Does an electric vehicle work with your lifestyle? You might be surprised how suitable an EV is.
Choose the right range
Hybrids do not have any issue for overall driving range. However, battery electric vehicles come with variety of driving ranges. Longer ranges require larger and more powerful batteries, which comes a higher price. This is why it's good to understand your requirements and choose according to your needs.
What determines electric vehicle range?
- Size of the battery
- Battery capacity
- Driving habits
- Type of EV
EVs go further than you think
Electric vehicles can travel further on a single charge than many people travel each day.
- Typical EV ranges go from 100km up to 500km
- 80% of car journeys in Ireland cover distances of 20km or under
- Most EV charging is done at home
- There is a nationwide charging network ecars Charge Point Map
Your driving habits and needs
Assess your driving habits and needs to see if an EV suits you. Doing this will also help you choose a battery that is suitable to your needs. There is no point in driving around a battery that is too big and heavy for your requirements. Bigger, heavier batteries require more energy to move the vehicle.
Here are some questions to ask:
Many drivers only travel small distances in a day. If you work at a fixed location, or do set runs in the car (e.g. school or shops) it should be easy to calculate your round trip. Include any detours or stops along the way. These commutes are likely to account for much of your weekly driving.
Weekends or leisure days can be a little trickier to figure out. Try looking back over the previous year to put a fair estimate on your driving. Consider if you generally stay within a limited (say 40km radius) of your home, or if you often travel up to 200km away. Doing this can be useful to help decide whether to go electric, and what size battery you may need.
Needing to travel long distances regularly can make it difficult to choose an EV. But a nationwide network of fast charging stations make it possible to travel long distances in an EV. Also, stopping to charge may provide a welcome break. An alternative could be to use a bus or a train. This choice can offer some time to relax on the way.
If you have a second car in the household, then consider whether you can swap vehicles once in a while. Often, when there are two cars, the petrol or diesel vehicle is used for the longer journeys.
Electric vehicles are very suitable as the second car, however in practice, once a family buys an EV, it becomes the primary vehicle. Be careful though, in many households there is a competition to get hold of the EV keys!
Having access to home charging is a big advantage for an EV driver. If you own a home with a dedicated driveway, you should be able to have a charge point installed. For those renting a property you will probably need the permission of the owner.
Apartments are often a little more complex. Charging installation options may change depending on whether car spaces are dedicated or not. You will need to contact the property management company to discuss the option. Solutions for charging in shared spaces are available.