8 Things to consider before buying an electric car

8 important things to consider before buying an Electric Car in 2021

Is the electric car the future of the automobile? Are you considering buying an electric car? There are several benefits as well as drawbacks to owning and running an EV. Electric vehicles are set to go mainstream in the coming years.

Many people understand the basics of an EV in that an electric motor provides power to the final drive from the battery pack. This, in turn, consumes battery power, and the battery pack will eventually require charging to top it up. Simple.

However, there are still many pressing questions that the average consumer considering an EV has. So let’s get acquainted with some of the peculiarities that an EV owner might entail.

Here are 8 questions you should ask yourself before you consider buying an Electric Car.


1. Do electric cars have more interior room?

Lucid Air Interior
Lucid Air Interior

Perhaps not; it varies depending on the setup: if a vehicle was designed from the ground up to be electric, the battery is tucked away under the floor.

This not only reduces the center of gravity (which significantly improves drivability), but it also frees up space in the cabin, which can sometimes be much larger than a comparable gas-powered vehicle.

It is true that electric vehicles have far better packaging because of the lack of an engine and this gives better flexibility for designers and engineers to work with.


2. Do you need to take some extra precautions while recharging the battery pack in an EV?

Tesla Model S Charging
Tesla Model S Charging

Not necessarily. Charging an EV is considered very safe, even in the rain. Charging an EV at home is also considered environmentally friendly if you use Solar as an energy source.

One must lock the doors and activate the parking brake, just as one would while topping up a traditional gas-powered vehicle. We also know that to extend the lifespan of the batteries, it is best to schedule the battery’s charge not to exceed 80%.


3. How difficult is it to maintain an EV?

Ford Mustang Mach E Maintainance
Ford Mustang Mach E Maintainance

Truth be told. An EV is far easier to maintain when compared to a traditional gas guzzler.  Apart from keeping an eye on the cooling/lubrication fluid, the electric motor unit does not require much maintenance.

The same could also be said about the batteries and various electronic components, while the simplified transmission has a long shelf life.

With models like the Leaf, Nissan USA, for example, recommends routine maintenance, which must be carried out every 7500 miles.

It includes checking the transmission oil level, changing the filters, and inspecting the suspension, semi-axle, steering, charging socket, and battery pack. Tire rotation is to be done every six months.


4. Is it possible to maintain an EVs Motor yourself?

Electric Motor
Electric Motor

The liquid-cooled motors of modern EVs do not accumulate dust.  The only moving component, the rotor, spins on bearings and does not contact the other parts. They are enclosed in watertight enclosures, and maintenance is minimal.

Since an electric motor carries high voltages, it is not advisable to tinker with it. Mechanical tuning is also nearly impossible: these motors seem basic, but they are the culmination of infinitely complex designs.


5. Do you risk getting a shock while driving an EV in the rain or through a puddle?

Charging in the Rain
Charging in the Rain

The short answer is a reassuring NO!  Even though the batteries operate at a reasonably high voltage, i.e., anywhere between 300-400 volts, sometimes even higher, they are housed in a sturdy airtight enclosure.

These enclosures are solid (which is why batteries are so heavy in the first place), and the high-voltage parts have safety circuits that “SWITCH OFF” the battery if anything goes wrong.

The use of high-voltage devices in cars is not new: Did you know that Xenon headlights that are widely used in modern vehicles have upwards of 30,000 volts? They are safe for widespread use.


6. Do electric vehicles have a transmission?

Kia E-Niro Charging Ionity
Kia E-Niro Charging Ionity

The electric motor’s maximum torque is available right away from zero revs, eliminating the need for a clutch. An electric motor has no alternating moving parts like a piston and connecting rod arrangement, unlike an engine. All there is only a well-balanced rotor, allowing it to achieve 15,000 rpm or higher speeds quickly.

Multiple-speed gearboxes are mostly ineffective, and the vast majority of electric vehicles have a fixed-ratio drive. This, combined with the high energy consumption associated with going fast, usually limits the top speed to a lower number than gasoline cars of comparable capacity.

The Tesla’s and perhaps even the sporty Porsche Taycan, which is the only EV with a 2-speed automatic gearbox and a rear motor, are the only exceptions to this otherwise minor setback.


7. What happens when a battery’s power depletes?

Electric Vehicle Battery Pack
Electric Vehicle Battery Pack

Let’s begin with the fact that as the range of an electric car drops, batteries that fall below 70-80 percent of their rated value are deemed unfit for use. 

Manufacturers like Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, Fiat, and Hyundai offer an 8-year or 100000-mile warranty on the battery pack. The battery requires replacement only if the remaining power falls below 70% (66 percent for Renault).

Since batteries are continuing to achieve longer shelf life, EV owners can be rest assured that warranty replacements would be few and far between. Out-of-warranty replacement can be expensive, but some manufacturers are already considering repurposing batteries for static applications (for example, storing solar panels’ energy).


8. What is the typical battery life?

Battery Cells
Battery Cells

They have a long lifespan, and an 8-year or 100000-mile warranty appears to be the standard. Gradual deterioration of the charge capacity can be anticipated in the absence of “extreme events” like a collision, though complete rupture is impossible.

If and when EVs are more widespread, specialized battery repairers might emerge, able to take action mainly on the select cell modules rather than the entire pack. The next generation of batteries (Solid State Batteries, which is still in development) could be far more inexpensive and easier to recycle, alleviating a significant source of concern among consumers on recyclability.


Images Source: Press Release