Economy & Politics

I have to pay attention to this when buying an electric car

Charging stations and e-cars are becoming more and more part of everyday life Photo: Kia

More and more manufacturers are now offering e-cars. But what does the prospective buyer have to pay attention to? What criteria should a Stromer meet for the customer?

The mobility turnaround is in full swing: away from the combustion engine and towards alternative drive technologies. The e-car is currently a fundamentally important component of this transformation. Numerous automobile manufacturers now offer pure electric vehicles and are constantly expanding their portfolio. But what should interested parties pay attention to when buying? Displacement, cylinders and turbochargers are history, today range, fast charging and CO2 balance count.

CO2 balance

For many, the decisive criterion for buying an e-car is a correspondingly low CO2 balance. But Stromer also differ from one another in their environmental friendliness. According to the specialist magazine “auto motor und sport”, the size of the battery is decisive: the smaller the battery in an electric car, the more environmentally friendly it is during production and therefore also in its overall balance sheet. You should also take a closer look at the type of engine. According to the magazine, a so-called permanent magnet motor has a worse environmental balance than other variants.


A lot has happened in the last few years in terms of range for electric cars – and they are getting closer and closer to the range of a full tank. Currently, the Tesla Model S (approx. 81,000 euros) leads the rankings with 652 kilometers, but other providers such as VW are on the heels of the Americans. The average range is currently around 400 kilometers. In the price segment below 40,000 euros, Kia is currently ahead of the game and has achieved 455 kilometers with the e-Niro and 452 kilometers with the e-Soul. If you are planning a long vacation trip, you have to fill up or charge in between, just like with a combustion engine, but plan a lot more time for it.

Loading speed

In addition to the classic range, the charging speed of the battery is also an important selling point for many customers. The charging technology is particularly important for long journeys. The ADAC gives a useful guideline for this. E-cars are known to be suitable for long distances if they can charge enough energy for 200 kilometers in 30 minutes. For those who want to use their vehicle primarily on shorter journeys, this is of less importance. The charging network in metropolitan areas is growing steadily and the installation of your own charging station at home enables overnight charging.

Suitability for everyday use

When it comes to everyday suitability, there are numerous differences in electric vehicles. In some models, for example, the batteries placed in the trunk ensure that the cargo space is considerably reduced. For those interested in buying, it is therefore worth making a comparison in terms of trunk volume and legroom. Also note: Not all Stromers can be retrofitted with a trailer coupling. Anyone who likes to travel with a team or bicycle rack should pay attention to this and the permissible vertical load. Again, the e-Soul or e-Niro from Kia are the front runners. Both can be equipped with a trailer coupling with a 100 kilo vertical load, for example for bicycles or e-bikes.


The acquisition costs of e-cars are currently still significantly higher than those of comparable combustion engines. However, vehicles with plugs are subsidized: Pure electric vehicles receive funding of up to 9,000 euros due to the innovation bonus extended by the federal government until the end of 2025. There are also some subsidies for the purchase of used e-cars, for example if they are so-called “young used cars” with a second registration after June 3, 2020.


No gearbox, no injection pump, no exhaust: in general, electric cars are cheaper to maintain than combustion engines, as fewer parts have to be replaced over the years. However, with some manufacturers, the batteries are not part of the acquisition costs and therefore not part of the leasing or financing rates, this must be taken into account when making the calculation. The positive thing is that the manufacturer’s warranty for e-cars is significantly longer than the warranty period for combustion engines, which is reflected in the long-term maintenance.


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