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Electric cars: what should you pay attention to?

Do you want to buy another car? Are you thinking about taking the plunge and opting for an electric car? Then you have to take a few things into account. An overview.

Choosing a new vehicle today is about much more than determining a make, model or colour. There are the euro standards, the will to reduce our ecological footprint and the measures taken by the government to encourage soft mobility. We are seeing a real electrification of the Belgian fleet . An electric car is a good option, but many questions still remain about the cost and charging.


Purchase price

The price of electric cars varies, of course, depending on the make and model, but is on average higher than that of cars with a combustion engine. If the demand for this type of car continues to rise, the purchase price will normally fall in the coming years. In 2021, 300,000 electric and hybrid passenger cars were registered in Belgium. That is a growth of 70% for electric cars in a period of one year (Statbel figures, 1 August 2021) .

On the other hand, an electric car is cheaper to maintain: the mechanism is simpler and the parts have a longer life. In addition, electric cars require less maintenance (on average every 30,000 km) than cars with a combustion engine.


Charging your electric car: how?

Getting around with a classic car is easy. There are petrol pumps everywhere, the fuel price is clearly indicated and you can pay with a payment card. But what about an electric car? There are two solutions:

1. Public network of charging stations

Belgium has approximately 13,000 public charging points. By 2025 there should be more than 50,000. There are different types of charging stations with different charging speeds. Those with an integrated cable are faster than those that require you to have your own cable.

The price is not always indicated, but in general the following applies: the faster the charging, the more expensive. You can pay in two ways: either you have a top-up card from the operator of your choice or an application linked to it, or you pay directly at the charging station – via an application or a text message – by following the instructions on the charging station.

Good to know : some large retail chains have charging points where you can charge your car for free while you shop.

2. Charging at home

If you have an electric car, it is almost essential that you can charge it at home. And even if you live in an apartment, you can – usually with the permission of the co-owners – place a charging station in the garage or in the outside parking lot of the building. By installing a charging station at your home , you can charge your car faster, safer and at a lower cost (that of your electricity) than at a public charging point. The costs of installing such a charging station vary between 500 and 2,000 euros. By installing a ‘smart’ charging station that runs on green energy, you can enjoy a tax reduction of 15% to 45% of the price (up to a maximum of 1,500 euros).

You can also charge your electric car via a standard socket in your home or garage. All you have to do is plug the cable that you usually get with the car into the socket. This solution is easy but very slow: it takes 8 to 20 hours to fully charge the vehicle.

Beware of fire hazard: have your electrical installation checked and avoid using an extension cord, as it is usually not adapted to the required amperage.


Insure your electric car

Just like with a normal car, you are obliged to take out civil liability insurance. Ask your insurer what is covered for an electric car. Consider, for example, the specific safety measures that are required in the event of damage, such as submerging the vehicle in a water container to prevent a battery fire – after all, this has to be done by the fire brigade and can easily cost you 2,000 euros.

Also check what your home insurance covers: when you charge your car at home – via a charging point or socket – there is a risk of fire. So you better be insured.

Need advice?

Have you decided to take the plunge and buy an electric car? Feel free to contact me. I am happy to explain to you which solutions there are to properly insure your car and home.