What to look for when buying an electric car?

Buying an electric vehicle is not something to be done lightly. Basically, the same thing that happens when buying a motor car. Or a house. It is a high expense that requires time and dedication in search of the car model that you want or need according to your needs.

Once you have opted for the electric vehicle instead of gasoline, diesel or hybrid engines, it is time to think about several aspects to take into account before the purchase. To begin with, the autonomy you need for your day to day. Or for the use that you are going to give it. Is it to go to work? Or to work? Are you going to use it over the weekend? Short or long distances? Is there a good charging network where you live?

Of course, there are many things to consider when purchasing a vehicle. Electric or not. The size of the trunk, the number and type of seats available, the security systems, the comforts such as screens and support for Android or iPhone, the design of the chassis… But, apart from the usual aspects, let’s focus on several considerations that specifically concern an electric car.

What autonomy do you need

It is the main fear that we can have when buying an electric vehicle. Will I have to spend all day plugging it in? Will it hold me all week? Autonomy is one of the most important aspects in any means of transport. Whether gasoline, diesel or electric.

And in this sense, it will not be the same if you are going to use the electric car every day to go to your workplace, if you are going to use it as a work tool on constant trips or if you simply need it for occasional trips during the weekend.

There are electric vehicles designed exclusively for the urban environment. Practically all. But more and more models with greater autonomy abound. So if you are going to make a long trip you should take this type of model into account. Especially if you will not be able to go to charging points frequently.

To give you an idea. A Tesla Model 3 has a range of up to 626 kilometers. A BMW i4, up to 590 kilometers. A KIA EV6, up to 528 kilometers. A Polestar 2, up to 551 kilometers. A Hyundai Ioniq 5, up to 507 kilometers. And a smart #1, up to 440 kilometers of autonomy.

Charging points wherever you go

If you are going to buy an electric vehicle, along with autonomy, the second most important aspect to take into account is whether and where you can recharge it.

The good news is that you can check where you will find charging points on different websites. The most popular are Electromaps, Carwow and Wenea. You can also take a look at Tesla’s supercharger map. There are some that you can use even if you do not have a vehicle of their brand. With these maps you will be able to get an idea of whether you will be able to charge your car away from home or if you will have to do it overnight. And they will be useful for planning longer trips.

Are you going to load it in your garage space?

Related to the previous point, the third aspect to consider before buying an electric vehicle has to do with where you are going to park it. Do you have your own private garage? Do you park it in a community garage space? In both cases, you will have to make some adaptations in order to be able to charge your car when you are not using it.

Although it is possible to connect an electric car to the current with the cable that comes by default, or the corresponding adapter, whether you have your own garage or if you park in a parking space, you should install a car charger. Although you have to carry out prior paperwork, especially if it is a community car park, there are more and more facilities to get with it. There are even dealers who advise and offer this type of service. And although it will mean an additional expense, you will end up amortizing it.

What kind of electric vehicle do you want?

This point is a bit of a departure from buying an electric vehicle itself, as it’s the same problem any car buyer will have. At present, there are many kinds of electric. Urban, compact, 4×4, SUV type… Each one is designed for a different type of user.

To the power, the estimated autonomy and the price, we must add the number of seats, the size of the trunk, if you are going to use it alone or to take your whole family, if you are going to limit yourself to driving around your city or metropolitan area or you are going to make long trips… To which must be added benefits, consumption, etc.

Budget, grants and offers

But it is useless to plan the four previous points if you cannot afford it. Precisely, one of the aspects that still pulls back some consumers is that buying an electric vehicle is sometimes somewhat expensive. In reality, the sector in general has experienced a rise in prices. More features, larger models, various automatisms… But that is not consoling to those who have a limited budget.

Buying an electric vehicle, or a car in general – whether it is more sustainable or not – requires spending a lot of time looking at makes and models. But it does not hurt to think about an initial budget. A minimum and a maximum that we can spend on our electric car. Then we’ll see if we have to adjust it based on the market.

To this must be added the usual discounts, offers and subsidies. The dealers themselves usually advise on the matter, but it is convenient to know what subsidy plan we can use to reduce the final price of the vehicle.