Things To Know Before Buying an Electric Vehicle

With the Government’s planned schedule for all new cars and vans to be completely electric by 2035 and the increase in popularity of electric vehicles, there’s never been a better time to weigh up whether to make the switch to electric sooner rather than later.

When electric cars (EVs) were first released, they were slow, underpowered, and lacked the battery capacity for longer trips. Alongside the premium price tag, these problems resulted in many customers losing interest and buying petrol or diesel vehicles instead. Since then, vehicle makers from all around the world have advanced their manufacturing processes and improved on existing technology. The results of these improvements are electric vehicles that can travel hundreds of miles off one charge.

EVs are generally more expensive to buy, and with the added costs of installing a charge point and the cost of energy in a cost of living crisis can deter people from switching. However, despite the initial higher costs of purchasing an electric vehicle, it can be more cost effective in the long run.

If you’re thinking about changing your car or van and going electric, there are things you should consider.

Know your budget
Once you know what you want and need from an EV, you‘ll still need to find something within your budget. But, when you’re thinking about the long-term value for money, it could pay to think beyond the initial price.
Total cost of ownership (TCO) factors in the costs of running and maintaining the electric vehicle. EVs tend to cost a bit more upfront than petrol or diesel vehicles, but can be cheaper to run day-to-day, particularly when it comes to saving on fuel.

Maintenance on a petrol or diesel car isn’t cheap. There are numerous moving parts that must be repaired on a regular basis, including brakes, tyres, oil changes, radiator fluids, and other annual maintenance. In an electric vehicle, it is as simple as “less is more.” Tyres serve as the main contributor in an EV when it comes to regular maintenance costs, needing to be rotated roughly every six months. Having a battery as the only propulsion system rather than the multiple propulsion systems typically found in an internal combustion engine (ICE) saves electric vehicle drivers twice the amount as ICE vehicle owners in maintenance and repairs. When it comes to annual maintenance, EVs have proven to be far less expensive to operate.

Research all your charging options
Charging your electric vehicle requires more than simply plugging it into an outlet. There are different types of chargers – Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3, with vastly different rates of charge times. Level 3 chargers are known as DC fast chargers, though not all EVs have the capability to receive high output from some stations. You need to consider which type of electric vehicle is best for you. For example, if you need a car or van that will be able to stay on the road for long stretches, you will need a Level 3 charger. Although Level 2 chargers are more common, they do not have the speed of fast charge technology.

If you’re in no hurry to get back on the road, plugging an EV into a Level 1 charger usually takes up to 24 hours or longer to fully charge the battery. Some owners who use their electric vehicles for short trips around town find Level 1 charging is suitable for replenishing the battery overnight at home.

Insuring an EV
When it comes to insuring any vehicle, no matter how it is powered, the principles are the same. However, because electric vehicles are newer, insurance quotes for them may be higher than for petrol or diesel vehicles. The specialised parts needed to repair EVs can be expensive, and they may require specialist mechanics to fit them. Unfortunately, this is something that can increase your insurance premium.

If you own an electric car, it’s important you get the right insurance and breakdown policy, so you know you’re financially covered in case of unforeseen events. Choosing the right insurance broker to help you find the most beneficial cover can take the hassle away for you.

Electric vehicles are far more energy efficient (85–90% efficient) than petrol or diesel vehicles (17–21%), which means that they use less energy to get you from A to B. Less energy used means less energy produced, which in turn means fewer CO2 emissions from non-renewable energy sources and the wider energy supply chain.

However, the efficiency of electric vehicles can vary in colder weather. It can affect the performance of an EV battery, causing it to lose some of its energy storage capacity. This means that the range of an EV may decrease in colder temperatures, and drivers may need to recharge more frequently. Using the heating system to warm up the interior of the car and defrost the windshield can use up more energy and reduce the range of an EV.

While EV efficiency may be impacted by cold weather in the UK, it is still a viable and efficient option for transportation, especially as infrastructure and technology continue to improve.

If you are thinking of switching to an electric fleet, or already use EVs for your fleet, 1st Choice can provide you with insurance quotes and compare policies best suited for your business. If you have any questions or would like any more information, give our expert team a call on 01743 770500 or fill out our get a quote form here.