How to pick the perfect electric car
Made the exciting decision to go electric? Fantastic! By going electric you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint, helping the planet and benefiting from much cheaper running costs, too. But now you’ve decided to make the switch you might be wondering how to choose an electric car that’s right for you.
With sales of electric cars booming, more models are coming onto the market all the time, which means you’ve got plenty of great electric cars to choose from. But with so much choice, what’s the right way to go? Check out our handy guide to choosing an electric car and you’re sure to make the perfect pick.
What electric cars are available?
In the not-too-distant past, you’d struggle to find more than a handful of electric cars on the market. But with the upcoming move to EVs in 2030 and the more recent uptick in sales, the variety of different types of electric cars on the market has increased rapidly.
Most well-known manufacturers now have electric vehicles in their line-up. You’ll find entry-level cars like the Fiat 500e, alongside mid-range SUVs like the Volkswagen ID.4 and top-end sports cars like the Porsche Taycan. So whatever your taste and budget, there’s sure to be an electric car to suit.
What’s it like to drive an electric car?
Getting behind the wheel of your new electric car will feel a lot like driving your old petrol-powered one, but with a few added improvements. For one, you won’t find a gear stick or a clutch pedal, so it will feel a lot like driving an automatic. You’ll simply choose drive, reverse or park and use the accelerator and brake pedals to stop and start.
Because it’s electrically powered you’ll notice that take-off is a bit speedier when you hit the accelerator. You’ll also notice that you won’t need to use the brake pedal quite so much. Many electric cars use regenerative braking so when you lift your foot off the accelerator the car quickly and smoothly slows down.
What about those noisy engines? An electric car doesn’t have one! So be prepared for a quieter and more relaxing car journey too.
What range do I need when leasing an EV?
Getting your new vehicle on a personal EV lease is one of the best ways to buy an electric car. You’ll avoid expensive upfront costs, make affordable monthly payments and be able to trade up to the most up-to-date models every few years.
When it comes to choosing the right electric car, make sure to think about what you’ll use it for and the sort of range (miles per single charge) that requires.
Maybe you only need a runaround for nipping to the shops or visiting friends close by? Then a city car like the 115-mile range Mini Cooper Electric could be a great choice. Prefer something a bit bigger for long road trips? Then an SUV that combines space, comfort and fantastic range, like the 235-mile range Kia Niro EV, could be the perfect fit.
When you compare electric cars, be sure to factor in what sort of range you’re likely to need, based on your most common journeys, to make sure it’s the right fit for you.
Which electric car should I buy?
When choosing an electric car, it’s wise to think about how you’ll use the car, and which features you value most. Here are a few key things to think about before you take the plunge:
What will you typically use the car for? Would a family car that gets you from A to B be the best bet? Or do you need a more robust SUV, with plenty of storage for long drives on country terrain? Think about what you need day-to-day so that you can better focus your search.
Charging and battery size
How often you’re able to charge and what sort of range you want will make a difference to the size of car battery you need. As a general rule, the bigger your car battery, the more charge it’ll hold and the longer you’ll be able to drive on a single charge.
Charging at home is the cheapest and easiest way to recharge and gives you greater flexibility. You can opt for cars with smaller batteries and less range that need more frequent charging or choose a bigger battery you can easily charge at home overnight.
If you’re more reliant on public charging, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a smaller-range car, but it’s worth considering whether a bigger battery and longer range might work better for your situation. You can find out more about how long it takes to charge an EV in our guide to electric car charging times.
Electric cars are generally more expensive upfront than their petrol or diesel counterparts, but the cost of an electric car varies widely. A new Nissan Leaf could cost around £29,000 to buy outright, whereas a new BMW iX could set you back about £77,000. So while higher-end vehicles can come with a hefty price tag, there are plenty of more affordable electric cars on the market too.
Make sure to think carefully about your needs and how much you want to spend so you can set a realistic budget. For more affordable options it’s also worth considering getting a car on a personal EV lease. With modest monthly payments and a fantastic range of vehicles on offer, you can drive a high-spec electric car that you might not otherwise be able to afford. With our ultimate EV package you can take advantage of added benefits, like a free home charger, 4,000 free miles of home or public charging, servicing and repairs, and breakdown cover, too.
For more inspiration, browse all our electric vehicles. Whatever your range, battery, cost and lifestyle needs, we’re sure to have a car that suits you. At Octopus Electric Vehicles we love helping people make the move to electric, and our friendly EV Specialists are on hand to help you choose the right car for you.