What to look for before buying an electric car?


The purchase of a vehicle, both new and used, is always a highly implicated decision . We can spend weeks and even months studying the market before taking the plunge. Until now, we hesitated between brands, bodies and engines. However, electric cars are added to the current situation, a subject in which we are all still quite green, so it is the most normal thing that a sea of ​​doubts arises.


The objective of this article is that you have a small ‘checklist’ at hand so that you can check if you are ready to have an electric car, or, on the contrary, if, on the contrary, other vehicles with which you are not going to having so much dependency on the plug . As we will see, owning an electric car will not only be a matter of having the necessary money to acquire it, but other external factors will also influence our decision.

  • Space and cost of the charging station
  • Are you going to pay off an electric car?
  • Electric car range
  • Type of load
  • Opinions on the manufacturer and model
  • Aid and subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles

Space and cost of the charging station

If you do not have a private parking lot where you can install a charging station , it is most likely that you will not be able to rent an electric vehicle. Having to go from one place to another to have the vehicle charged will seem bearable at first, but it will become real torture after a few months.

There is an increasing supply of companies that install this type of stations. We are not going to dwell too long on this point, but you should know that the cost of the installation is not particularly high, and that there are numerous government aids that you can use to minimize the cost.

What you do have to make sure beforehand is that you can install the station in your car park without problems. Ask your community of owners and solve the problems before starting the process.

If you have a second home that you use while on vacation, consider setting up a station there as well. It may seem absurd to spend so much money just for a few weeks a year, but it will be much worse to spend the whole summer waiting for the car battery. This point should be considered within the budget so that you can determine with great precision how much money it will cost you to charge an electric car .

Are you going to pay off an electric car?

This question may seem a bit innocent, but it has its crumb. Electric cars are much more expensive than combustion cars and hybrids . They also have a shorter useful life, due to the degradation of the batteries —although in these first years, the average degradation has been less than what was estimated. Therefore, you will have to do a good number of kilometers so that you can consider that you have saved money with the electric one.

It is possible that you are only looking for an electric one due to restrictions, as is happening in many cities with Low Emission Zones . ‘Zero emission’ cars have many advantages over traditional cars. However, with a plug-in hybrid car you will not have any limitations either, and you will have a more versatile vehicle. Of course, it will have a greater environmental impact directly.

There are numerous online tools that can help you do these calculations . Ideally, you should use as a base the number of annual kilometers that you have traveled on average with your current car. In this way, you can get an idea of ​​whether or not you rent the change.

Electric car range

The offer of electric vehicles is becoming more extensive. However, the cheapest cars in each segment have very short ranges, so it is only recommended to use them per city. In addition, the mileage that we can travel on a single charge will be reduced by issues such as the weather or even the elevation of the terrain.

In general, electric cars offer autonomy that varies between 150 and 500 kilometers , although some premium models can exceed this figure. If you take long trips, you will have to stretch the budget towards the more expensive models.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a car to use only in the city, you should also calculate if it will give you time to charge it between uses. To make the calculations, simply take your usual movements on a day-to-day basis as a reference. If the model you have in mind is very tight, the only solutions will be to go for another model that has a greater autonomy, or think about buying a PHEV-type vehicle .

Type of load

Another very important piece of information that you should consult in the technical data sheet of the electric car that you want to buy is the type of charge it supports. As a general rule, there are two types:

  • Level 1 charging – works from a standard wall socket, and is the slowest charging method with which you can charge an electric car. On average, about 5 kilometers are recharged every hour.
  • Level 2 charging : it is the standard that you will find in many public car parks and the one that you can install in your car park. They work with alternating current at a power of 240 volts. This type of charging allows you to enter between 3 and 20 kilowatts, so the vehicle will be fully charged in about 8 hours at most.
  • Level 3 Charge – Also known as ‘Fast Charge’. This type of charge is the one that should worry you the most, since the time you have to spend standing at service stations during long trips will depend on this. Level 3 charges are effective as long as the car is below 80% capacity. Upon reaching this percentage, the flow of electrons is considerably reduced to avoid overheating. Each manufacturer supports a different type of fast charge, but as a general rule, they start from 20 kW of power. Some premium vehicles like the Porsche Taycan or the Audi e-tron GT support ‘ultra-fast charging’, which allows them to use 150 kW chargers.

Opinions on the manufacturer and model

Reliability is one of the downsides of electric vehicles Mechanically, they are simpler than combustion cars, but the little experience of manufacturers with this type of technology takes its toll.

Before launching into the purchase, look for information among other users who have already tried that car. If the model is new, consult the opinion of people who have purchased a vehicle of that brand in forums so that you can get an idea of ​​what failures you could find and how the company acts in terms of after-sales service.

Aid and subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles

Renewing the car park is almost a priority in a country like ours. Therefore, it is not surprising that public bodies offer a series of incentives for the purchase of electric cars .

Currently, it is possible to benefit from the MOVES III Plan , an initiative that seeks to facilitate the transition of users of older and more polluting vehicles towards hybrid and electric vehicles. Of course, the MOVES III Plan requires scrapping the vehicle that we deliver on most occasions. The amount that we will receive depends on a series of factors, such as the electric autonomy of the new vehicle that we are going to acquire.

The aid for those who do not want to scrap their old vehicle is smaller, but it is also interesting. It should be noted that the MOVES III Plan applies to both electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles .

The deadline to benefit from this program ends on December 31, 2023 . However, there are a couple of important details that you should know beforehand:

  • The budget for the MOVES III Plan is fixed, so if the established fund runs out, you will not be able to benefit from the aid.
  • The aid is not applied directly , so you will have to assume the full payment of the vehicle on your own. In addition, once you receive the aid, you should also know that you will have to declare it as a capital gain. Therefore, the money you save on the new vehicle will be somewhat less than what you initially receive.

At this point, it is time to ask yourself if all these factors that we have described do not impede the purchase of an electric car . If so, all you have to do is analyze the market in search of the model that best suits your lifestyle. If you are looking for a cheap electric car , here we leave you a good read so that you can review the most interesting models that you can find today in Spanish dealerships.

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