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Test Drive An Electric Car

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By Author: Peter Clarck
Total Articles: 19
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You have decided you want an electric car, and you want to save money by going with a pre-owned model. While the technological foundation of the electric car is changing all the time, the old models still have a lot to offer and are more than adequate for meeting the needs of the average driver. Before you go to inspect a used electric car, request that the car be fully charged first. This will allow you to test the car thoroughly with a long test drive for a more accurate assessment of the car’s range and performance.

The test drive has 3 objectives:
• To ensure that the car is suitable for your daily needs.
• To ensure that no obvious electrical or mechanical faults exist.
• To ensure proper working capacity of the batteries.

Before the test drive, enquire about the car’s ideal and actual range and ask the current owner for a description of the type of driving he or she does to achieve that range and the speed at which s/he typically drives to stay within that range. For example, does s/he drive on open roads or is there a lot of stop-start type driving that is typical of urban ...
... travel? Has s/he gone on long distance trips with the car?

Take this information to benchmark your test drive:

• Decide on a route that is similar to your normal daily driving while allowing for some variance to check the performance of the car in different circumstances.
• As you begin driving, drive slowly for the first few minutes to familiarize yourself with the car. If all you have driven up until now has been a conventional combustion engine car, you may need to adjust to the quiet engine and the power delivery coming from the car’s electric motor, as well as the regenerative braking.
• Once you are confident of handling the car well, try to gauge the car’s performance by checking out the acceleration. It should feel nimble as you move around town or from a standing start.
• Drive up and down some hills to check the brushed motors’ lower power and performance.
• Drive also on flat and clear roads to check the car’s speed; low end acceleration usually gives better performance than high end acceleration. Check whether the car can keep its speed as you drive.
• Fully charged batteries will not present any problems, but as the charge drops, you will be able to identify the batteries’ true condition. If the car becomes sluggish as the battery power drops, re-do the tests.
• If on the second bout of testing, the car still seems sluggish at low speeds - struggling up hills or unable to maintain its speed even on a flat road - the batteries have likely weakened in their ability to hold a charge and will need to be replaced. Battery replacement will then need to be considered in the overall cost of purchasing the vehicle.
• If there is a hissing sound or a bad smell like rotten eggs from the battery compartment, stop the car immediately. This is a symptom of very weak batteries. They will need to be cooled down before starting the car again.
• Test drive in the vicinity of the seller's location so that you can get back quickly if need be. You do not want to be stranded in a faraway place should the batteries fail.
• If the car’s batteries do fail suddenly, just stop the car to let the batteries cool down for about 20 minutes before driving slowly back to the car seller’s location.
• If you discover that the batteries are weak and need to be replaced, you may want to ask the seller to negotiate the cost of the vehicle based on how much more you will need to spend after you have acquired the car. This will depend, of course, on how much they are asking for the car to begin with. They may have already based their asking price on that calculation, in which case, they may not be receptive to further lowering the price.

If you are not making the purchase from a specialist in electric vehicles, or the seller/owner is not thoroughly knowledgeable in all aspects of the car, it is advisable to refer to an expert to assist you in checking the car before you commit to purchasing it.

It is not difficult to locate freelance specialists. There are so many varieties of electric vehicles being used globally, such as airport vehicles, fork lift trucks and golf cars, that electric vehicle maintenance specialists are easily available in most big towns and cities.

Service engineers for electric vehicles are usually mobile and will make home visits for car owners who wish to have the maintenance done at their homes. They will also be available for hire to check a car for its quality before a buyer commits. This is standard practice and is just the same as buyers do with conventional used vehicles. You will need to ask the seller’s permission to allow a professional to conduct a thorough assessment of the electric vehicle before actually hiring the specialist to come to you.

Because assessing the state of the batteries is very important, the expertise of a specialist can be considerable, since the batteries may be mounted in tight areas which require removing some components, like seats, before they can be checked properly.

About Author:

Peter Clark is an energy and water management specialist guiding others to save energy and water. Check Solar365.com if you like to know more about electric cars.

Total Views: 57Word Count: 923See All articles From Author

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