There are many ways we can do our bit to help the planet. And some of these methods come with the added benefit of making our own lives easier as well. One such example is purchasing an electric vehicle.
Switching to this environmentally friendly alternative for your daily commute is a commendable change. Not only will you be able to save potentially thousands of dollars in petrol prices throughout owning that EV, but you’ll also be able to prevent thousands of kilograms of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere. These key benefits are precisely what’s inspiring so many drivers to make the switch from combustion engines to hybrid and electric vehicles.
It’s important to note, however, that switching to an EV still requires some lifestyle adjustments. That’s why we’ve written this guide on what you need to know before purchasing your EV, so you can make a fully informed decision about whether or not an electric vehicle is the right green investment for you at this point. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know before buying your first EV.
Consider your finance options
EVs do tend to cost a little more than traditional cars, but luckily there are plenty of electric vehicle car loans out there to help you sustainably fund this green investment. Before locking into any vehicle purchase, compare what deals are available to you, and think about whether you’d like to save a bit more money by buying a used EV. Naturally, buying a secondhand EV will help reduce your loan rate if you’re looking to take out a smaller loan over a shorter loan period.
Do remember that whilst EV vehicles may have a higher upfront cost, they tend to be lower maintenance and with lower running costs. All of this will factor into the total cost of EV ownership, so don’t be deterred by higher-than-average dealership prices.
Work out which EV model is the best option for you
Whilst an EV sedan may sound like a good idea for the eco-conscious driver, it may not be a suitable vehicle option for larger families right now – and that’s okay. You should find an EV model that can accommodate your lifestyle and the needs of your household. Thankfully, there are plenty of 7-seater EVs available on the market today, so be sure to compare these EV models and their price points when finding the right vehicle for you and your family.
Another particularly common factor for Aussie families is the battery capacity for EVs. Unlike cars that run on petrol or diesel, an EV’s maximum distance is limited to how far it can go on a single charge. There will be some variation by make and model, but you will have to work out in advance if your commute, required passenger capacity, and other daily driving requirements are feasible with your shortlisted EV models.
You won’t be able to guarantee access to charging stations and EV-friendly parking spots, so it’s important to also look into where all the closest public charging stations are to your home, office, your kid’s schools, and any other area in your locale where you can expect to spend a good chunk of time.
Installing a home charging station
More likely than not, you’ll need to install a home charging station for your car, and that will involve two things: more money, and extra space requirements. Factor in the cost of installing your charging point into the cost of buying the car, as it’s important to ensure you have a place where you can regularly get back to a ‘full tank’, especially if there are no local charging stations near your home. You may need to install an additional electrical power output or consider installing solar panels to cover your increased electricity usage.
This means you’ll also need to take into consideration its size and appearance. Make sure your drive is big enough for the physical infrastructure, and you may need to have some discussions as to whether it’s going to dramatically affect the aesthetic of the front of your house. Before deciding your heart is set on a specific model, think about your charging requirements. For example, if fast charging times are a priority for you, you may have to use this as a filter when browsing. Again, a lot of car retailers and manufacturers know that battery life is an important specification for EV shoppers, so filtering your search to prioritise battery capacity shouldn’t be an issue.
Some governments offer incentives for EVs
Due to their commitment to reducing harmful pollutants in the atmosphere, some local governments may offer incentives such as tax credits, rebates, or other financial benefits for those seeking to buy electric vehicles. This can make them significantly more attractive to buyers and save you some extra dollars. With that, be sure to look into any government incentives that are available to you as a prospective EV driver.
It’s also worth mentioning that there may also be incentives available for drivers looking to invest in home-charging stations. More EV drivers ensure that Australia’s collective Co2 emissions decline, so it’s in the government’s best interests to provide financial support for EV drivers who have the space to charge their vehicles at home. So scout online and see what incentives are available to you before you proceed with your EV purchase.
Test-drive before you buy
As with any car, it’s important to get on the road and test the model you’re interested in before committing to it. Don’t neglect the influence a test drive can have. It should be the final but crucial step in your purchasing decision, especially when driving a new type of car like an EV. It may take some getting used to, or you may try it out and decide it’s not for you.
Either way, a test drive is an absolute must, and having a representative from the company in the car with you will be particularly helpful for answering any questions that pop up during the experience.
Like any significant purchase, it’s always a good idea to spend a lot of time researching and looking into all relevant facts and figures before you commit. That way, when you do make a decision, you can feel confident knowing it’s the right one. And the same goes for purchasing your first EV.