10 Tips for Test Driving an EV

Whether it’s your first time or the hundredth time when test driving an EV, the experience is different from a traditional vehicle.

The future of driving involves electric cars. It doesn’t matter how you feel about them right now; eventually, all of us will drive something that uses an electric motor, or several of them, instead of a gas or diesel-powered engine. When you’re ready to go car shopping, or you just want something fun to do this weekend, driving a few EVs to see how they feel can be an educational and enjoyable experience for you.

1. The Strangeness of Silence is Something to Get Used To

Electric vehicles run quietly, and that can be a little unnerving at first. Is the car started? Can you put it in gear and head out on the road? The silence of driving an EV can be a bit strange and make it hard for you to figure out how the vehicle drive and feels. You’ll be glad to have this quietness when you want to talk to friends or family while out on the road.

2. Change the Route; it’s Your Experience

Some dealers try to keep you to a short drive that doesn’t offer you much information. This is your time, and if they really want to sell you the vehicle, you should be allowed to take your ride where you want to go. This is one of the most important parts of test driving an EV and any other car. Drive over train tracks, down rough roads, on the highway, and on some city streets. This will give you a better feel for how the electric car drives and what you can expect.

3. You’ll Find Different Features in an Electric Vehicle

Driving an EV is a completely different experience than driving a regular car. While some features will be the same, most of these cars have advanced electronics with new stuff that isn’t being offered on tractional vehicles. No matter what you’re considering, you should get in and check out all of the features of the vehicle and get used to where they are and what they do.

4. How do the Seats Feel? This is Important

Just because an automaker tells you the seats are comfortable and supportive doesn’t mean they fit you right. Every vehicle you drive needs to work right for you and give you the desired comfort. Adjust the seat to several different positions and see if it fits you right. This is an important part of ensuring you have a vehicle that you’ll be comfortable driving. When you’re test driving an EV, it’s not a novelty item; you could be driving the vehicle you take home today.

5. Does the EV Offer the Right Level of Practicality?

Are you switching from a large vehicle to a smaller EV? If so, you’ll want to measure it and check out the stats. If you’re used to towing a heavy load behind a truck, switching to an electric truck will be a huge change for you. When going from a large SUV to a smaller crossover, you’ll want to figure out if the vehicle has enough room for the gear and your family to enjoy the drive.

6. How Well Does the EV Drive in Parking Lots?

The maneuverability and driving in a parking space or on small roads go a long way to your enjoyment of a vehicle. When test driving an EV, you want to understand how well this new vehicle drives and if it will fit where you want. Will you suddenly need to park farther away from the store when you’re shopping, or can you park up front because it’s easy to maneuver your vehicle? How the EV drives in tight spaces make a huge difference.

7. What Features Do You Like to Have in Your Car?

Does the new EV you’re shopping for have the features you enjoy using in your car every day? If not, does it have something better? If you’re used to using Bluetooth, maybe the new EV has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to make things even easier for you. If you like to have large cupholders and the EV doesn’t have them, you might need to pick out a smaller coffee cup.

8. How Often Does an EV have to be Serviced?

Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than traditional vehicles and require less maintenance. Because this is a new aspect of the vehicle to you, it’s a good idea to understand how often you need to bring the car in for maintenance and how much it will cost. The price and frequency of maintenance are one of the most important parts of test driving an EV. Add the cost of service to your overall ownership price to get a better idea of how much you’ll spend on this new EV.

9. You’ll Need to Get Used to Regenerative Braking

If you’ve driven a hybrid vehicle, you already know about regenerative braking and what it does. This braking system captures energy that would be lost to braking and converts it into electricity to give you more power for the electronics in the EV. The way this system operates is a lot different from what you’re used to in a traditional vehicle. Spend some time braking and seeing how this system operates while out on your test drive.

10. It’s Time to Get Used to Driving Range

Does the fully-charged EV have the same driving range claimed by the manufacturer? When you’re test driving an EV, driving range and range anxiety are factors you must consider. Do you need to find a charging station, and if so, where are they? This is part of the ownership experience of an electric vehicle, which doesn’t have a station on every corner like gas-powered cars do. Where are the charging stations, and how far can you go before heading to one of them?

Use these ten tips when test driving an EV and see if you get a better understanding of the differences found in electric vehicles versus traditional models.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.