I’ve bought an electric car… what next?!

Explainer

Intro

​You’ve actually gone and taken the plunge and bought a car with a plug - well done. We don’t think you’ll regret it. But there are some things you will have to remember and get used to. We are here to help you.​

​First, you are going to need to think about charging. If you've got the space and capability, get yourself a home wallbox ordered and installed. They can take a few weeks to be sorted sometimes, and you might need to get permissions from a landlord or have a survey to make sure your wiring isn’t going to wither, so it’s best to start the process as early as possible. It’s the cheapest and most convenient way of charging any electric car.

Make sure you take advantage of the government grant to get up to £350 off it as well - the installer or your dealer should be able to help with the paperwork. And also make sure you put it somewhere the cable will reach the car easily - make a note of where your car’s charge flap is and think about how you will want to park.

Second, make sure that you’re on a decent electricity tariff that offers you the best deals for overnight charging. Then you can set your car to charge when electricity is cheap and save yourself even more. 

Third: get the apps. Or at least get the useful ones. If your car has an app to let you control functions such as preheating and charging by remote control, then download it and have a play.

And for finding charging spots when out and about, download apps like ZapMap, A Better Route Planner and PlugShare. Again, have a play with them before you need them in a hurry - it all helps keep stress levels low.

Fourth, play with your cables, and have a look at which ones do what. Generally you don’t need to use more than one, but knowing how your three-pin ‘granny charger’ works in an emergency is useful!

Fifth - familiarisation. If you’re new to electric car ownership, then take some time to get used to the car. Have a look at the functions and the menus that help you do things like set the charging times. Know what DC rapid charging capability your car can make the most of, and which chargers will work the best for it.

Then go and charge at a public rapid charger a few times when you’re not desperate. You won’t be visiting a petrol station again, so it’s worth making yourself comfy with a few different charging stations which are on your regular routes.

And sixth? Enjoy it. We know you will! Watch Nicki’s video to see more.

Download our Beginners' Guide to Going Electric, produced with the Department for Transport.

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