Should I Buy An Electric Car Now Or Wait?

It’s a question a lot of people are asking themselves right now, that being should I buy an electric car now or wait?

Everyone is talking about electric cars these days and with good reason. Family members and friends might already own one, and have nothing but positive things to say in relation to how performance-heavy they are, or how weird it is to not drive stick.

These cars are unlike anything you’ve ever driven before — just watch an episode of The Grand Tour to see for yourself. They’re incredibly quiet, robust in almost every department, but above all else, electric cars tackle carbon emissions head-on.

Before we go any deeper, know that your options are seemingly limitless these days. Carmakers from every corner of the planet have shifted gears to focus on electric alternatives. Those that don’t keep up will, eventually, be left in the dust.

Why? Because it’s the future, and will one day dethrone petrol/diesel cars completely; as early as 2030 in some countries.

In 2021, around 23 all-electric models will hit the market, and that’s not counting the plug-in hybrids. The market is responding to the demand with haste. It’s why the EV market is so fun to follow as you can never be too sure what to expect.

We’re going to assume that you’re relatively new to the world of EV if you’re reading this — or are just looking for a summarised take on a popular question.

Either way, we here at E4TP are here for you.

So, should I buy an electric car now or wait? Reading on below will help answer that all-important question.

Another popular question: should I buy a Tesla or wait?

The Benefits: Should I Buy An Electric Car Now Or Wait?

You need to know the overall benefits of owning an electric car before looking at the pros/cons of buying one now vs later.

The number of electric cars out on the road is on the rise. In 2019, around 2.1 million electric cars were sold, marking a 6% increase compared to the previous year.

Here’s another fun fact for you, Europe received €60 billion in investments to produce/manufacture electric vehicles and batteries.

Stats like these don’t lie and tell of a brighter future, one where electric vehicles dominate the streets. It’s a good thing, trust us, as transport is one of the leading contributors of greenhouse gases.

According to one report, the transportation sector in the US was responsible for 29% of emissions alone. A fact like this is the reason current president Joe Biden has pushed for an electric revolution.

Think globally, act locally is a popular saying, and it’s never felt truer when you look at the impact vehicles have had on the environment for over a century.

Doing your part to save the planet is a big reason for owning an electric car. Still, other benefits separate these sustainable vehicles from their gas-guzzling counterparts.

Should I Buy An Electric Car On Performance Alone? Yes, You Should

In our opinion, there’s never a better time to join the EV hype train. You could call us biased given our involvement in the conversation, but who can deny the power of a Tesla Model S or a Volvo V90 Recharge.

Oh, and those electric cars we’ve just mentioned couldn’t be any different from one another. The Model S is an all-around all-electric sedan with a lot of power as far as mileage goes.

And then, on the other hand, you have the Volvo V90 Recharge, which is a plug-in-hybrid estate car made for families and those who like having more space for storage.

Both are prime examples of electric cars you can buy right now. Prices will vary, but there are multiple options out there for potential buyers who care about the quality of each drive.

Electric cars offer outstanding performance, the kind that takes you places — be it at street level or out in the wild. Consider this a blanket statement for all-electric vehicles (this includes PHEVs).

You see, electric vehicles offer better torque at low RPMs, giving drivers a burst of energy from the offset. It’s why electric cars like the Aspark Owl can go from 0-60mph in less than 2 seconds flat.

Batteries within these cars are a lot closer to the ground than you might think. This is purposeful, as it gives the car better control due to a low centre of gravity.

Most electric car bodies are made out of carbon fibre for a light touch, although some are made out of aluminium. We’d recommend finding an electric car with the former for maximum efficiency.

Again, we’ll echo the same sentiment: should I buy an electric car on performance alone? Yes, you should.

Even mild hybrid vehicles provide a noticeable difference.

Electric Cars Are Cheaper To Maintain/Run

On average, the cost of driving 100 miles in an electric car is less than £1.30, which’s around £10 cheaper than standard combustion engine vehicles. Granted, it takes longer to charge, but think of the amount of money you’ll save.

In the UK, some councils/workplaces offer free or low cost charging benefits. In other words, they’ll let you charge your vehicle for free simply for owning one.

Moreover, the UK Governments’s plug-in grant could take up to £2,500 off the price of an electric car!

There are grants tied to charging too, for those of you interested.

Not only is it cheap to fill up your car with electricity, but it’s also relatively cheap to keep it maintained.

Think about it. There is no need for oil changes, and the auxiliary system is all-electric. Moreover, the brakes on most electric cars generate more power as you travel, meaning they’ll last a lot longer than standard friction brakes! It’s facts like these that make questions around whether or not you should buy an electric car now or wait a pretty simple one.

You’ll still need to pay for new tyres and wiper blades due to wear and tear, but this could be years after the initial purchase date.

PHEVs (plug-in hybrids) are slightly different in that costs may be higher than all-electric cars, but the overall positives outweigh the negatives.

Most automobile brands will cover you via warranties. Kia, for example, offers a 7-year warranty on all vehicles. Warranties for used electric vehicles will also cover those looking for a cheaper option.

Parts, like batteries, can be costly if they should break. It’s why most electric drivers only lease their batteries rather than outright owning them. That way, you’re never paying too much for an integral part of the car should something go wrong.

Charging: Should I Buy An Electric Car Now Or Wait?

You don’t have to go far to charge your car, as charging points are everywhere these days. Every major city and suburb has charging stations or will be in the planning stages of installing them.

Multiple websites out there will locate charging stations near your current position using GPS tracking. Check out the following sites for examples:

  • Zap Map
  • Car Wow
  • EDF Energy
  • Charge Dev
  • Instavolt

Most of the sites mentioned above have apps, making the process of finding a charging point so much easier. There’s also dedicated charging apps, like Chargemap, that allows you to save locations, read/leave reviews and more.

These stations ask that you pay to charge your car, but the price is nothing compared to standard fuel costs. And then there’s the option of just installing your own station at home and cutting out the middle-man completely.

All you really need is a 240-volt home charging station to get you going. No fancy tricks or additional costs (outside of your electricity bill), just a fully charged electric car ready for the day ahead.

How do I buy and install an electric charge station at home? You can either buy a charging station from the manufacturer or dealer directly. Failing that, Amazon and other sites will sell you the goods.

Older homes might need an upgrade to their electrical panel before the charging station can be installed. Owners of newer homes should have no issues setting up.

Very few electric car drivers empty a full charge in a single day, especially those that work close by — so charging your car at home should be enough. Those that travel long distances may need to visit a charge station at some point.

Your Electric Car Options Are Stacked Already

At the moment, buyers have many options to consider. They should also be asking themselves which is the better, all-electric cars or hybrids?

Hybrids, currently, give buyers the chance to dip their toes in the water of EV without getting wet. We say this because hybrids rely on a combustion engine alongside an electric motor, meaning they’re only part electric.

This does limit the electric range of hybrids. Most hover around the 30-35 mile mark — unless you’re the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in that is (max electric range 39 miles).

Self-charging hybrids are unique, but most drivers tend to go for PHEVs when given the choice.

Why? Because they offer reliable/consistent charging each time, whereas pure hybrids generate more power when travelling further distances. Most don’t travel far enough to warrant owning a pure hybrid.

On the other hand, all-electric cars are slightly more expensive if you’re looking at Tesla’s current offerings. The Tesla Model 3 is a powerhouse but will cost a pretty penny or two (RRP £40,990).

Affordable options are available to money-conscious buyers; take the Renault Zoe, for example. The Renault Zoe is a small car, but it’s an all-electric workhorse valued at £27,495 and up.

Who said you had to buy a new electric car either? Used or second-hand electric cars are just as worthy and will actually save you money. You might end up with an older model from a previous generation, but it will run.

Owning a used electric car is almost like a launching pad into the world of EV anyway. Not sure where to look to find a quality second-hand electric car? Check out our guide; we’ll show you the way.

Woman charging an electric vehicle

Decision: Should I Buy An Electric Car Now Or Wait?

All of the above information covers the general advantages of owning an electric car. Excellent performance, low maintenance costs, multiple battery charge locations, and plenty of vehicle options will always be advantageous to buyers.

So, is now the time to trade in your internal combustion-engined car for an electrified version? You’ll be able to answer the question yourself after we’ve broken down the pros/cons of both.

Buy An Electric Car Now

If you insist on buying an electric car now, then congrats, and welcome to the world of EVs. You’re helping rid the planet of carbon emissions; well done. How much did it cost you? More than you were expecting, given the limited range of some electric cars?

Buying a new electric car can be an expensive process for what is quite the risk for first-timers. All-electric cars aren’t invulnerable; they do wear down over time like every other automobile.

In fact, electric batteries lose their integrity each year (up to around 10 years, if you’re lucky). Electric car batteries aren’t the cheapest to replace either. It’s the reason why so many opt to lease the battery over outright owning one.

Don’t get it twisted; electric cars aren’t going anywhere. This isn’t some placeholder tech trend waiting for other automotive innovations to swoop in and replace it.

Governments wouldn’t pour billions into this industry if it was likely to fall on its face. Besides, how else could you explain the number of classic car brands putting time and resources into this field?

Pros:

  • Low running costs reduce the amount of money you need to pay each month.
  • Current electric cars offer strong performance, leading to memorable drives.
  • All-electric cars emit zero emissions when mobile.

Cons:

  • Range is limited per charge compared to standard petrol/diesel cars.
  • Most electric cars at their current price point are quite expensive.
  • Some electric cars take hours to charge fully.

Wait To Buy An Electric Car

Patience is a virtue, and waiting to buy an electric car is understandable given what we know already. The EV industry hasn’t even begun to peak (unintentional IASIP reference).

Buying later has its advantages, in the sense that the technology constantly evolves. Think of electric cars like iPhone’s in the sense that new iterations offer better functionality and performance. Not to discredit older/present models, of course, as they still provide something worthwhile.

We know for a fact that electric car batteries will improve over time. StoreDot, an Israeli company, is developing lithium-ion batteries that can fully charge within five minutes tops. The batteries won’t be ready until 2025, according to StoreDot; just think of how groundbreaking this could be!

Self-driving cars could become the new normal in the next few years, which would change the way we all look at driving. Car companies have already begun testing autonomous vehicles, so expect this tech to get better in time.

The market will pick up as predicted; it’s only a matter of time. This is 100% a good thing, although more options do lead to more questions. Let’s face it, most car buyers are picky; too picky, some would say. How are they supposed to make a concrete decision within a potentially saturated market?

Pros:

  • Electric cars in the future might offer better mileage on each charge.
  • Prices will decrease as more electric cars enter the market.
  • Electric cars could be autonomous in the not so distant future.

Cons:

  • More electric car options makes finding the right one for you difficult.
  • Some electric start-ups will likely go bankrupt if they can’t sell x number of cars.

Should I Buy A Tesla Now Or Wait?

Tesla deserve its own section due to the overwhelming nature the brand has, and the power it holds over the current electric vehicle market.

Most drivers looking to make the switch start by looking at a Tesla before either buying right then and there, or looking for something a little more affordable.

You see, Tesla’s lineup is on the spenny end of the scale, asking buyers to pay a premium for vehicles that, to be fair, do warrant the costs — at least in our opinion they do.

Sure, everyone wants to own a Tesla, but not everyone can at this moment in time. Although, the company has hinted at the release of an £18,000 hatchback, known (unofficially) as the Model 2.

Okay, question time: should I buy a Tesla now or wait?

If you can afford a Tesla then go for it. Buy one solely for the fun of driving (remember when driving was fun?).

Those that can’t afford the Model 3 or Model S should wait to see what comes of this proposed hatchback.

From what we’ve heard, this new EV could define an era of sustainable driving.

Tips For Buying An Electric Car Today

At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of whether you should buy an electric car now or wait. If you’ve decided to roll the dice and buy now, then allow us to give you some advice.

The first thing you need to do is create a list of requirements, aka your electric car wants/needs. Try to think of everything, don’t limit your options based on appearances. We get it, some electric cars look like they can take off and fly if they wanted to, but they can’t (for now).

Not sure what to note down as a requirement? Ask yourself these important questions before you go buying:

  • Where do I normally drive to? Is it far away?
  • How much money do I have to put into a new electric car?
  • Do I have the means to charge this car regularly? Or the time?

With this info, you should be able to find around half a dozen electric cars that fit your specifications. Your next step should involve scrolling through reviews, videos and comments to whittle down your choices.

Sites like Pistonheads are community-driven, making them highly accessible to all. The same can be said for certain Subreddits, like r/electricvehicles and r/cars. Never buy something expensive without conducting some background research first.

Which Electric Car Should I Buy Right Now?

Like with buying any car — both electric or otherwise — you should only look at what you can/can’t afford. We know it’s great to imagine yourself driving an electric sports car like the NIO EP9, but you need to be realistic.

With that being said, our advice, if you are going to buy an electric car now, would be to look at a plug-in hybrid. They’re reliable, and they emit less carbon dioxide than standard cars due to better fuel economy.

Mercedes, Skoda, BMW, Volvo and Ford all sell PHEVs. They’re reputable names with proven track records, whereas some electric car companies are too new. In other words, startups are great and all, but they can be difficult to read sometimes from a quality standpoint.

Make the jump to an all-electric vehicle when it gets better. You’ll still need to pay for fuel with a plug-in hybrid, but it’s a safe option if you’re conscious of money-spent.

Check out the Skoda Superb iV for a jack-of-all-trades electric car. The Superb iV is an electric estate vehicle complete with a 13kWh battery. It should only take you around three hours or so to completely fill the battery from zero.

Looking for something cheaper? Check out the Kia e-Niro. This car values at £30,345, but you can find a much cheaper one across most used car sites.

If you have the capital, then we see no issue in buying the updated Tesla Model 3. It’s an all-electric vehicle with all-wheel drive and a metric tonne of additional features.

car keys for an electric car

Closing Thoughts: Should I Buy An Electric Car Now or Wait?

To wait or not to wait depends entirely on your own preferences/specifications. If you’re due for a new car and care about your carbon footprint, then buying an electric car in the here and now is a great idea.

Try not to be put off by the costs of these eco-friendly vehicles. There are grants and used EVs available to help tackle the costs.

If you’re still on the fence or left undecided, then there’s no harm in waiting. After all, it’s like we said; the tech will only get better in time. You could call the adoption of EVs a marathon, not a sprint, despite the outstanding benefits that come with owning an electric car.

Think you’ll buy an electric car now, or wait?

Leave a comment below, tell us.

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