When buying an electric car

Should the next vehicle be an electric car? More and more car drivers are addressing this question. However, since e-mobility is still relatively new and for many interested people a book with seven seals, uncertainties exist. Not everyone is aware of the consequences of the switch from combustion engines to electric cars.

In the following we answer questions that one should ask oneself before making a qualified decision.

How high is my mobility requirement?

Most electric cars can cover 150 kilometers without any problems, while luxury electric vehicles can cover up to 500 kilometers. Therefore, when choosing the right vehicle, it is important to consider how far you want to drive in everyday life without recharging the car. If, for example, you drive 50 kilometers there and back to your workplace every day, you can easily meet this requirement. The prerequisite, of course, is that a small electric car would have to be able to recharge every day.

How does an electric car actually work?

This question will amuse many people, because it sounds banal. With electricity, of course! Sounds simple, but if you think it through completely, there are important consequences.
First of all, the electricity has to be carried along, and this is done with a lithium-ion battery. Its capacity is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh).

Commercially available batteries are between 15 and 100 kWh. The energy has to be fed into this battery, and as quickly as possible. This is technically demanding, which is why all batteries are controlled by complex electronics. The battery charges fastest in the range between 30 and 70% state of charge. If it is almost empty or almost full, it charges more slowly.

The electric drive for vehicles has been around for more than 100 years. Since then, it has been under development and is now completely mature, powerful, durable and virtually maintenance-free. Many things that you normally have to worry about in a car are thus superfluous. An electric car has neither gearbox nor gear shift. The engine simply revs up and unfolds its full power in any condition. And it has a lot of power, a lot…

It also needs no carburetor, alternator, ignition or exhaust system – all wearing parts that do not require maintenance. However, the engine does not generate enough heat to heat the interior of the vehicle. Air conditioning and heating must therefore be provided by electricity. Unusual side effect: the engine hood does not automatically become ice-free in winter.

Do I need a special driving license for an electric car?

No joke, I have heard this question many times before. The answer is: No! If you have a valid driver’s license for a car, you get into an electric car and drive off.

Do I have to do anything special in case of a breakdown or an accident?

No, this is not necessary. Although electric cars are still relatively rare, breakdown and accident helpers are already trained and know about the special features. So far there have been no special incidents with these vehicles.

Does an e-car consume more in winter and do I have to switch off my heating to get to my destination?

E-cars consume more energy in winter than in summer, but the quantity of the additional demand is often exaggerated. Since the drive converts the energy used into movement without loss, nothing is lost for the heating. This must therefore be electrically operated. The batteries are also kept at an optimal operating temperature of around 20 degrees. Nobody has to freeze to maintain its range. Sure, there are crunchy contemporaries for whom every kilowatt hour is too bad for a little comfort, but well.

What exactly is it like with electricity?

As the owner of an electric car, you suddenly find yourself in a world that, as a non-electrician, you usually don’t really deal with: The complex world of power supply. Don’t worry, you don’t have to study physics to understand as much of this world as is needed to use electric mobility.

The basic unit for calculations is the kilowatt, which describes the power of the electric current. The unit kilowatt hour is derived from this. The following applies: A device that is operated for one hour with a power of 1 kilowatt (kW /1000 watts) consumes 1 kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity.

Do I need a charging cable and will it not be stolen?

In contrast to the combustion engine, electric car drivers always carry the connection – i.e. the cable – between the charging station and the car with them. The cable cannot be stolen, because it is usually firmly locked to both the vehicle and the charging station during the charging process.

It cannot be removed by strangers, because this is only possible if you have the appropriate authorization on the vehicle or on the station to terminate the charging process. Exceptions confirm the rule, such as older electric cars, when they are charged at a regular household socket.

Is an electric car considerably more expensive than a combustion engine?

Electric cars currently lack acceptance among many consumers, and this is partly due to the purchase price. Yes, electric cars are still considerably more expensive to buy than a comparable gasoline or diesel model in terms of equipment and size. This is mainly due to the batteries, whose prices have fallen and will continue to fall, but they are still driving the price up.