Do you still remember when Tesla had just kicked off and electric cars were only starting their development? Charging stations were barely available and the future was filled with fantasies of flying cars. We have come a long way since then and while our oil reserves are slowly diminishing, we are embracing the future of electricity-powered vehicles. Nevertheless, e-cars are still a rare sight in some countries. Hence, what are the most important aspects to consider when charging your e-car?
Just like any other device with a rechargeable battery, an electric car is dependent on your equipment. A lot of people are still hesitant when it comes to buying a newly developed vehicle because charging stations can still be inaccessible in certain parts of countries. The first step should be surveying your area for potential charging stations. This can include grocery stores, your workplace or even your home. It is possible to charge your car with a regular 3-pin socket; however, keep in mind that regular charging could put a strain on your circuit since electric cars require a voltage greater than the 2.3kW the standard sockets in your home provide. Additionally, a full charge with a regular 3-pin socket can take up to 24 hours and is, hence, only useful for short drives. Instead, electric car owners usually purchase a charging station that enables them to fully charge their car at a voltage of 7kW. The smaller models will be fully charged within three and a half hours, offering you the luxury of home charging without the trouble of organizing external charging.
Installing a charging station at home is not as expensive as people may think. A home charge point can be set up at a cost of €900 and will enable you to use your electric car on a daily basis. Commonly, these stations are mounted on an outside wall for easy and quick accessibility, but they do require on-street parking. If space is an issue around your home, look for residential charge point schemes that may enable you to share a parking space with other electric vehicle owners in your area. In countries such as the UK and Germany new electric car owners can expect a government incentive upon purchasing an environmentally friendly car; hence, the costs of your home charging unit may be drastically reduced.
Your home charging station will be reliant on your electricity provider. Before you purchase a charging station, check your contract and monthly charges. Depending on your area and contract, you may be able to switch to a cheaper option that could save you additional costs. Smart metres can help you manage the amount of electricity you use by tracking your actual usage. You can easily calculate the cost of a single charge if you, for instance, use a phone app that displays your monthly fees. Smart metres can also be used to reveal cheaper off-peak times. Those times tend to peak in the later morning and early afternoon when people are usually at work and not busy using the network.
If you live very close to a public charging station, the costs of a charge can range from €5-€15, depending on your area and charging length. Busy areas in bigger cities (think of London or Berlin) can demand higher charges (we have seen costs that exceeded €50 for one rapid charge) and home charging solutions may save you a lot of money. Just keep in mind that the older your battery, the longer your charging duration will be. Public charging stations usually offer three types of charging speeds: slow (3kW), fast (7-22kW), and rapid (50kW). Not all charging types will be available to your specific car, and you may need an adapter, so check your area carefully before you drive to a charging station with a flat battery.
3. Battery Life
Just like any other electronic device, electric vehicles will experience a level of battery deterioration in their lifetime; however, the decay of the battery strength is not as extreme as the decay of smaller batteries in i.e. cellphones. That means that the charging duration can increase due to wear and tear, but electric car owners do not have to expect sudden combustion of their battery as users sometimes have to expect using an old cellphone or laptop. The electronic vehicles rely on a much more sophisticated system and enable smarter charging. For instance, rapid charging docks will decrease the charging speed at 80 % battery level to preserve the battery quality. Most electronic car manufacturers will offer some form of insurance upon purchase to ensure a healthy battery life cycle.
4. Planning Journeys
Planning your day is an essential task of being an electric car owner. While traditional cars can rely on a huge network with petrol stations, car towing services, and even merchandise, electric vehicles are still the at a disadvantage on the road. Therefore, the mapping of your daily journeys will make or break your life as an electric car owner. Just imagine your daily use of your car: Are you planning on driving your care to the grocery shop? Do you want to drive into work? Do you want to take your car on longer journeys where charging may prove to be exceptionally difficult? Factors, such as optional charging at your workplace or additional charging stations at a grocery store, will make a big difference in your day-to-day life. Once you do have a better understanding of your area, you will, however, be a much more confident electric car driver.
Undoubtedly, electric cars have recently been gaining more and more popularity, establishing their role as cars of the future and making sure everybody can reduce their personal carbon footprints. So if you feel like buying an electric vehicle but can’t purchase your dream car in your country, you will have to consider importing one. In this case, check out Novora, an Austrian company that knows everything about this difficult process and offers amazing import tips to both beginners and experienced car-importers.