Research Electric Car Performance
Research your Electric Car before Buying
While electric cars have been available commercially for several decades, it has only been in the last couple of decades that big car manufacturers like Toyota, Ford, Honda, Fiat, General Motors, Peugeot, Renault, Citroen and Volkswagen really began taking on a more serious role in the development and manufacture of electric cars, making more types of cars available to consumers than ever before. Smaller manufacturers, like Think, REVA, Piaggio, Aixam, ZAP, GEM, Dynasty and DENN were also making and selling quite a number of electric cars over the years. Although many of the cars were made available on lease terms and were scrapped after the leases expired, many were also sold for private ownership and have since landed in the used car market. On top of that, there were quite a few conversions to electric cars which went on to the market too. For you, the consumer, this is a great time to buy an electric car. With so many options for leasing, or buying new or used, this truly is your market.
It is advisable to do as much research as you can on your preferred electric car to understand as much as possible about it. The Internet proves a faithful assistant in this respect, since you can find a source for almost any information you want on electric cars, particularly specifications on makes and models and potential range and performance, as well as personal blogs and posts from real users.
You can also participate in web forums created by users who drive electric cars. Do not be afraid to ask questions – no matter how simple the question may seem to you – to discover the good and bad points about the car that has caught your attention. Remember that there is no such thing as a dumb question. You want to be as informed as possible.
Look around your neighborhood for owners who drive the car you like and ask them questions about their experience with their car. Many owners are helpful to assist when approached courteously, and are even enthusiastic about promoting the benefits (and drawbacks) of driving an electric car. A current owner often makes the best consultant, since he or she can give you a true picture of owning an electric car and the practicalities of everyday driving.
If you actually want to go for a ride in a car, you may have some luck with car clubs. You can also consult some electric car specialists or companies for more information about going for test drives or getting a close up on a car. Another option, probably the easiest to achieve, is to rent an electric car for the day or for the weekend. Many rental car companies now have electric cars available for rent.
Some questions on your Fact Finding list should include:
* How is the performance of the electric car?
* What about its performance going up hill?
* What is the achievable range with good batteries?
* How is the range affected during winter? (Most electric cars tend to have lower ranges in cold weather)
* How expensive are the spare parts and where can you find them?
* How about servicing the car?
* Where are the specialist companies to service the cars?
* How often do batteries need to be replaced?
* What is the battery replacement cost?
* What are some of the common faults found in an electric car, and what is the cost of rectification?
Today, there is no shortage of electric car clubs; they can be found all over the world. You will find some clubs that focus exclusively on a specific model or make while others are more inclusive of all types. Some clubs are local or regional, while others are nationwide or global.
For example, the North American Electric Auto Association and the U.K. Battery Vehicle Society are known to be the best electric car clubs available.
Car manufacturers such as REVA, Nissan, Tesla and Mitsubishi also offer their own specialist car clubs to their electric car customers. Some offer free memberships, whereas others charge a fee. If you do find free electric car clubs, take advantage of the opportunity to join. You can then discover more about your preferred models from the owners’ experiences, risk free.