charging point is to you. If you are fully committed to the electric car lifestyle, you could think about installing a charging point in your home, which can greatly reduce the charging point of your car.

Just keep in mind if you rent your property that a home charging point might not be an option. Speak to your landlord first about getting permission for a charger and how the electricity bill will be dealt with.

What is the weather and geography like where you live?

Electric cars work perfectly fine in colder temperatures, but it is worth noting that their range will drop. Electric car fleet management company Fleet Carma looked at trips made in the Nissan Leaf in cold weather, and found the range dropped from 80 miles to 50-60 miles.

However, it is worth noting that fossil fuel powered cars will also suffer a drop in fuel efficiency of up to 20% when it is cold.

It is also worth looking into the terrain of where you live. Electric cars work best where it is flat, and driving an electric car regularly in hilly areas can be taxing on the car, diminishing its overall range over time.

Do you regularly take long road trips?

In years gone by, taking a long trip in an electric car would not have been an option. However, the increase in public charging stations has allowed electric road trips to be a thing.

However, it is worth noting that your road trips won’t be all that spontaneous anymore, as you’ll have to carefully plan your route to determine if there are charging stations that you will pass along the way. You will also need to account for the time it takes the car the charge once you have arrived at said station.

There are websites out there where you can find out the location of charging stations along your road trip route, helping you to plan your stops. Just make sure you account for the added weight in your car and how that will affect your mileage, should you be accompanied by other people on your journey!