What First Electric Car to Choose: Our Expert Guide
Electric vehicles (EVs) have increased in popularity over recent years, offering an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional gasoline vehicles. When you consider buying or leasing your first Electric Car, there are essential factors to consider ensuring it is the right choice for you. This guide will walk you through the crucial aspects of EV ownership, from understanding the different types of electric vehicles to considering charging options and incentives.
1. What EV Car Size is Right for You?
Selecting the right car size, particularly when considering your first electric vehicle, involves understanding the various body styles available and how they align with your personal needs and preferences. Whether you have a family or prefer range over spacious comfort will have an effect on your Ev choice. Here are the benefits that come with different size choices and our recommendations.
The small but smart choice
Small Electric Vehicles have been identified as a beneficial component in urban traffic due to their positive impact on land usage, energy consumption, and air quality. The reduction in stationary traffic, their light weight, and low operating costs make these EVs an attractive option.
The cost of these EVs varies depending on the type of vehicle. In general they are less expensive and have lower operating costs than traditional electric vehicles (EVs), but can be more expensive than e-scooters, bicycles, and some second-hand cars. We, at Cardino, have delved deeper into the matter. If you’re ready to become an expert on small EVs click here.
Our Example: 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV
- Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive
- Seats: 5
- EPA Range: 416 km
- Battery Capacity: 65 kWh
- Charging Time (240V): 7.5 hours
- Cost to Drive: €80/month (compared to € 170/month average car)
- Features: Heated Front Seats, Back-Up Camera, Apple CarPlay, Blind Spot Monitor, etc.
The Chevrolet Bolt EV is a good example of a small EV with its compact design, efficient use of energy, and lower operating costs compared to average cars. Despite its smaller size, it offers a considerable range and modern features that enhance the driving experience.
The Mid-Size Choice
Choosing a mid-sized EV offers a perfect balance between space and efficiency, catering to the diverse needs of modern drivers. These vehicles provide ample interior room and a generous driving range, thanks to larger battery capacities, making them suitable for daily commutes and longer journeys. Equipped with advanced safety features and innovative technologies, mid-sized EVs deliver a comfortable and secure driving experience. Additionally, they contribute to environmental sustainability and offer lower operating costs, making them a smart and responsible choice for conscious consumers.
Our Example: 2023 Toyota Mirai
- Fuel-Cell Electric Powertrain: 182 horsepower, rear-wheel drive
- Performance: Smooth and refined ride, though not as quick as some competitors
- Interior: Luxurious with advanced features, spacious for passengers
- Technology: 12.3-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a suite of driver-assistance features
- EPA Estimated Range: Up to 650km
With its futuristic design and eco-friendly fuel cell powertrain, the Toyota Mirai stands out in the EV market. However, potential buyers should consider the vehicle's high price point and the current limitations of hydrogen fuel infrastructure before making a decision.
Go Big or Go Home: Big EVs choices
Opting for a large electric vehicle (EV) is a decision that smartly balances luxury, space, and sustainability. These vehicles provide ample room for passengers and cargo, ensuring comfort on both short commutes and long road trips. With advancements in battery technology, large EVs now boast impressive range and powerful performance, debunking previous concerns about their efficiency.
Safety is paramount, and these vehicles often come equipped with cutting-edge safety features, utilizing their size as an additional protective element. Economically, large EVs offer long-term savings with lower maintenance needs and cheaper running costs, thanks to affordable and convenient charging options.
Our Example: Maxus T90
- First electric pick-up in Europe by SAIC.
- 177 HP, 330 km range, rear-wheel drive.
- Priced from 65,438 Euros with an 8-year battery warranty.
The Maxus T90 EV is the first electric pick-up on the European market, backed by China's automotive giant SAIC. Initially available in rear-wheel drive, it boasts 177 HP, a 330 km range, and a starting price of 65,438 Euros. Standard features include 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen, with an impressive 8-year battery warranty.
2. Charging Infrastructure
Most EV owners charge their vehicles at home using Level 1 or Level 2 chargers. Level 1 chargers use a standard household outlet, while Level 2 chargers require a 240-volt outlet and provide faster charging. Deciding which of the options is the right pick for you requires extensive research, considering your needs and availability at home. Luckily, we, at Cardino, have already done the research for you. Click here to find the right pick for you.
Public charging stations offer Level 2 and DC Fast Charging, which provides a rapid charge, particularly useful for long-distance travel. Apps like PlugShare can help locate nearby charging stations. We, at Cardino, have already gone on the lookout for the best public charging spots. If you’d like to know, what Germany has to offer, click here.
3. The Financial Aspect
When considering your first-ever EV, size isn’t the only thing that matters. Understanding the financial implications of this transition is crucial. From initial purchase prices and governmental incentives to ongoing costs such as charging, maintenance, and potential savings, the economic aspects of owning an EV in Germany are multifaceted.
Initial Purchase and Incentives
The upfront cost of an EV in Germany can vary widely depending on the model and manufacturer. Generally, EVs tend to have a higher purchase price compared to their internal combustion counterparts. However, this is mitigated by a range of governmental incentives and subsidies available to EV buyers. The German government offers a generous "Umweltbonus" (environmental bonus), which provides a subsidy for the purchase of EVs and plug-in hybrids, effectively reducing the initial cost. You can find out if you qualify for the “Umweltbonus” before your purchase, inform yourself now.
When it comes to the ongoing costs of EV ownership, there are several factors to consider. Charging costs, while generally lower than refueling a petrol or diesel vehicle, can vary depending on whether you charge at home, at public charging stations, or at high-speed charging networks. Maintenance costs for EVs tend to be lower due to fewer moving parts and less wear and tear, leading to potential long-term savings. However, it’s important to consider the depreciation rate and potential battery replacement costs, which can be significant, though battery prices are expected to decrease over time.
Our Example: Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum
- Initial Purchase Price: €51,483
- Total Miles Over 3 Years: 72,420 km (average of 24,140 km per year)
- Converted Maintenance Cost 72,420 km: €3,358
The initial investment for the Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum is quite substantial. However, this is an often-expected scenario with electric vehicles, particularly of this size and capability.
4. Driving Experience
When it comes to buying your first EV, you can’t forget about the driving experience. ‘How does it differ from a regular gas-powered car?’, you may ask. We are ready to surprise you. The instantaneous acceleration, quiet operation, smooth handling, innovative braking systems, and overall efficiency contribute to a driving experience that is not only enjoyable but also environmentally friendly. As the technology continues to advance and charging infrastructure expands, the benefits of EV driving are becoming increasingly accessible to a broader audience.
Test-driving different models will help you find the vehicle that best suits your driving preferences.
Acceleration and Speed
- Instantaneous Torque: Electric motors provide maximum torque from 0 rpm, resulting in quicker acceleration from a standstill compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
- Smooth Driving: The power delivery in EVs is smoother, providing a more comfortable driving experience.
Noise and Vibration
- Quiet Operation: EVs are significantly quieter than ICE vehicles, both inside and outside, contributing to a more peaceful driving experience and reducing noise pollution.
- Less Vibration: The absence of an internal combustion engine means less vibration, making for a smoother ride.
- Lower Center of Gravity: The battery placement in EVs often results in a lower center of gravity, enhancing vehicle stability and handling.
- Improved Traction: The even weight distribution can improve traction, contributing to safer driving, particularly in adverse weather conditions.
Our comprehensive guide sheds light on the critical aspects of choosing your first electric vehicle, covering everything from car sizes and charging options to financial considerations and the unique driving experience of EVs. Whether you are inclined towards a small, mid-size, or large electric vehicle, this article provides valuable insights to help you make an informed decision tailored to your personal needs and preferences, ultimately contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.
Are small electric vehicles a good option for city driving?
Yes, small electric vehicles are excellent for city driving due to their compact size, which eases navigation through traffic and parking. They also have a positive impact on air quality and energy consumption.
How does the driving experience of an electric vehicle differ from a traditional car?
Electric vehicles offer instantaneous torque, resulting in quicker acceleration, smoother power delivery, and quieter operation. They also have a lower center of gravity, which enhances stability and handling.
Are there financial incentives available for purchasing an electric vehicle in Germany?
Yes, the German government offers a range of incentives and subsidies, including the "Umweltbonus" (environmental bonus), which helps to offset the initial purchase price of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
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