Choosing the Right Electric Car for You: 5 Things You Need to Consider

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Electric vehicle technology has exhilarated over the past few years and more Australians are switching out their petrol guzzlers for sustainable electric cars.

Sales manager showing car charging station to a young couple, selling electric cars in the showroom. Concept of buying eco-friendly car for family

With so many options hitting the market, many new buyers are wondering how to choose an electric car?

Here we pull apart the 5 top considerations for buying your first electric vehicle to help you make an informed, practical choice.

1. Travel Needs

How far is your average commute? The typical daily commute in Australia is around 35 kms. Your smaller EV’s – with smaller battery capacity – can easily handle this.

Consider the range of the different EV models you’re looking at; on average between 200 – 400 kms per charge. If you’re planning on running to each end of town as a family taxi service, you may want to factor in whether there are public charging docks along your route.

2. Family Size

How big a car do you need?

The more weight you have in the car, the greater strain on the vehicle and the less you will get out of each charge.

That being said, we can’t very well leave little Timmy out on the curb, can we?

Think about who will be in the car on a daily basis. A compact car may not be the best option for a family with car seats and prams.

3. Charging Options

There are multiple electric car charging options. Most are sold with a standard level 1 charger that can be plugged into an ordinary home powerpoint. However: this method is slow and places a demand on the connection that older or improper wiring may not be able to keep up with.

Wall unit charging is the most common avenue for EV owners, and what you will see at most public charging docks. These are required to be installed by a licensed electrician, and will set you back around an additional $2000- $3000.

Female dealer in hijab using wireless laptop while showing luxury electric car to male customer in suit. African businessman choosing modern vehicle to buy.

As electric vehicles gain popularity, we will see more fast charging stations pop up. As it stands though, these are limited in Australia.

4. Driving Style

Do you plan on driving around the city, or up and down the coast? If long trips to the other side of the bay are your jam, then you’re going to want to look for something with a larger battery capacity.

Frequently driving up steep hills, or heavy acceleration will drain your battery faster – in much the same way as it would drain your petrol tank.

5. Budget

The most prominent factor for many – what can you realistically afford?

There are a decent number of new EV’s on the market under $50,000 drive away. As demand increases and seasoned EV owners upgrade to newer models, many more options are hitting the used car market.

Lower-range EV’s will typically be smaller in size and battery capacity and potentially slower charging. They may very well still be a viable option for you, depending on your driving needs.

Costs should also factor in the installation of any charging infrastructure, if needed, and the possible addition to home solar power, for those eager greenies.

The Wrap Up

Choosing your first electric car comes down to personal preference.

You need to consider your specific circumstances and driving habits, budget and access to charging infrastructure. For the savvy ones, there are many options on the used car market that can meet all of your requirements and then some.