What size electric car should I buy?

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Much like buying a traditional car, when it comes to buying an electric car, you need to decide whether to go big or small. Of course, much depends on your budget and what you need to use the car for, so in this article we explain more about what to look out for to help you make a decision that works for you.

Average distance travelled

Every electric car model has an average distance it can travel before it has to be recharged. For example, a Volkswagen e-Golf has an official range of 144 miles on a full charge, while a Nissan Leaf runs for 168 miles. However, be aware that ‘real world’ ranges may be different to the official ranges provided by the manufacturer, with a 10-20% drop-off in some cases. Take into consideration where you live and how much mileage will go into the car across the week to see whether you need a bigger or smaller vehicle.

Recharging times

There is a lot more to explain about this aspect of electrical cars which you can read about here and here. In summary, smaller electric cars (with 40kWh batteries) will usually take around 8-9 hours if charged at a rate of 3.6kW. Using a faster 7kW connector will provide roughly 30 miles of range for every hour of charge. The size of the car will mean you have a larger battery to charge, so the charging time and subsequent electricity costs also have to be taken into account. However, over time, home charging is way cheaper than paying for petrol or diesel fuel.

Local weather conditions

One thing to be aware of with all electric cars is that they are more susceptible to extreme weather conditions which impacts on the battery range. So, if your local weather climate is particularly colder than other parts of the country, you may want to invest in a larger car to counteract any mileage reduction in the battery. If you live in the south of England the weather – even during the winter – is generally warmer than other parts of the UK, so this may not be something you have to worry about too much.

Lifestyle fit

Aside from charging times, driving ranges and weather considerations, the main thing to consider is whether or not the car will suit your lifestyle. If you have a family of 4 or more, you can only really opt for a larger vehicle, as you’ll not only need plenty of space and seating, but also good storage. Smaller cars are suited to single people and couples, although if you are involved with sporting or outdoor activities you may still need a larger car with boot space.

Thinking of installing an EV home charge point?

AAC are OLEV-approved installers of electric car chargers for home and business owners. To find out more about our range of electric car charger services, and to organise a free survey and quote, email carchargers@aac.uk.net or call 01707 32 55 66.
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