How to choose the right electric car for your needs

With the government announcing an outright ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, we will all be driving an EV soon enough. 

But how do you know what type of electric car will suit you and your driving needs? In this EV Blocks post, we explore all the variables to consider before you jump in and make that exciting purchase.

Does your EV need a huge range?

Battery capacity and therefore range was once the primary concern of new EV buyers. But that range anxiety should no longer be such a concern, at least for most regular drivers. The average UK drive is 20 miles daily, and all EVs can shoulder that, taking in a nightly charge to top up the battery levels. If you’ll regularly be pushing past the 200-mile mark, though, you’ll need to take that into consideration. Most EVs offer something between 100 and 300 miles, so do your homework.

What about charging?

Leading on from your range query should be a consideration of your charging priorities. Whilst some cars can regain their charge quickly (the Tesla Model 3 for example can charge 15 miles per minute, and the Porsche Taycan 15.5 miles per minute) – these figures often rely on super-fast charging. The Tesla Model 3 will take 24-36 hours to fully charge on a 3-pin home plug.

Another consideration regarding charging is what sort of charge your EV needs. Depending on what level of charge your EV can take, you’ll need to find a charger that supports ultra-rapid, rapid, fast, or slow charging.

Rapid chargers use direct current (DC). Rated at 50kW, they will typically refill your EVs battery to 80% in around 40 minutes, depending on your model. These are common at motorway service stations. This RAC article counted 3,691 DC chargepoints in the UK as of August 2021.

Ultra-rapid DC chargers are typically rated at 100kW or more, and even 350KW chargers are starting to appear on the market. These can refill an EV battery to 80% in only 20 minutes. These are less commonly found, but tend to be found most readily at motorway service stations.

Fast chargers meanwhile are what people tend to have fit at home. Offering 7-22kW, fast chargers are most commonly AC. These chargers are found in public too, with Zap Map noting these as the most commonly found charger in the UK. At 7kW, this will refill our EV in 6-8hours, whilst a 22kW charge will take around 3 hours.

Finally, a slow charger offers up to 6kW. These include 3-pin 3kW charge points. These are useful only if you’re staying somewhere without a charge point overnight, for example, as they’re only recommended for emergency use (and never using an extension lead). Slow chargers will take around 12 hours to recharge a battery, but as mentioned earlier that is highly dependent on model, as newer models with higher range (and ultra-rapid charging facility) like the Tesla Model S will take 1-1.5 to recharge using this method.

Thinking about EV prices…

Price is absolutely a consideration for most EV purchasers. The cheapest EV on the market currently is the Skoda CITIGOe at only £15,000. Quite a few models come in at the £16,000 mark, too. At the other end of the scale, the BMW iX comes in at around the £77,000 mark, £110,000 for a Mercedes EQS or the Audi e-tron GT for around £105,000.  There is some government support currently for investing in an EV though – up to £1500 off the purchase price – and support for installing a charge in your home, offering 75% or £350 (inc VAT) towards the price of installation.

Size matters: EVs and space

Many EVs benefit from more storage space, as there isn’t an engine to fit under the bonnet! This is all the more true now that EVs are being designed as fully electric models from the ground up – not just re-utilising the space set aside in designing the comparable ICE models. The sizeable battery has to go somewhere though, so make sure it suits how you’ll use your car. Some have smaller boot space because the battery is there, whilst others keep the battery below the floor. The Renault Zoe hatchback offers 338 litres of bootspace, for example, whilst the smaller Honda e offers up only 171 litres.

EV Blocks offers a revolutionary charging system for EVs. Find out if we can help you with charger installation today.

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