Which electric car are you going to buy

Buying an electric car - tips & tricks before buying

Table of Contents

Which electric car should I buy? There are now some electric cars on the market. We introduce you to the most popular models that are currently available. Which one you should buy depends on the intended use and not least on your personal budget. For this reason, we have divided our following guide into categories for you.

For the city

If you are only traveling in the city and in the surrounding area, you do not have to attach less importance to range and charging times. By the way, on average in Germany you drive less than 40 kilometers per day. However, these vehicles with a comparatively short range are only suitable to a limited extent for vacation trips.

This autumn, Dacia is launching a particularly affordable car for the city. The Dacia Spring should offer a range of 225 kilometers (WLTP) and only cost around 10,000 euros after deducting the environmental bonuses. In China, the car is already on the market and can be charged using a CCS plug on fast charging stations or using a type 2 plug on a wallbox. It can also be charged from a socket.

TheSmart EQ fortwo is, however, already on the market and offers a range of a maximum of 110 kilometers for a price of 21,490 euros. The environmental bonus is not yet included here. Like the Dacia Spring, the Smart is also charged via a type 2 plug. In the best case, a full charge takes around 40 minutes.

The VW e-up offers the largest range in this category with a maximum of 160 kilometers. The basic equipment including environmental bonus 13,540 euros. To fully charge the battery, you need about 5 hours and 30 minutes at a normal charging station. The e-up can also be configured with a CCS plug at a surcharge. With this you can even use quick charging stations and charge the battery of the e-up to 80 percent of the maximum possible battery capacity in 60 minutes.

For everyday life

If you are looking for a car for everyday use, you sometimes want to cover longer distances. The models presented here all offer a range of over 200 kilometers and are priced between 25,000 and 45,000 euros.

The Renault Zoe was the best-selling electric car in Germany in 2018. This is probably due to its comparatively low starting price of 21,900 euros. However, there is also a monthly rental fee for the battery of at least 74 euros per month. The energy storage device is then insured and replaced free of charge if it is too worn out. Alternatively, you can also buy the Renault Zoe with a battery. The base price for this model is around 30,000 euros. The basic version offers a range of a maximum of 240 kilometers, higher equipment makes it almost 400 kilometers. A full charge takes 2 hours and 40 minutes. The new Zoe can also be charged at fast charging stations via a CCS plug, making it suitable for long tours.

The Nissan Leaf costs 29,000 euros in the basic configuration and offers a range of up to 270 kilometers. Depending on the configuration, a top 385 kilometers are possible. In addition to the obligatory type 2 plug, the Nissan is equipped with an Asian CHAdeMO plug and requires an adapter in order to be able to charge at CCS fast charging stations.

Only recently launched and it's already at the top of its popularity ID.3 from Volkswagen. This starts at 35,500 euros including the battery. The range in the basic version is 426 kilometers. In higher equipment variants, up to 542 kilometers are possible. The charging time at a charging station is around six hours. Using a CCS plug, the ID.3 can be charged to 80 percent in 36 minutes at fast charging stations, making it suitable for further tours.

The biggest competitor to the ID.3 is that Tesla Model 3. At 42,390 euros, it is also the most expensive electric car in this category. For this, over 430 kilometers can be covered with the basic equipment. In the “Long Range” variant, 580 kilometers are possible before the car has to be plugged in again. The charging time at a normal charging station is around seven hours. In contrast to the other Tesla models, there is a CCS connection here for charging at fast charging stations. Exclusively for Tesla customers, the so-called superchargers from Tesla are available on motorways. At some of these charging points, a range of around 240 kilometers can be charged in just ten minutes.

For a lot of space

There are also some electric vehicles to choose from among SUVs. If it is important for you to have a lot of space available, you may find it here.

TheAudi e-tron was presented in 2018 and offers a range of almost 400 kilometers. At a normal charging station, the charging time is approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes. With a CCS plug, the Audi can be charged to 80 percent in 30 minutes at a fast charging station. The Ionity network with over 100 locations is available to Audi buyers for this purpose. These are comparable to Tesla's superchargers.

The Jaguar I-Pace was also presented in 2018 and costs 79,450 euros in its basic configuration. The basic version offers a maximum range of 470 kilometers. The charging time at a normal charging station is around ten hours. At a quick charging station, however, the Jaguar can be charged to 80 percent of the maximum possible battery capacity in 40 minutes using a CCS plug. All 110,000 Plugsurfing.com charging stations are available to Jaguar buyers in a dedicated app. However, these can also be used by buyers of other electric cars after registering.

With the Tesla Model X the American manufacturer also offers an SUV. With up to 550 kilometers, this offers the greatest range of current SUV models. With a base price of 91,700 euros, it is also the most expensive car in this category. A charging process takes about eight hours. Unfortunately, there is no CCS connection, but fast charging stations can still be used with an adapter. Exclusively for Tesla customers, the Supercharger from Tesla is of course also available for this model on motorways. The Model X can use these to charge up to 270 kilometers of new range in 30 minutes.

For a lot of range

The Tesla Model S offers a range of up to 610 kilometers. However, with a list price of 86,800 euros, it is significantly more expensive than the second car on our list. The charging time is approximately seven hours. Unfortunately, there is no CCS connection, but fast charging stations can still be used with an adapter. With a Tesla supercharger, the Model S can charge a range of up to 270 kilometers in 30 minutes.

Tesla heads the list of electric cars by range. The Tesla Model S is followed by the Model 3 and the Model X. Only in fourth place is the VW ID.3 in the "Tour" variant with a greater range. Around 49,000 euros are due for this model.

The Opel Ampera-e is significantly cheaper with a base price of 42,990 euros. The car has a maximum range of 520 kilometers. The charging time is approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes. A CCS plug can be used to charge fast charging stations with a range of up to 150 kilometers in 30 minutes.

Charge

An electric car can be charged at a normal socket and at special charging stations. Cables for this are usually included in the scope of delivery of the vehicle. Incidentally, there is no need to worry about theft of the cable or undesired interruption of the charging process. The cable is locked by the charging station and the vehicle. The weather does not play a role during the charging process. All cables are completely waterproof and no minimum temperature is required for charging. You can find all information about the charging process and all the necessary cables and plugs in our guide to charging an electric car.

Charging an electric car - you have to pay attention to this

Environmental bonus

As a buyer of an electric car, you are currently entitled to a premium of up to 9,000 euros. This was only increased in June 2020. This state bonus is intended to increase the still somewhat weak demand for all-electric cars and cars with plug-in hybrid drives. The so-called environmental bonus can be applied for online at the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control.

The bonus of 9,000 euros can be applied for when buying or leasing (23 months or more) an electric car with a net list price of less than 40,000 euros. Cars with a price of up to 65,000 euros are subsidized with 7,500 euros. In addition to private individuals, the premium also applies to companies, associations and foundations. Small electric vans also benefit from the premium. Incidentally, two thirds of the environmental bonus is paid by the state and one third by the respective car manufacturer.

The premium is currently available until the end of 2025. With the increased premium, the federal government would like to further advance the topic of e-mobility. You can find a list of all eligible vehicles here.

Purchase bonus for electric cars: This is how you can secure a 9,000 euro environmental bonus

You can also secure a purchase premium for installing a wallbox - a charging station for your electric car at home. The state is currently subsidizing 900 euros. Check out this guide for more details:

tax

In addition to the environmental bonus, electric cars also have a tax advantage. Vehicles newly registered by the end of 2025 will not pay any vehicle tax until the end of 2030 and then 50 percent. There are also advantages for electric vehicles for taxing company cars.

Range

When choosing the battery capacity and thus the range, you should not just rely on the manufacturer's information. Measured in the WLTP test operation, these are often higher than in reality. Here you should inquire about the “range in real operation” beforehand. At temperatures below freezing point, for example, the range is shorter and after a few years of use, the overall capacity of the battery may decrease. Therefore, you should choose a car with a third more real range than you actually need. In order to keep the purchase price low, it is also possible with some manufacturers to buy the vehicle without a battery and then rent it for a monthly fee. Here, however, you should check whether the offer is worthwhile in the long term. Because in this case you usually have a limited number of free kilometers and then have to pay extra for each kilometer driven.

insurance

In most cases, it is cheaper to insure an electric car than an internal combustion engine that is just as expensive. As with normal cars, only liability insurance is mandatory. However, fully comprehensive insurance is advisable, especially for more expensive models. It should be noted here that the battery is also fully covered by the insurance. Only then are you protected against operating errors such as deep discharge. Some car manufacturers also offer a warranty on the battery themselves. Tesla, Renault and selected VW models have an eight-year guarantee on the performance of the battery. With some manufacturers, however, this guarantee is tied to a maximum driving performance.