Electric Car Buying Guide: Everything You need to Know Before Buying an Electric Car 2022

Electric Car Buying Guide: Everything You need to Know Before Buying an Electric Car 2022

Electric Car Buying Guide 2022: Today, electric vehicles are more popular than ever. It’s becoming more and more common to see battery-powered cars on the road and plugged into charging stations. Electric vehicles are the future of mobility, and we all know how it can have a positive impact on our planet. Cleaner emissions means less pollution, and less pollution means a greener environment. So, electric vehicles have a huge role to play, when it comes to eco-friendly transportation.

Currently, there are only a handful of electric cars on sale in India. If you are planning to buy an electric car, and looking for an Electric Car Buying Guide, then this article will provide you with all the information related to electric vehicles.


Buying an electric car can be tricky given the complex technical terms of the EVs. There are a ton of factors to consider before buying an eco-friendly car. From the price of the car to the charging infrastructure, every factor impacts your choice. This article will throw light on the points you should consider before buying an electric vehicle.

Things to Consider Before Buying an Electric Car:

Now that you have decided to buy an electric car, the next step is to choose the right EV for your requirement. Several factors impact your decision making. Buying an electric car is not as simple as buying a conventional petrol/diesel car. Below are the points to consider before buying an electric vehicle:

Why Buy an EV?

The most obvious benefit of owning an electric car is not having to visit the gas station—unless you need coffee or snacks, of course. Consumer Reports found that charging at home can save EV owners up to $1,000 a year, a compelling reason to leave gasoline behind. Given that they have electric motors instead of engines, they are also less expensive to maintain on average.

EVs can also help the environment, as electric cars have zero tailpipe emissions and get you around more efficiently. Companies across all industries are working hard to lower their carbon footprint, and electric vehicles are key to reducing emissions in transportation. And while it’s true that emissions are produced by the manufacturing process for any vehicle, you can reduce the carbon debt by shopping for used electric vehicles.

How Electric Vehicles Work

Most drivers are used to driving cars with a gas-powered engine and filling up at a gas station. Electric vehicles are different by design; they are powered by an electric motor and battery. To recharge, you simply plug it in at home or at a public charging station. If you recharge your vehicle daily and plan around your daily commute, owning an EV can be a lot like owning a smartphone.

Electric Car Buying Guide: Everything You need to Know Before Buying an Electric Car 2022

While it’s widely known that electric vehicles are efficient, many people don’t realize that they can also be surprisingly fun to drive. Modern examples of EVs produce instant torque, enabling them to accelerate quickly from a standstill. Even entry-level EVs like the Nissan Leaf can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in as little as 6.5 seconds, which is comparable to some sports cars.

Price of Electric Car

Electric vehicles are environment-friendly, but they are not pocket-friendly! Due to the complex electric drivetrain and expensive battery packs, the electric cars are pricey when compared to their conventional counterparts. Even a small electric hatchback car can cost over Rs. 6 lakh. So, you should keep your budget in mind before deciding to buy an electric car.

Incentives And Tax Benefits of EV

The incentives and tax benefits offered by the government can reduce the overall cost of electric vehicles. So, make sure to check on the exact percentage of incentive and tax benefits you get, if you purchase an eco-friendly vehicle. The Government of India also offers some benefits such as reduced service tax (GST) that reduces the price of an electric car.

Software Updates

Electric vehicles are equipped with complex powertrain and advanced technology, and the manufacturers often improve the electric cars with the latest technology via rolling out software updates. So, make sure that you get regular software upgrades after buying an EV. Some manufacturers offer free regular improvements to the software, while some charge the owners for the updates. So make an informed choice while buying an electric vehicle.

Specifications of Electric Car Which You Want to Buy

Electric vehicles come with a wide range of electric motors and battery packs of different capacities. You need to choose an electric car which has the specifications that match your requirements. An underpowered electric vehicle can be irritating to drive. Go through the technical details thoroughly of the electric car before deciding to buy one.

How much Electric Car Range do You Need?

The driving range is one of the crucial factors while buying an electric vehicle. Don’t rely on the manufacturer specified driving range figures. Instead, look for real-life reviews to get an idea about the driving range of the EV in real-world conditions. Typically, an electric car should deliver a driving range of over 100km, which is sufficient for daily drives.

Electric cars often provide a minimum of 200 miles of driving range for every charge. Some of the most popular crack the 300-mile barrier, such as the Tesla Model 3 sedan and Tesla Model Y crossover SUV. The Tesla Model Y was the best-selling EV in the U.S. in 2021.

The Lucid Air Dream Edition is the current king of electric car range. The luxury EV has a maximum range of 520 miles. That impressive figure is tempered by the Air Dream’s hefty asking price of more than $160,000. Remember earlier when we were discussing your electric car budgets? More range and bigger battery packs often cost extra money.

There are options if you don’t need the long legs and luxury trimmings of a vehicle like the Lucid Air. Far more affordable models like the Chevrolet Bolt EUV and Kia 000270, -0.50% Niro EV deliver about 240 miles of charge and cost a fraction of the price.

Battery Life

A battery pack is one of the most important components of an electric vehicle. At the same time, the battery is also one of the most expensive parts of the EV. Replacing a battery pack of the electric vehicle can burn a hole in your pocket. So, always check the battery life before investing in an eco-friendly car. The longer the battery life, the lower the maintenance cost.


Charging Infrastructure

The charging infrastructure is still in its nascent stage in the country. You cannot find electric vehicle charging stations as frequently as fuel stations, and it is one of the biggest challenges for EV owners. Currently, major metro cities have adequate charging stations, but everywhere else, the situation is not the same.

Recharging your electric car is more than connecting a plug and outlet. There are different types of chargers — Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 — with vastly different rates of charge times. Level 3 chargers are known as DC fast chargers, though not all EVs have the capability to receive high output from some stations.

  • If you need an electric car that will stay on the road for long stretches away from home, consider limiting your search to EVs with acceptance rates higher than 50 kW. Higher acceptance rates and higher output from some Level 3 chargers mean you’ll spend less time charging on road trips. You might want to limit your search to EVs capable of using Level 3 fast-charging stations. Generally speaking, these chargers can feed about 80% of a battery’s capacity in roughly 30 minutes. Charging time depends on many factors, including the output of the charging station and limitations on how much energy the EV can receive.
  • A Level 2 charger is more common, though it doesn’t have the speed of fast charge technology. Budget about 20 miles of added range for every hour plugged into a Level 2 charging station.
  • If you’re in no hurry to get back on the road, plugging an EV into a regular 110-volt outlet could take up to 24 hours or longer to fully charge the battery. You won’t have to rely on this degree of Level 1 charging unless absolutely necessary. Some owners who use their EVs for short trips around town find Level 1 charging is adequate for replenishing the car’s battery overnight at home.

When it comes to pricing, the cost to charge an EV depends on where and when you’re recharging. Some public stations might be free to use at shopping centers or other establishments. Others may offer free charging for a set period or during specific times of the day. Be sure to read the fine print before plugging in for the first time, as parking your EV at a station might incur regular parking rates applied in that lot or penalties if you exceed a permissible charging time.

Regarding general pricing to recharge at home, a U.S. household typically pays 15 cents for every kWh of electricity. Electric cars often get about 3-4 miles of range for every kWh. As you’d expect, public stations operated by charging networks typically cost more.

Are there charging stations where you live?

An electric car comes with a wide range of charging options such as fast-charging, standard charging and slow charging. Fast-chargers are expensive to install, and you can hardly find a few of them in your city. Standard and slow charging technique is feasible and can also be installed at your home. Some EVs can also be charged from the electric outlet of your residence. So, do check out the charging options on the electric car, before buying one.

If you don’t charge at home, check for a reliable charging network nearby to keep your EV on the road. That might sound like obvious advice. However, it’s worth pointing out even the best EV could turn into a four-wheeled paperweight if you can’t plug it in.

A home charging station makes a lot of sense and is a smart investment. Check to see if there are any charging incentives in your region or if your workplace has chargers available for employees. We suggest downloading apps like PlugShare and ChargePoint, particularly if you’ll be driving in unfamiliar surroundings and know you’ll need to rely on public charging stations.

These apps have filters that allow you to zero in on specific outlets suitable for your car, along with current rates for charging at a given location and whether the station is in good operating order. The last thing you want to do is pull into a station with little battery charge remaining, only to discover the charger isn’t functioning.

When in doubt, have a backup plan if you’re concerned a specific charging station might not be available.

Maintenance Cost of Electric Car

Maintenance is one of the important aspects of owning an electric car. Without proper maintenance, the EV may not perform efficiently. Normally, electric vehicles are very easy to maintain, as there are less moving parts in an EV. But in case of a breakdown, the repair bills can cost dearly. Also, the spare parts are very expensive when compared to a conventional car. Also, there are only a handful of mechanics available for EVs, and you have to deal with the manufacturer for any service or repair works.

Electric cars don’t just save you money by never requiring a single drop of gasoline or an oil change. They also cost less to maintain than a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. That’s because there are fewer moving parts in the powertrain of an electric car.

The mechanical recipe of an electric car is pretty much the automotive equivalent of a bowl of cereal. There’s a minimum of one electric motor, a battery pack, and a single-speed transmission that sends power to the wheels. Depending on your chosen make and model, EVs come in front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive configurations.

EVs do require maintenance at some point. Tires, brake pads, suspension components, and other items will need attention. Yet, minus the churning pistons of a traditional gas-fed engine, electric motors have fewer moving parts that could go wrong and require an expensive fix.

Battery packs and electric motors eventually need replacement, though this shouldn’t be necessary for at least 10 or more years, depending on your driving habits.


Additional Costs

When you own an electric car, there are several additional costs associated with the eco-friendly vehicle. You have to spend an additional amount of money to get a home-charger, charging station installation, maintenance of charging station and public station charging. These expenses can make the ownership experience quite expensive when compared to a conventional vehicle. So, be aware of these additional costs before owning an electric car.


Practical Usability

An electric car is not a practical vehicle, especially in a country like India. It all boils down to your requirements. How much distance do you drive in a day, and what is the driving range of the electric vehicle? It makes sense to own an EV if you reside in a metro city, and all you need is a car to commute to your office. For others, an electric car might not be a practical choice. So, do consider this point before deciding to own an EV.


Brand and Model

Currently, there are only a handful of electric cars in the Indian market. So, the choice should not be a difficult task. Hyundai (Kona), Mahindra, Tata Motors and MG Motor India retail eco-friendly vehicles in the country. The options are few, but they belong to different price brackets. So, depending on your budget and requirement, you can choose the right brand and model.

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After-sales Service and Support

Once you purchase an electric vehicle, the ownership experience can be good or bad depending on the after-sales service and support offered by the manufacturer. Nowadays, most of the EV manufacturers offer several years of warranty on battery packs and also install a wall charger at your desired location. The service centres will have trained professionals to service the electric car. So, always opt for a brand which is offering good after-sales support for a good ownership experience.

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Electric or Hybrid & Plug-In Hybrids?

If buying an electric vehicle is not practical for you, then you can consider buying a hybrid car. A hybrid car produces fewer emissions than a conventional car. A hybrid car makes use of a combination of internal combustion (IC) engine and electric motor to run efficiently. The electric motors draw power from the battery packs, which are charged by regenerative braking or by the IC engine. Hybrid vehicles are also reliable when compared to fully-electric vehicles.

Vehicles like the Toyota Prius combine an internal combustion engine and electric motor, which enables electric operation during initial acceleration and at low speeds. This can help save on fuel, especially in stop and go traffic. Plug-in hybrids add a small-capacity battery that enable all-electric driving for shorter distances, combining the appeal of an EV with the flexibility of a traditional car.

Wondering about the pros and cons of electric vehicles? For most people, saving money on gasoline is a big enough reason to make the jump. Of course, you’ll need a place to plug in and charge if you want to make that happen. This may not be a problem if you’re a homeowner or have EV charging readily available to you, but you may need to spend extra time planning your next road trip.


Used vs. New Electric Cars

If buying a brand new electric car is out of range, you can consider buying a used one. Since EVs don’t have a lot of moving parts, buying a used electric vehicle can be a good option. But before buying a used EV do check the remaining battery performance/warranty, condition of the electric motors, condition of the tyres, charging options and the mileage of the car.

There are plenty of new electric vehicles to choose from, with several all-new models to get excited about. But if you’re looking for a bargain, a used EV can be an outstanding value. Many of the best used electric vehicles have depreciated quickly in a short amount of time and are available for a fraction of their original MSRP. You’ll also be giving a car a second life, which helps reduce your overall carbon footprint.

Cost of Car Insurance

The cost of insuring an electric vehicle is on the higher side because EVs are expensive. The higher the value of the vehicle, the higher the cost of insurance. When compared to conventional vehicles, car insurance for electric vehicles is expensive. So, do consider the higher car insurance cost before opting for an electric car.


Buying Vs. Leasing an Electric Car

Leasing an electric car can be a good option if you do not plan to own the EV for a very long time. Leasing also reduces the overall cost of ownership as you can also purchase maintenance packages for the lease. You will also avoid the hassle of re-selling the car, as you can return the car after the end of the lease tenure. Nowadays, even car manufacturers offer leasing options, so leasing could be a better option than buying an electric car.

There’s a lot to consider when you’re choosing whether to buy or lease an electric vehicle. Batteries are getting more efficient, and their range is increasing greatly over a typical 3-year lease which allows you to move up to greater range and newer technology every few years while only spending a third or a half of the typical purchase price for a new EV. Leasing an EV will ensure that you have the latest and greatest. For buyers, you’ll want to make sure that the range is sustainable for your long-term needs. Either way, you can expect a confidence-inspiring warranty of at least 8 years or 100,000 miles.

Test drive

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to two or three electric cars that you like, I recommend getting behind the wheel and taking a test drive to see how they feel.

Specs to Consider While Buying an Electric Car

An electric vehicle is a very complicated machine with advanced technology and complex electric drivetrain. It is crucial to understand the basic functionality of an electric car before buying one. In other words, you should go through an electric car buying guide to understand the fundamentals of an EV. Below are the important specs of an EV, which you should consider before buying an electric vehicle:

Type of Electric Vehicle

First, you need to figure out which type of electric car you want to buy. There are mainly four types of electric vehicles: fully-electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric. A hybrid electric vehicle does not require any kind of external charging, and fuel cell vehicles are still in its nascent stage.


Driving Range

Driving range of an electric car is nothing but the distance covered by an electric vehicle on a single full charge. The driving range is a crucial factor while buying an EV as the charging infrastructure is still in its developing phase. You might not find as many charging stations as conventional fuel stations, so it is better to buy an electric car with a good driving range.


Type of Battery and Capacity

Modern electric vehicles make use of Lithium-Ion battery packs, which are light and efficient in terms of charging and discharging. You have to also consider the capacity of the battery, which impacts the driving range of an EV. The higher the battery capacity, the better the driving range.


Charging Specifications

It’s not only the battery capacity which matters, but the time taken for charging the battery is also crucial in an EV. Usually, an EV comes with charging options such as standard charging and fast-charging. Installing a fast-charger is expensive, but it can charge the battery within a few hours. Normal charging stations can be installed at your home, but it will take a lot of time to fully charge the battery.


Acceleration of EV

Usually, an electric vehicle is on par with IC engine vehicles when it comes to acceleration. Thanks to the instant torque generated by the electric motors, an EV can accelerate very quickly. The acceleration depends on the number of electric motors and the power generated by the electric motors.


Power and Torque

Power of an electric car is the mechanical output provided by the electrical energy, and it is measured in hp. The torque gives you an idea of the acceleration of the EV, and it depends on how powerful the electric motor is. Better torque and power figures make the driving experience enjoyable.


Warranty on Battery

A battery pack is one of the most expensive components of an EV. Usually, manufacturers provide warranty on the battery pack in terms of the driving distance or the amount of time. So, always look out for how much warranty is provided for the battery pack.


Energy Consumption

You have to consider the amount of electricity consumed by an EV to determine the efficiency of the electric vehicle when compared to a conventional car. The energy consumption also determines the running cost of an electric vehicle. Usually, electric cars have very low running cost when compared to IC engine vehicles.

Is Insurance required for Electric Cars?

The answer to this question is a big Yes! Insuring your electric car is crucial as the value of an EV is very high. Any minor damages to the electric car could attract a handsome repair bill. So, it is best to opt for a comprehensive car insurance policy for your electric vehicle. A comprehensive insurance plan offers third-party and Own Damage coverage. You can buy car insurance online, and you can also compare different insurance plans before making the purchase. Car insurance renewal is also simple as it can be done online without any paperwork.


Electric cars have a pivotal role to play as far as the future of mobility is concerned. Electric vehicles are eco-friendly, and it is the way to go forward. Buying an electric car can be tricky in the current situation, where the charging infrastructure is in its nascent stage. But if you make an informed choice, by considering all the factors, the experience of owning an electric car will be enjoyable, both for you and the environment!

If you’re hesitating because you’re not sure an electric car meets your budget or needs, then take some time and do more research. Don’t be afraid to test drive a variety of makes and models, too. As with any car search, getting behind the wheel and experiencing a vehicle first-hand can help seal the deal or make you realize it isn’t the car for you.

The average price of a new car hit a record high this summer, which might factor into whether you want to buy now or wait to see if prices cool in the months ahead. Automakers are rolling out more and more EVs with every model year. This will lead to an even wider variety of electric models, ranging from small sedans and hatchbacks to full-size trucks and SUVs with three rows of seating.

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