Planning or thinking about buying an electric car? If the supply of electric vehicles is starting to develop well, it is not always easy to navigate for the uninitiated. Range, recharging, equipment… Automobile-Propre gives you the main criteria to take into account to make the right choice.
Autonomy: assessing your needs
This remains the number one concern in choosing an electric car. Without necessarily trying to go “always further”, it is probably best to remain pragmatic by simply asking yourself the following questions: “What types of routes would I be required to take with my electric car?” What will my daily mileage be? “.
An analysis that will allow you to better target your models. During your research, remember to keep in mind the fact that a difference exists between the autonomy announced by the manufacturer and the actual autonomy.
As a general rule and depending on usage, an electric car with a 50 kWh battery will announce 350 to 400 km with the WLTP cycle, but can achieve between 200 and 300 km in real conditions. Our range simulator will allow you to know the range of your electric vehicle according to your driving parameters.
What is the range of an electric car?
Choose your charging solution
Just as important as autonomy, the charging part should not be forgotten when buying an electric car. Two things have to be taken into account:
- The on-board charger aboard the car. The more powerful it is, the shorter the charging time. The 7.4 kW charger becomes the norm, models offer 11 kW or even 22 kW (for example the Renault Zoé). Note that the full power of the on-board charger can only be used if you have a suitable wall-box (at home or a public terminal).
- The presence of a Combo CCS quick connector, which has become the standard in Europe, which allows you to recover a lot of autonomy in a short time, for example with the electric Mégane, you can find 300 km (WLTP cycle) in 30 min (DC 130 kW recharge). Before the Combo CCS, there was the CHAdeMO quick-release, used in particular by the Nissan Leaf.
For those who want to make regular long trips, the fast charging features are important. So be careful to choose the corresponding version or option, or have at least 22 kW AC.
For those who charge in a garage, you will need to anticipate the position of your socket or charging station, as not all electric cars have the same location for the charging hatch. For example, that of the Renault Zoé is located on the front face, that of the Peugeot e-208 at the rear left.
As for those who wish to invoke the famous “right to take” to install a terminal in co-ownership, take into account the implementation times which can, depending on the case, take a few months.
Charging stations, condominiums & right to plug
Choose the electric car that suits your needs
The supply of electric vehicles has developed well in recent years. This time there are proposals in all categories, from small electric city cars to large sedans, including of course all sizes of SUVs.
On this point, everyone is free to choose the model that suits them the most according to their needs in terms of habitability, load volume or parking space. But beware: the silhouette has a great influence on the autonomy! An SUV will thus have less autonomy than a sedan with an equivalent battery.
Equipment not to be overlooked
While we often tend to focus on range and battery capacity when buying an electric car, everything related to equipment – which will be used on a daily basis – is also important. And there are elements specific to the electric car.
Thus, for those who live in territories where the winter is harsh, remember that autonomy will tend to decrease in winter. The heat pump option, which consumes much less energy than conventional heating, is important. Ditto for the heated seats which make it possible to better concentrate the heat and therefore consume less.
In addition to the possibilities of charging the vehicle, be careful to have the necessary charging cables. We are also thinking of on-board connectivity: a route planner will be a great help in the GPS, in order to take into account stops for recharging.
What options and equipment should you choose for your electric car?
Choose your dealership wisely
According to the manufacturers, not all dealerships are necessarily able to sell or service electric cars.
Also, remember to inquire in advance about the presence of a demonstration vehicle and the possibilities of testing before you go on site.
An essential test before the final choice!
You can go through the manufacturers’ technical brochures or the tests published on the web for hours, the best way to form an opinion on a car, whether electric or not, is undoubtedly to be able to take it in hand.
Seating, handling, acceleration, regeneration modes or equipment… A test in real conditions that will allow you to both discover the sensations behind the wheel of an electric car and to better compare the different models.
In concessions, do not hesitate to ask if it is possible to do a test during a weekend. If the answer may vary greatly from one manufacturer or dealership to another, it costs nothing to try your luck. The other alternative is to simply rent the car. Be careful, however, to ensure that it is the latest model, especially in terms of battery capacity.
Which purchase formula to choose for your electric car?
Beyond all the technical aspects, the purchase formula is also to be taken into account when choosing an electric car. Battery rental, full purchase or LLD, we summarize the main solutions…
Purchase of the car & battery rental
A formula that has long been debated. The battery rental lowers the initial cost of the car and gives a certain peace of mind in the event of problems with the battery, but requires paying a “lifetime” package. This is becoming rare for new vehicles (specialist in the genre, Renault has put an end to it), but beware of used models.
Car + battery! If the complete purchase is obviously more expensive, it makes it possible to be freed from the redundancy of the hiring and facilitates the operations of resale on a market of the occasion which only asks to develop. In terms of guarantees, the deadlines offered by the manufacturers – generally 8 years – are quite reassuring, even if the general conditions relating to the replacement of the battery pack in the event of failure should be read carefully.
Long term rental
Appreciated by many users, long-term rental allows you to commit to several years with rents smoothed over time (except for the first, which is generally more expensive). A solution that makes it easy to change cars at the end of the contract to equip themselves with a model generally equipped with better autonomy and new equipment.
What purchase formula for his electric car?
The purchase price: subsidies and discounts!
Already, the catalog price of an electric vehicle can be lowered thanks to the ecological bonus, set at €5,000 and even €7,000 for half of the French (the most modest therefore). Please note that the bonus now concerns models under €47,000. There is also the conversion bonus and the ZFE bonus! Also, remember to take a look at local aid. There can sometimes be good surprises…
All aid for the purchase of an electric car in 2023
And that’s not all. Even electric cars are getting discounts. Some are announced by the brands on their website, others will be negotiated in concession. Do not hesitate to play the competition or to aim for a model at the end of its life. Once again, who tries nothing has nothing.
The cost of charging
The cost will depend on the price per kWh. With a regulated tariff, it is around 20 cents. On a fast charging station, it will be around 60 cents. It is best to opt for home charging with a regulated “peak hours / off-peak” rate, since charging is done primarily at night. The kWh in off-peak hours is 16 cents. Recharging a 50 kWh battery thus costs €8. If we manage to do 300 km, it gives 2.66 € to do 100 km. A petrol car that consumes 6 l/100 km is more than €10 per 100 km!
The other element will also be consumption. The lower it is, the greater the autonomy with the same recharge will be. The consumption announced by the brand can therefore be another important aspect of the choice.
What is the cost of charging an electric car?
No stress to have, especially since this time the brands are starting to take a step back. To reassure the customer, the battery is often guaranteed for a long period, longer than that of the rest. It is thus 8 years at Peugeot and Renault. Be careful though, a battery will wear out over time and lose recharging capacity. This aspect will depend on the number of charge/recharge cycles. But there too, manufacturers will commit to a minimum capacity after a certain time. It’s 70% at Peugeot, for example.
Beware of unpleasant surprises!
Check the presence of all the equipment and options desired before signing the order form. On some models and depending on the finishes, remember that equipment such as 7 kW AC charging, the heat pump or the quick connector may be optional.
As for the withdrawal period, be careful because it does not always apply in the automotive world, which is an exception. So check your sales contract carefully before signing it.
Other questions ? Call on the community!
Want to chat with users? Beyond its editorial part, Automobile-Propre offers you a particularly active forum.
Real autonomy, advantages and disadvantages… the electro-mobile community will be able to answer your questions. By asking nicely, some will even be ready to meet you to show you their car and advise you in “your conversion”…