Everything You Need to Know About Electric Cars Before You Buy One

In 2023, electric vehicle (EV) sales surpassed 1.5 million, marking a 50% growth from the previous year. Increasing fuel prices and government support in the form of incentives and developing infrastructure are influencing more people to choose EVs while purchasing new cars.

However, when buying an electric car, there are several factors which they must keep in mind. Check them out to make an informed purchase decision.

Also read about: Electric Vehicle Innovations

9 Points to Keep in Mind While Buying an Electric Car

  • Driving Range

It is nothing new that electric cars run on batteries and will provide energy for driving till a certain distance, after which it needs to be recharged. However, the availability of public charging stations across India is still low.

Thus, it is crucial that you check the driving range of an EV before buying. Most of them have an operating range that is suitable for daily commuting. Moreover, some can go on inter-city commutes or short tours simultaneously.

So, assessing your travelling requirements is a must before buying an electric car.

  • Battery Life

Batteries are the most expensive components of electric vehicles. Replacement costs in this regard are high; thus, checking the battery details, like specifications and range, is a must.

Consider buying an electric car with a battery that can suit your driving requirements. Moreover, EV battery packs usually have a manufacturer’s warranty covering a specific driving distance or time. Hence, you should pay attention to the battery pack’s warranty details while researching various EV models.

  • Battery Capacity & Type

An EV’s battery capacity is directly proportional to its driving range. Thus, the higher the battery capacity, the better the operational range. Additionally, it is essential that you check the battery type.

Most electric cars nowadays use Lithium-Ion battery packs. They are lightweight and have high charging efficiency. However, some EVs also use Nickel-Metal Hydride (NIMH) Battery, Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) Battery or Lead Acid Battery pack systems.

It is essential that you assess the pros and cons of each type before making your final choice.

Also read about: How Long Do Electric Cars Take to Charge?

  • Charging Options

In electric cars, the batteries are fixed. Thus, stationary charging is the only available option. In this vein, the available choices are the standard wall AC charger and fast AC charger. You can also go for a DC fast charging option in case you have public charging stations located nearby.

  • EV Insurance

Similar to their ICE counterparts, electric cars also fall under the 1988 Motor Vehicles Act. Thus, having at least a third-party insurance cover is a must. Moreover, as such vehicles have high spare parts prices, their repair costs will be very high.

So, opting for a comprehensive electric car insurance policy is crucial to ensure that you have adequate financial cover in case of an unforeseen accident.     

  • Performance & Type

Regarding acceleration, EVs are at par with petrol/diesel engine vehicles. Their engines generate instant torque, which provides quick acceleration. So, when buying an electric car, check out the power and torque specs to determine whether they meet your driving needs.

Also, decide which type of EV you wish to buy. Currently, they are available in 4 variants – fully electric, fuel cell electric, hybrid electric, and plug-in hybrid electric.

  • Features

Electric vehicles usually come with a wide array of features. So, while shortlisting models, you must ensure that they are equipped with ones that actually come in handy during your daily commutes.

For instance, look for features like drag/walk mode, reverse mode and onboard navigation. You will also find smartphone integration features in premium models, which can be really beneficial for monitoring vehicle stats, checking the availability of battery charging/swapping stations, and more.

  • Software Updates

From controlling the car’s various systems to battery management, software plays a vital role in EVs. Now, manufacturers often improve the performance of their vehicles by rolling out software updates.

Thus, before buying an electric car, you need to ensure that your EV gets regular software upgrades. Some manufacturers provide it free of cost, while others may charge a small fee.

  • Maintenance Costs

Proper maintenance is necessary to get optimal performance from your electric vehicle. Now, EVs have fewer moving parts than their ICE counterparts and thus are easier to maintain.

However, if they break down, the repair costs can be high. The reason is spare parts are expensive, and it will be difficult to find mechanics who can work with EVs.

Opting for an EV brand that provides good after-sales service and has a decent service center presence nationwide can be a viable solution.    

Best Electric Cars in India 2024

Here is a list of the top electric cars in India that you can consider buying in 2024:

Model Name Approximate Price
MG Comet EV ₹6.99 to 10.63 Lakhs
Tata Tiago EV ₹7.99 to 11.89 Lakhs
Tata Punch EV ₹10.99 to 15.49 Lakhs
Tata Nexon EV ₹14.49 to 19.29 Lakhs
Mahindra XUV400 ₹15.49 to 19.19 Lakhs
MG ZS EV ₹18.98 to 25.08 Lakhs
BYD Atto 3 ₹33.99 to 34.49 Lakhs
Hyundai Ioniq 5 ₹46.05 Lakhs
Volvo XC40 Recharge ₹57.90 Lakhs
Kia EV6 ₹60.95 to 65.95 Lakhs

Another essential factor that you must remember before buying an electric car is the available government incentives and tax benefits. For instance, GST on EVs has been reduced from 12% to 5%, and there is an upfront reduction in purchase price based on the EV’s battery capacity.

So, check them out before finalising which electric car to buy.

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