Governments and NGOs throughout the world are now encouraging the use of hybrid and electric vehicles to reduce the carbon footprints of conventional gasoline engines. The government of UAE is also not behind and is pushing hard to achieve its Green Mobility target.
The Government of Dubai is taking steps to promote the usage of EVs. Many of you would’ve noticed already, but for those of you who didn’t, DEWA is installing Green Chargers throughout Dubai. Furthermore, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy has formulated the Dubai Green Mobility Initiative Committee, which aims to turn 10% of the Dubai Government’s vehicle fleet into electric cars by 2020. The Emirate hopes that the private sector will be encouraged by this effort and would follow suit.
So, now that we know that the sales of EVs are increasing, let’s look at 4 things you should consider before purchasing used hybrid and electric vehicles:
- Is the battery in good condition?
Since battery is the lifeblood of hybrid and electric vehicles, make it a point to ensure that it’s in a good state. If you purchase a used hybrid with a dead battery, you have to dish out around AED 3,500 to AED 11,000 to get it replaced. To avoid getting in such a situation, it is recommended to test drive the vehicle before purchasing. Take it for a drive and completely (or close to totally depleting) deplete the battery. Note the time it took for the battery to drain out, and then compare it with the industry standards/user feedbacks. If you notice a significant difference, then back out of the deal immediately and look for other options, or you can simply minus the price of the battery from the purchase. Alternatively, you may get your battery checked by a skilled technician, who can update you on the battery’s condition within a few minutes! Moreover, since this process is usually done at dealerships, it is typically quite economical or free!
However, do keep in mind that most EV and hybrid batteries are company insured, usually having around 8 years of company cover. Thus, in case of any issue, the automaker may change your battery absolutely free.
- Check the charging gear
Thoroughly inspect the charging cord for remnants of damage and extreme wear. Keep in mind that a damaged cord can cause fire, and it is a huge safety hazard. Furthermore, in-built preventive safety system might cut off power to the battery in case of excessive heat or short circuit. This can leave you stuck in the middle of nowhere.
- Check the standard battery
Most modern hybrid and electric vehicles come with a 12-volt conventional battery, which may need occasional attention. Most hybrids aim to use minimal fuel, which is made difficult by the fact that the alternator, which is powered by the gasoline engine, charges the 12-volt battery. Some of the negative outcomes of the 12-volt battery being drained include the inability to start the engine and improper functioning of other features such as the audio deck, the front/taillights etc. However, don’t be scared. You can get your standard battery checked by any mechanic.
- Does the car have a thermal management system?
What’s this mumbo jumbo?? Hybrid and electric vehicles are just like other cars. Extreme weather conditions will reduce their efficiency. And because the GCC weather is extremely hot and humid during summers, you may want to opt for a car having an active thermal management system. Some vehicles featuring thermal management systems include the Electric Ford Focus, which uses a liquid heating/cooling technology that helps preserve battery life. In addition to the Focus, the Nissan Leaf SV and SL models offer thermal management system.