Is an electric car for me?

Explainer

Intro

​Electric cars really are the way forward, but they will also require just a little bit of planning to make sure that you get the right one for you.​

Firstly, you’ll need to do some sums. Have a look at how you actually use your car, the kinds of miles you do regularly, and your lifestyle - they’ll all impact on which car you should buy.

So tot up what you’d usually spend on fuel, road tax, servicing and the usual stuff like insurance, then compare it to the running costs of an electric equivalent.

Included in that should be making sure you take advantage of government grants, tax incentives, and the cheapest domestic energy supplies.

If you’re only doing a big trip of 150 miles or more once or twice a year, for example, you might not really need a car with a big battery. That means you can save some money on the purchase price and improve efficiency. You might need to top up for half an hour on the odd big trip, but it really isn’t that much hassle and will be worth the savings.

The thought of charging concerns a lot of people, but it really isn’t that difficult. If you can have a home wallbox, that’s the easiest - and cheapest - way to charge. You wake up to a full ‘tank’ every day if you want and never have to visit a petrol station again.

But all is not lost if you can’t have a home charger: most people in the UK only do 20 miles-ish a day, and so a small car like a Vauxhall Corsa e or Peugeot e208 with a 200+ mile range will only need charging at a public charger once a week.

And even if you have to make longer journeys, you soon get used to using public stations and rapid chargers at motorway service stations and other places like supermarkets and restaurants. Smartphone apps like WattsApp and ZapMap give you live information on where the nearest chargers are, and they’ll even tell you if they’re being used.

We know it sounds a little bit complicated. But once you properly try an electric car, very few people want to switch back! They’re quick, quiet, efficient and good for your wallet as well as the environment. Doing a bit of research before you make the switch will make all the difference to your electric car journey – but we are here to help every step of the way.

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

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