Guide to Help Switch to an Electric Car
Thinking of making the switch to an electric car? The key is to make the transition as smooth as possible. Going from driving a petrol or diesel car to a fully electric car can be a completely different experience. From the way the vehicles operate, to the way they are powered, there are some core differences you need to be aware of. Luckily there’s help out there to make the switch as easy as possible.
1. Research the grants for electric cars
There are a whole host of government grants for electric cars to help you make the switch. In the UK, you can apply for an EV chargepoint grant which covers up to 75% of the cost of installing an electric car charging station at home. This can help make the upfront costs of switching to an electric car a little cheaper.
In Scotland, residents have access to an Interest-Free Used Electric Vehicle Loan. This means that Scottish drivers have access to a loan of up to £30,000 to purchase a second-hand electric car. This is a great, cost-efficient way for drivers to enter the electric car market. It is also good for the environment as you are not only switching to a low-emission vehicle, but buying a used car which reduces the environmental impact of manufacturing.
2. Try before you buy
Don’t know what electric car model you want to buy? Renting could be a great option. It’s a way of testing if the car works for you before committing to a long term purchase. You could even sign up to an electric car subscription service and try a new model every month to see what suits you best.
Renting is also a good way to get used to the differences between an electric car and a fuel car. For example, electric cars are silent compared to their diesel and petrol counterparts because they do not have an engine. Furthermore, most electric cars are automatic, meaning a manual driver will have to get used to driving an automatic car if they want to make the switch.
3. Research your local charging spots
Without a doubt the biggest difference between a fuel car and an electric car is how they are powered. One is topped up with either petrol or diesel at a petrol station, the other battery powered and electrically charged. This difference is typically what most drivers are concerned about when making the switch. The fear is normally around how to charge an electric car, and how long the battery lasts for which is known as ‘range anxiety'.
One of the best ways to ease this anxiety is to research your local charging spots. Most supermarkets, car parks and service stations now have charging stations easily available. You can find the charging stations near you by checking a map. This can help you plan out your routes and ensure you always know where to go to recharge your car if you need to do so.
5. Book a test drive
Before buying any car it's a good idea to book a test drive. This not only provides you with an opportunity to ask any questions about the car, but gives you a feel for driving it before making a purchase. This is particularly important if you have never driven an electric car before. Just like renting an electric car, a test drive gives you a chance to see how an electric car operates and how it differs from a fuel car. This allows you to make an informed purchase decision, whilst giving you a taster of what your new life as an electric car owner could look like.