McMinnville Auto Sales LLC

What to Know Before Purchasing an Electric Car_ A Detailed Buying Guide

The trend in Australia in today’s era is all about the increasing number of new electric cars found on the country’s roads,followed by the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt. But since EVs are instead new products to the Australian market, many AEVA experts in next-generation automobiles are asked to mull through the hype and provide us with some realistic electric vehicle buying tips. They came up with these ten things to know before buying an electric car.

1. Is it the right fit for me?

If you drive over 200 km each day, then an electric car is not a relevant option for you now. As earlier determined, most Australians drive less than 40 km each day, and most households have a second car. You can prefer replacing the ‘runabout’ with an electric vehicle. As an option, you can also hire a standard gasoline car when traveling long distances.

2. Used or new?

As new EVs continue to hit the market, second-hand stores are on the rise, providing an affordable electric driving experience. In an old used car, you have to check things like mileage,tires, rust, ANCAP ratings, money taken, etc. Used electric vehicles have some unique features to inspect, particularly the battery’s status. In many cases, transformed vehicles with DC motors do not have regenerative braking, so you need to change the brake pads much earlier. Also, make sure that the vehicle’s compliance and licensing paperwork are up-to-date.

3. Range

As discovered by every new electric car driver, the normal EV offers 80–100 miles of driving range. On a daily basis, the useful capacity and power of batteries decrease over time. Driving less than 40 km a day is not a blunder; however, if you decide to do a 100 km stretch more frequently, you might need to think twice about planning to buy an electric vehicle! Go for the test drive with your dealer and try to wrap up a whole 80 km or so, ensuring that the final destination is a fast charger. Ending your trip at a rapid charger is a surety that you’ll get home safe without a tow truck. If the EV starts working hard to get back to much of the claimed range, bargain better deals with the seller.

4. The battery’s condition and warranty

If you are an electric vehicle lover, you have surely heard of the myth that after just a few years of usage, replacing your car’s battery gives you a high expense shock. The truth is that it is highly unlikely! Yes, you’ll face some loss of range over a period of 5 years and may be faster in areas with chilling hot weather.

If you are planning to buy a used EV, you will need to do a range test to find the battery’s status. Even though batteries lose capacity over their lifespan, which is normal, their warranty clauses can sometimes be interesting. Usually, plug-in cars also have separate battery warranties, mostly for 8 years and 100,000 miles or longer. These fully cover battery issues such as excess loss of range. 

Note: With their handy data readers, electric vehicles transmit relevant vehicle data, including battery health, motor temperature, economy, cell voltage, etc., to your smartphone or laptop. A graphical cell display will show whether the pack is out of balance or if it’s overeating.

5. Charging requirements

Make sure about the parking spot before planning to buy an EV car. Is there a public charging point nearby? Thankfully, new electric vehicles come with a handy, dedicated EV charger from the dealer, which is usually mounted on the garage wall. Although convenient, there are cheaper options. Motorists can use an ‘occasional use’ charging lead as long as the power point for transferring electricity is up and running. Generally, these leads are complemented with a 15-amp plug that has a big earth pin that ensures it is only plugged into the 15-amp rated socket, which is designed with its own circuit breaker. Check your electric connections so that you know whether they meet your requirements or not. Consider getting a more powerful onboard charger if you find yourself heading out for some juice immediately after getting home. A powerful charger gives maximum charge in a short time.

6. Public charging options

Prior to buying, check the EV’s charging port and remember that it is compatible with the available public charging infrastructure around you. For instance, a few 2010 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs are designed with a standard single-phase charge port to run slow charging, but this model cannot use some public charge points due to its safety interlock feature. Most EVs contain a DC fast charging option. The BMW i3 is quite different and only uses the SAE combination, which is not supported by the DC fast charger. On the other hand, it’s highly unlikely that converted cars will come with a connector compatible with any public infrastructure, unless it’s a mere 15-amp outlet.

7. Use renewable power to charge!

It is observed that electric vehicles also pollute since they are powered with electricity from grids, followed by gas and coal. Compared to petrol cars, EVs can run on electricity generated from alternative sources of energy like the sun, waves, wind, or hydroelectric schemes. The Act of Parliament requires that consumers who purchase green power from an electricity retailer be provided with renewable energy. If this is not the scenario, prefer charging your electric vehicle from an array of rooftop solar panels. Despite the least attractive export tariffs, your car will directly be charged from the sun, and no grid power will get into the battery. Charging your car off-peak is also cost-effective, with a complete charge costing nearly as much as a small cup of coffee.

8. Software/hardware/firmware upgrades

One of the major benefits of modern electric vehicle production is the ease with which their limited firmware and software can be upgraded. The Tesla Model S is upgraded over-the-air at regular intervals to rectify the driving experience with new settings and bug fixes. Before making the purchase, confirm that the car has all the latest upgrades. In the near future, older models will have the option of upgrading using new parts such as onboard chargers as well as motor controller power settings. Eventually, it will be possible to make complete battery upgrades.

9. Installing a Home Charge

Many studies clarify that electric vehicles have a lower overall cost of ownership compared to gas-powered vehicles. Remember that a home EV charger installation costs less than $1,000, which is excluded from the total cost. The off-board charger, now called an E.V.S.E. or EV supply equipment, provides 240 volts of electricity juice, significantly reducing your charging time at home. I bet you’ll get one.

10. Convert or buy an OEM?

Modern electric vehicles contain the highest quality, with comprehensive warranties. If you are the type that is inspired by economics, an EV production from the sales lot would be ideal. Transforming an old but sound car can be a good challenge and an opportunity to create something really amazing.

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