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With electric cars becoming more and more popular with drivers, you might have been considering buying one. Here's what else you should consider before taking the plunge.
Category: Car Buying Advice
Electric cars are constantly in the news these days. Be it the growing number of available models or the fact that more charging points are sprouting up around Singapore, electric vehicles (EVs) give everyone something to think and talk about.
Many EVs deliver instant torque and keen acceleration, along with a quiet, vibration-free ride. And as battery technology improves, driving ranges have also increased to the point where range anxiety is minimal. Should you get an EV then? After reading the first part of this story, here are five more factors to carefully consider before taking the plunge!
1. Where are your charging points?
Before acquiring an EV, figure out the chargers that are nearest to your residence, workplace and most frequented places.
You can get away with not charging at home if your workplace has chargers. If not, then places you frequent, such as malls for grocery shopping, are your best bet.
Charging must dovetail with your lifestyle in order for an EV to work for you. Avoid thinking that you can just make separate trips for charging alone. That will make charging a chore and could eventually lead to you resenting your car.
2. The need for apps
Apart from finding charging points, you also need to determine who are their providers. In Singapore, SP Mobility and Shell Recharge have two of the widest networks available to EV drivers. But there are numerous other providers as well.
Charge+, CDG ENGIE from ComfortDelGro and Go by City Energy are some of the other charging providers. And since each company has their own app, you'll need to download a bunch of them for your convenience.
Downloading all these apps means you'll have to create accounts and link your credit cards to them. It would be great if there was just one app that worked with all providers.
3. Charging time is downtime
Now, after figuring out where you can charge your car and which provider operates them, there's no escaping the fact that charging time is downtime.
If your car needs an hour or 1.5 hours of DC charging before it's fully charged, that's how long your car will be out of action. It'll take even longer if you use AC charging, as many EV models can only take up to 11kW AC charging.
Ask yourself if you're prepared to accommodate this. High-powered chargers aren't widely available, and even if they were, you wouldn't want to keep using them as they will wear out the battery quicker.
4. Is instant performance for you?
Most drivers will enjoy the responsiveness and instant performance that an EV is able to deliver. Whether you're crawling in traffic or cruising around, an EV's zippy nature can be addictive.
But it's also not for everyone. Not every driver has quick reflexes or wants the instantaneousness of an EV, especially if they are used to the linear nature of an internal combustion engine (ICE).
Test drive a wide variety of EVs to find out which one you're most comfortable with. If the immediate performance really doesn't sit well with you, then you might be better off getting a hybrid instead.
5. Road tax and special tax
EVs don't have engine capacities, but they still fall under a road tax formula. And surprisingly, despite being 'greener' and not emitting any tailpipe emissions, they can be liable for hefty road taxes, even if they're not high-performance models.
The Nissan Leaf for instance, has a power rating to 110kW. According to LTA's road tax calculator, the Leaf's annual road tax is $1,522. Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Golf 1.5, which is similar in size and has comparable performance, has an annual road tax of $684.
In addition, there's also a special yearly tax levied on EVs. It is currently $400, but this will rise to $700 from 1 January 2023 onwards.
Looking for more EV information? These stories may interest you
6 things you need to know before getting your first electric car
We compare the costs between an ICE car and an EV
5 value-for-money electric cars you can buy now
Are electric cars cheaper to insure compared to petrol cars in Singapore?