Electric vehicles – or EVs for short – have become increasingly popular over the last few years and, for many drivers, there is a strong urge to finally make the jump across. Yet, unless you’re prepared ahead of time, you might find jumping to an EV to be a big shock.
After all, while somethings change, many things remain the same. EVs might represent the future of driving in many ways, but there’s still plenty of old technology available as well. So, if you’re thinking about buying an EV, here’s what you need to know.
Obviously, the big difference here is the fully electric engine, which brings the biggest changes. The largest shock for many new people – especially if you’re coming from a petrol or diesel car, rather than a hybrid, is getting use to the act of charging your car.
While it might feel like a normal car, you need to resist the natural urge to pull over into a petrol station. On the other hand, you also need to get use to parking somewhere suitable for overnight charging. It might seem like much, but this changes many aspects of how you drive.
Similar changes include how the car feels. Popular EVs, such as the Nissan Leaf or infamous Tesla, are well known for having quiet engines. When your car doesn’t make the sounds of a typical motor – or barely any sound at all – how do you know when something is wrong?
The Running Costs
Aside from the green benefits, one of the biggest differences in owning an EV is the cost difference. Since you’re not paying for premium petrol, a large part of your expenses can often disappear and, as long as you’ve got good insurance, the same can be said for numerous other expenses. Of course, you still have the high buying price at the start, but this is true of any brand new vehicle.
What’s the Same?
Okay, so if that’s a look at what is different, which key aspects are staying the same. Fortunately, there are a lot of practical aspects that currently face no major changes in EV models.
Other than the engine, many of the internal components are very much the same. These cars still have a typical car suspension system, so they can still be damaged by a deep pothole or rough road surface. Furthermore, even the smartest Tesla can’t do all of this work for you – it helps to check the car once in awhile as well.
While most EVs are often driven in inner city environments, this doesn’t mean you should neglect these areas. The moment you drive onto a rougher road you will notice. Don’t forget that even the most well maintained city is home to the odd speed bump or pothole that can disrupt your vehicle, no matter what you happen to drive.
Wheels and Tyres
Likewise, they are still connected by four traditional wheels. This means you still need to maintain balanced air pressure and tyre choice (such as switching to reliable winter models when the snow begins to fall) for the vehicle itself – all of which should come as second nature to any experienced driver.
Furthermore, this allows you to experiment like a normal car, opting for different wheels and tyres to fine tune the vehicle’s performance. This isn’t for everyone, yet an online tyre size calculator will still work on an EV, so it is something to keep in mind.
How Does it Handle?
With all this in mind, how will an EV actually handle? While the physical act of driving is still the same, experienced drivers often notice a big difference. The engine doesn’t throttle or roar when you accelerate and many EVs, such as the Tesla S, have something akin to an automatic gearbox, since the engine doesn’t require you to shift mechanical components, instead letting you to choose driving modes.
In short, buying an EV will certainly come with a number of changes, but this is inevitable. As these cars become more and more popular, it only makes sense to make the change and become familiar with this form of transport.
By Giles Kirkland
Warrantywise is the UK’s first aftermarket warranty for EVs, to get a quote visit www.warrantywise.co.uk/quote