What should I consider when buying an EV? 

Electric vehicles (EVs) are now common and there’s a wide range of vehicle types and styles, both new and used.

The main factors you need to consider are range, charging options, a hybrid or fully electric vehicle, budget, and vehicle size. 


Your requirements

Can you find an EV that has all the right qualities, and remains affordable? Fortunately, there are used car dealerships and financing options to help you pay for your dream EV along with the cost of running it.

Your budget and annual mileage prediction will inform your purchase decision so it’s worth thinking through what your household requires. A solo driver may have very different needs than a family with three small children. Because EVs have no central transmission column and no engine, this creates a good amount of room for its passengers, both in seating and storage space. 

Battery ranges vary by model and manufacturer so your purchase will need to suit your individual requirements. In this way, your considerations around use and mileage are the same you would make for a petrol or diesel vehicle.  

You may also consider going fully electric for reasons of emissions reduction and cost efficiency.

Hybrid EVs may attract more costs than full electrics – hybrids are not exempt from London’s daily ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) fee, for example – but overall there are still cost efficiencies to be found when evaluating hybrids against petrol and diesel vehicles. 


Technical considerations

It’s worth measuring a typical day and week’s driving, to make sure you select a vehicle with sufficient range. EVs can manage between 100 and 300 miles per charge.

While public charging facilities are becoming more common in towns and cities, more rural communities could prove challenging. Could you fit a charging point at home? Does your workplace provide charging facilities?  Speak to your electricity supplier to see how they could help you.

There are several different types of EV, including hybrid models that incorporate an additional liquid fuel tank, and fully electric vehicles which must be plugged in to recharge their batteries.