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Which electric car is right for you?

Tyler Heatley

16 Feb 2021

Is now the time to take the leap and go electric? It’s a brave new world, and finding the right EV for you can be a minefield. Here’s our guide to getting the right electric car for you.

The UK is quickly approaching its self-appointed target of only selling electric cars by 2030, and while ambitious, the uptake of EVs is gaining momentum. There’s now a wide range of electric models in showrooms, all capable of fitting into your everyday driving habits thanks to improvements in battery and charging technologies. There are still some instances where EV ownership might not be right for you, but looking at the behaviour of the average commute, the cars are ready.

If you’re ready to go electric, here’s a guide to make sure you find the car that’s right for you.

If the price is right

One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to electric car ownership is actually purchasing the car itself. There’s no two ways around it, electric cars are much more costly than their combustion counterparts. Why? It’s a combination of new technologies and the fact that makers of petrol-powered machines enjoy huge economies of scale. As EV ownership scales upwards, prices will begin to fall.

At this point in time things remain a bit pricey, but then the cost of buying is somewhat offset by fuel and tax savings. A petrol Peugeot 2008 compact SUV starts at just over £21k, while an e2008 is £33,680. Paying monthly for the car helps spread the costs, but having a healthy budget for a new EV helps.

The government are keen to get people into electric cars, and while the grant is not as substantial as it used to be, you can get £3,000 off a new EV. We all love a saving, and this might just be the incentive needed to get more electric cars on the road. Be sure to check if the manufacturer has already included the grant in its pricing, some do and some don’t, making things confusing at times.

All shapes and sizes

the next part of the process is just like buying any other car based upon your needs. There’s no point opting for a Smart EV if you need to transport four and a dog. In this regard have think about how much space you need and what you primarily use your car for.

For city living, something compact like the new electric Fiat 500 or quirky Honda E might be ideal. If you need a little more space, the well-established Renault Zoe or new Peugeot e208 might fit the bill. Given the budget, a Tesla Model 3 is a proven allrounder with excellent onboard technology and range. If it’s some family space you’re after, something like the Kia e-Niro or MG 5 SW EV might tick those boxes.

Just because you’re buying electric doesn’t mean you are restricted, and with more models added every year, choice is only set to expand into the future.

Charging and range

Another stumbling block for new EV buyers to overcome is charging. If you have a driveway it’s a particularly sunny forecast for you. Plugging in to a home charger (many are free with a new car) overnight will see you start each day with 100% – just as you do a smartphone. The range of almost all EVs is more than enough to cover the average commute, so no worries there.

Things become harder if you don’t have off-street parking as you’ll have to rely upon public chargers. Tesla has a great network that’s rapid and reliable, however, other manufacturers don’t have access to this. The charging infrastructure in the UK is the real weak link in the chain at the moment, but the government has pledged to install many more chargers by 2030. It’s worth checking how close chargers are to you, or if your place of work has any if you can’t charge at home.

As mentioned, most EVs have plenty of range to cover the commute, but it’s well worth taking a look at the Tesla Model 3 Long Range for a sensible car with up to 360 miles per charge.

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Tyler Heatley

16 Feb 2021