Buying an Electric Car – What You Should Consider
Published on : Monday 11-07-2022
LANXESS shares a few practical tips to consider when buying an electric car.
Why buy an electric car? Many people have already answered this question for themselves: as a contribution to climate protection, because of government subsidies, lower running costs and modern technology. But there are important details that should be considered beforehand.
We have summarized what you should consider when buying and electric car
Topics in this article
• Which electric car is right for me?
• What do I have to bear in mind about the electric car's battery?
• Electric car range: How far do I want to get?
• Where do I charge my electric car?
• Buying or leasing electric cars?
• LANXESS materials in in e-cars.
Which electric car suits me?
It doesn't matter whether it's a combustion engine or an electric car. First, you should ask yourself the following questions:
• Which car best suits your personal lifestyle?
• How big should the electric car be? The range of e-cars on offer is very diverse. From small cars to SUVs and family cars to sports cars. Do I mostly drive alone or should the vehicle regularly transport the entire family in their leisure time or on vacation? Because, especially with the e-car, you should keep in mind: The larger and heavier the vehicle, the more electricity the drive requires. A large vehicle in which you mostly drive alone is neither economical nor climate-friendly.
• Hybrid or all-electric? Aspects to consider are flexibility and driving distances. Will I drive a lot? Do I drive long distances? Do I need to recharge the vehicle frequently? With a hybrid model that has an internal combustion engine, in addition to an electric motor, you are on the safe side when it comes to refueling. However, it makes a much smaller contribution to climate protection than a purely electric car.
What do I have to bear in mind about the electric car's battery?
The battery is the heart of the car and influences the price of the vehicle. The capacity of the battery must fit the vehicle and the driving style. Many manufacturers offer models with different battery variants. If you like to drive far and fast in a big car, you should not choose the smallest battery. But it also makes no sense to choose a battery with maximum capacity if you only drive in city traffic in a small car.
This is can be bad for the climate: The battery is the component with the largest CO2 footprint because a lot of energy is used in its manufacture. The general rule of thumb is 100 kilograms of CO2 per kilowatt hour of battery capacity. So the larger the battery, the more costly and climate-damaging its production.
The service life of the battery depends decisively on driving and charging behaviour. Information about the condition of the battery is provided by the so-called State-of-Health value (SoH), i.e., the ratio of the current maximum usable capacity to the nominal capacity.
Our tip: Ensure that the e-car battery is charged to between 20 and 80 percent if possible. This protects the battery and extends its service life.
When it comes to maximum range, don't always rely on the manufacturer's specifications in the brochure. These are usually "optimistic" and assume idealized driving behaviour. Find out more about the range of the electric car in real-world operation.
Depending on the capacity of the battery, the weight and shape of the vehicle, and driving behavior, electric cars can achieve ranges of over 500 kilometres per charging cycle. To be on the safe side, plan about one third of the range as a buffer. If you use your electric car for at least 100 kilometers a day, you should choose a vehicle with a range of at least 150 kilometres.
Where do I charge my electric car in everyday life?
Charging the vehicle via a normal household connection should be the exception rather than the rule. At the very least, a separate Schuko socket* with its own fuse protection is required. In addition, charging takes a very long time. It can also overload the connection and possibly set the cable on fire. An electrician can tell you whether and how you can technically install a charging station as a wallbox or charging point on your own house or parking space.
Without your own charging station, you have to rely on public "charging stations". Here, you should find out about the locations in your neighbourhood and the conditions of use. In Germany each provider has its own system, for which you usually have to download an app to activate the station and bill the costs to your smartphone. However, there are also roaming service providers that cooperate with several charging providers. It may also be possible to charge the vehicle during working hours. Ask your employer about such offers.
By the way: Electric cars are only really climate-friendly if they are charged with electricity from renewable sources.
Our tip: Use a charging cable that is as short as possible. The shorter the cable, the lower the power loss during charging. As a rule of thumb, the width plus the length of the car equals the minimum cable length. Also pay attention to the plug of the charging cable. The standard in Europe is usually the IEC Type 2 variant, which is suitable for the domestic wallbox and standard public charging stations. Fast charging stations, on the other hand, have a higher power rating and are often only compatible with so-called CCS plugs.
*The abbreviation SchuKo stands for the designation protective contact, in Europe and internationally. Schuko sockets are referred to as type F. Protective contact sockets have three wires and are equipped with a corresponding protective contact that dissipates fault currents
Buying or leasing electric cars?
Electric cars are currently still generally more expensive than comparable vehicles with combustion engines.
So with electric cars, you should consider leasing as an option. This is because technology is developing rapidly, so that after just a few years an electric car may no longer be in line with the current state of the market. This has a negative impact on the resale value. Probably financial support is also available for leasing in your country.
Be sure to ask your retailer about the delivery time of the vehicle you want. Currently, it can take up to 12 months before you can be on the road in your new electric car with low noise and climate protection.
LANXESS materials in e-cars
When it comes to manufacturing vehicle components for e-cars, manufacturers are increasingly turning to innovative and sustainable materials. These should be robust, but also lightweight. After all, the less the vehicle weighs, the lower the power consumption for the drive.
The materials must also offer safety and protection against fire, due to more electricity in the vehicle, it can generate more heat.
In addition, the production process should have as little impact on the environment and climate as possible. Recycling and circular economy are therefore becoming increasingly important.
LANXESS produces various innovative materials for the automotive industry. The following video provides an overview where these can be found throughout the vehicle.
Video link: https://vimeo.com/725241068
Reference Link: https://lanxess.com/en/INSIDE-LANXESS/XPLAIN/Stories/2022/e_car_guide