There are a few details that you will find out about electric vehicles only once you start driving EVs and live with them.
Here are some of the basics and tips that every prospective EV owner should know and understand before selecting one and having an enjoyable experience.
- Real-life Range
Range is the most important thing an EV buyer looks into a vehicle before buying.
Even though range figures provided by manufacturers might tempt you into buying their vehicle. most of the time, these values are not the real life range figures and would be quite difficult to achieve in city conditions.
the range figures advertised by manufacturers are usually calculated by testing the vehicle on a straight open road, without any slope. thus you get good ranges.
So, Whenever buying an EV, always assume the Real world range to be around 40% lower than the range advertised
- Energy Consumption
Normal petrol or diesel vehicles that you are very familiar with and have mostly used over the years use more fuel in city driving than on highways, usually because of constantly stopping and accelerating. i.e fuel consumption is high in city driving in petrol/diesel vehicles.
So you might think that this is the same with electric vehicles aswell. but that is not true,
With Electric vehicles. it’s the complete opposite. you will get higher mileage and lower energy consumption in city driving because, with petrol vehicles you need to keep your engine running even when you stop. but in EVs the electric motor can stop and start on command and go without wasting any energy when standing still.
Plus, an electric vehicle also produces a energy and recharges the battery whenever the vehicle slows down with a method called “Regenerative braking” making the vehicle great for city driving.
- EV Vehicles Have Great Acceleration
This is true. Almost all electric cars and some high power 2 wheelers have amazing acceleration that can beat any petrol vehicle in a standing race.
This is because, the motor can put out all of it’s torque at zero RPMs while petrol engines need to be revved up to a certain RPM to get optimum torque and acceleration
- Potentially Expensive Maintenance
Partially true. Since Electric vehicles are currently in their nascent stage of development and are still growing in demand. costs to procure spare parts gets high if you incur a damage.
The maintenance cost on the other hand would be very negligible, because unlike Petrol/Diesel vehicles EVs don’t have a lot of maintenance needed thus saving you a lot of money.
but if you do incur a damage to your vehicle. it is very advisable to get insured. you could go through our how-to guide about selecting insurance for EVs to understand and make better decisions.
This is a Huge concern aswell that ties up with the Range issues. Due to very different Ranges among different EVs, plus different standards of charging connectors. you will need to look for EVs that have or support charging stations near your residence or workplace.
if you plan to go long distances with EVs you might need to wait a bit longer or select vehicles with higher range and that have onboard chargers, this will let you go longer distances and also charge anywhere you want without depending on charging stations.
- Electric Vehicles Are Costly
Partially True, Electric vehicles compared to their similar petrol/diesel versions are a bit more expensive this is partly due to the cost of getting the batteries for the car.
But with time. cost of batteries is reducing and will keep reducing with time and might even make buying EVs become cheaper than buying a petrol vehicle.
- Electric Cars Are Surprisingly Easy to Drive
Even though electric cars or bikes seem to have cutting edge technology. they work just like your smartphone are quite intuitive, they don’t have confusing gears or a clutch. they only have 2 pedals.
One pedal to accelerate and another pedal to stop. and most models are equipped with modern systems like adaptive cruise control, autonomous driving, emergency braking, etc. Not to mention that they are very quiet and have good handling.
Electric vehicles are a peace of mind to drive or ride.
- The Range Can Be Affected by Cold Weather
Just like Petrol vehicles, freezing temperatures can be problematic for electric vehicles
Since lithium batteries all EVs use don’t like the cold. In fact, low temperatures make the battery less efficient it will drain much faster than normal. In some cases, even 40% faster, which is alarmingly high.
Not to mention that in cold weather, cars use more energy to warm the interior, unfreeze the windows, and heat the seats. This means that your range is much smaller, and you will need to charge the car more often.
- Some Models Have Low Top Speed
Although we might see many videos of Electric cars giving unbelievable amounts of accelerations and thrill. they unfortunately do not have high top-speed.
This is partly due to the lack of a gearbox and the RPM limit of electric motors. they cannot be revved more than what they are designed to be. at higher RPMs motors loose torque, thus loosing top-speed.
So, do not expect to have high top-speeds if you plan to buy a urban electric vehicle.
- Consider Investing in Home Charger
One of the best ways to keep your electric vehicle constantly charged is by getting a home charging system.
If you live in a house, you can plug-in your vehicle at night and have it fully charged in the morning. This way, you are pretty much independent and can live away from urban areas and charging stations. you can get a cheap and affordable Home charging system from Charzer, they have pretty much everything you would need plus smartphone app support. Getting a home charger or a charging adapter will give you important peace of mind.
Image by Ola electric