Electric driving? It’s the future!
Ready to buy your first electric car? You’re about to experience the ultimate in driving comfort. Since there's no noisy fuel engine under the bonnet, an electric vehicle (EV) is very pleasant to drive. The traditional gearbox is also a thing of the past, making it easier than ever to accelerate.
Whereas there was only a handful of models to choose from a few years ago, today's manufacturers now offer electric vehicles in virtually every price range. And there are often different versions of the same model available with different battery sizes. Of course, that doesn't make it any easier to choose.
What should you base your decision on when deciding which EV is right for you? Your budget is one thing, but also make sure to consider your usage profile and car characteristics. One model may charge faster than the other, for example. Here are a few things that should absolutely be considered.
What to consider when choosing an EV
- Battery size and range
The larger the battery, the further you can drive in theory. However, keep in mind that a high-performance battery also needs more time to recharge. This is compensated in part by the fact that you need to charge less often.
- On-board charger
A normal charging station or wallbox provides an alternating current. How much power your car can pull in depends on your EV’s on-board charger. It must convert the alternating current into a direct current for your battery. Some on-board chargers can only handle a regular alternating current, so they are limited to 7.4 kW. Others are suitable for three-phase power and can reach 11 kW or even 22 kW, greatly reducing the charging time.
- Fast charging power
A rapid charger runs on DC power and can charge the battery directly without using the on-board charger. The bigger the battery, the greater the power used to charge it. Nowadays, 100 kW is quite common. Some cheaper cars are limited to 50 kW, while more expensive models can handle 200 kW or even 300 kW.
- Heat pump
Some models come with a heat pump, while others offer this as an extra or simply do not have the option. A heat pump can save a lot of energy, especially in extreme temperatures.
- Smart regeneration
Recovering energy when coasting or braking significantly increases the driving range. Some cars are so smart that they proactively regenerate energy, such as when you drive around a roundabout, turn or approach a vehicle in front or you.
- Charging cables
Some electric cars come with charging cables, while others do not. If a charging cable is included, it is usually for a wallbox or regular public charging station (type 2, also known as Mennekes). If you want to use a standard wall socket, you need a mobile home charger with a conventional household plug (Schuko). This is usually available as an extra. And a fast-charge cable? It's always attached to the charging station itself.
Most EVs have a feature that allows you to programme the charging sessions, so that your car charges when power is cheapest. This feature can be controlled via the infotainment screen, but can also often be found in the specific vehicle app. You can also preheat your car while charging. This will save the battery life and, consequently, valuable kilometres.
- Battery guarantee
You don't need to worry about premature battery degradation because most manufacturers offer an eight-year guarantee. Some brands offer as many as ten years.
Most electric vehicles are powered by the rear wheels. Some have four-wheel drive, which ensures optimal grip. Other EVs have front-wheel drive. There are pros and cons to each type.
- Towing ability
Most EVs can transport bicycles on a carrier system for the hitch, but if you want to tow a trailer, it is advisable to check the allowable tow weight.