Top Tips for testing an Electric car on a subscription

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Smart Car on a public charger

A vehicle subscription is a fantastic way to evaluate an electric car into your daily routines from your commute to the office, the regular school runs or the whisking away for the weekend.

It allows you to try an electric car without committing to a long-term lease, PCP or expensive purchase. All cars have their pro’s and con’s, some won’t allow your long runs without a couple of charging stops and some have the benefits of an extensive charging network.

Let’s cover a few of the points surround EV’s:

Daily Commute

Whether your daily commute is 5 miles or 50 miles, most electric cars in the marketplace will have ample range to carry out this task. But then again, so will most Plug-in Hybrids (depending on the model).

Things to look out for when thinking of your daily commute include whether you need to do the occasional long journey to a meeting or if you have local charging points close to your workplace. Some employers offer charging points on-site, but with the growing number of EV’s, will these always be available?

Try out a few different types of vehicle

It’s really important to choose the right car with the correct capacity for your needs. It is a good idea to try a few different types of electric cars, with services like Elmo, ONTO or Cocoon, you can take out a 1-month subscription and swap and change quite easily (may prove costly).

Look at the range of the vehicles and use real-world figures published by the likes of Which, Auto Express or What Car to get a true understanding of what you should expect out of the car.

Lead Times

If you’ve already made your decision on an electric car, get in touch with your broker or car dealership to find out what the lead times are. Some of the vehicles are being quoted as 12 months, so make sure this fits in with your timescales.

It is very difficult to find unsold or stock cars nowadays, but you may pick up a cancelled order if you’re lucky. Bear in mind that if you have a part exchange and you have a long lead time, dealers may change what they will offer you closer to the time. Also, finance acceptances can expire after 3-months, so make sure you keep on top of your credit commitments.

Figure out how much it costs to charge

Work out how much the electric car will cost you to charge, both at home and on the go (using public charging points). Frustratingly, you may need to sign up for a few different charging companies such as BP Pulse and GeniePoint or download their app.

Many of the charging points do now accept contactless payments, which is a huge benefit,

At home, you can sign up to an EV friendly energy tariff, this allows you to top your vehicle up at a cheap rate at specific times of the day. Octopus Energy have one of the best tariffs for this.

Long trip holidays, will an electric car work?

We all like our holidays, but not all Electric Vehicle are suited to long-distance driving without multiple stops. Whilst Satellite Navigation systems are getting sophisticated and can build in charging stops for your drive, it can be quite annoying if you have to stop for an hour every 150 miles.

But it can be done with a little planning and patience. You can use apps such as ZapMap to work out the chargers that could be available on route. But be prepared to wait at service station areas, the more the population of electric vehicles increase, the more demand for the chargers there will be.

It is also to do a bit of homework to find out if the hotel, guesthouse or holiday cottage you are staying at has any charging facilities. Whilst we know that EV’s will charge on a regular 240v plug, it does take additional time, time which could eat into your holiday.

Charging Infrastructure

We’ve already touched on charging infrastructure above and the many apps or memberships you may need, but the networks are increasing all of the time. What we’re in dire need of is service stations build like petrol pumps with multiple rapid chargers. This will come.

At the moment, Tesla really does have the monopoly with their Supercharger network and whilst they are trialing opening the network up to non-Tesla drivers, it isn’t completely ready as yet.

Choosing the right car can make a huge difference to waiting and charging times at the lead, so do your homework.

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Post Published: July 25, 2022
Post Last Updated: August 1, 2022
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