Last Updated on February 1, 2024 by John Robinson
Recently purchased a slick, new electric vehicle for driving down the roads of your town and neighbourhood?
First off, congratulations! Getting your own EV is a tremendous first step to a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.
However, before you enter knee-deep into the EV wagon, it’s super important to have everything in order so that you won’t encounter any unpleasant surprises down the road.
From fitting your garage the right way to preparing a comprehensive insurance plan, here are some ways that beginner EV owners can prepare themselves for the newest member of the car family!
1) Go on a Test Drive
Never driven an electric vehicle before? If your answer is yes, then it’s highly recommended to get some practice in before taking your EV out on the roads.
Driving an electric vehicle may seem similar to driving a conventional car on the surface, but there are subtle yet key differences between controlling these two cars.
For one, driving an electric vehicle is a mostly noiseless experience. You won’t hear or even feel the continuous racketing of the engines, which can be disorienting if you’ve been accustomed to driving standard for such a long time.
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Secondly, the acceleration and braking in an electric vehicle are both more sensitive than what you’d find in conventional cars. That’s why first-time EV drivers should take one out for a spin or two to help them get comfortable with the car before fully committing to one.
2) Choose the Right EV Charger
While many traditional cars run on costly diesel fuel, not a lot of people know that there are two distinct types of EV chargers that EVs rely on, that is, Level 1 and Level 2 chargers.
A Level 1 charger is a type of charger that charges the slowest of the two, but it’s also the cheapest and most easy to use for beginners. The typical Range Per Hour (RPH) of a Level 1 charger is about 3 to 4 miles per hour, which roughly translates to a driving distance of 30 to 40 miles when plugged in overnight. It runs on 120-volt AC power and can be plugged into your standard wall outlet.
On the other hand, a Level 2 charger is considerably faster, with one hour of charging roughly translating to 25 miles. This makes it ideal if you plan on constantly driving your vehicle to faraway places or are not at home all the time and want a more reliable charging method. Unlike a Level 1 charger, this one runs on a higher voltage similar to large appliances, 240 volts. This means you’ll most likely need to install specific charging equipment in your home. It’s also the more expensive option.
Knowing the right charger for your EV is a circumstantial decision. Take the time to lay out your future driving situation, as well as the accessibility of nearby charging stations within your area, to see whether you can get by with a Level 1 charger or not.
If you are stuck or uncertain about how to go about installing an EV station by yourself, calling an electrician or EV provider to help you out would be ideal.
3) Declutter Your Garage
An electric vehicle tends to be more expensive than your standard gas guzzler at first purchase.
And, let’s face it, it’s only natural that you want to protect your shiny, new EV from a garage filled with dirt and grime. No one wants to see their cherished vehicle amongst a rat’s nest of tools, gardening equipment, and old furniture.
Decluttering your garage is the perfect way to get your EV ready for its new home. As such, take the time to arrange your tools and various belongings in an orderly fashion, ensuring that there is enough room for your EV to fit without crowding the other items.
You can also discard, donate, or sell any unused items in your garage to make sure that your EV has no trouble entering and exiting its new home. By doing this, you’ll truly feel the presence of a new member of the family!
4) Get Proper Coverage
Just like a traditional car, you’ll also need EV insurance like car insurance from Rollin Insurance to financially protect you from any mishaps.
Take the time to research different insurance plans and policies, as well as their respective coverage options. Make sure that you get an adequate amount of protection for your EV, such as liability coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage depending on where you live.
If you haven’t applied for coverage yet, try to ensure that your driving history is free from any grave misdemeanours. This means driving safely, avoiding collisions, and driving within speed limits. The cleaner your slate is, the more likely you are to get a better insurance deal.
5) Apply for Discounts and Perks
Scout for discounted rates and rebates as well! Insurance companies that provide EV coverage aren’t the only entities that want you to switch to EVs, even your local government may have incentives in place to encourage you to do so.
For instance, in New South Wales, the government has offered a $3,000 rebate for the first 25,000 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and new full-battery electric vehicles valued under $68,750.
The same benefits may apply to other regions in the country as well. Make sure to explore your local area’s stance on EVs and see what discounts or perks are available.