They’re good for the planet and amazing to drive. But these aren’t the only reasons 2022 is shaping up to be the year of the electric vehicle (EV), says industry expert Peter van der Westhuyzen.

Australians are excited about buying EVs, but in a relatively new market, deciding which car to buy can be overwhelming. Here’s how to get started with finding the perfect EV match.

Know why you want to switch

Are you looking for an efficient car that will take you from A to B with reduced emissions? Or are you wanting to enjoy a high-performance ride that’s easy on the environment?

“It's quite a personal decision,” says Peter van der Westhuyzen, an executive director in Macquarie’s personal banking business, through which you can buy an EV supported by a team of experts with more than 70 years of motor industry experience collectively. 

“Each one of us has a different reason for moving from an internal combustion engine vehicle to an EV.” 

For many Macquarie customers, van der Westhuyzen says, the decision to buy an EV starts with wanting to make a positive impact on the planet. 

“As transport is one of the biggest sources of emissions in Australia, one of the most tangible things people can do to reduce their carbon footprint is to remove tailpipe emissions from their personal transportation.”

You might also make the switch to an EV based on their lower running and maintenance costs. It’s cheaper to recharge your battery than to fill up with petrol or diesel, and when charging at home, further savings can be achieved if you are able to select off-peak electricity rates or generate your own electricity with solar panels.

Another reason is that EVs are amazing cars to drive. “It’s a different experience,” van der Westhuyzen says. “They are very smooth to drive, they are quiet and you have instant access to power. The cars themselves are also packed full of technology.”

Whichever factors are behind your new purchase, being clear about them upfront will help you find your ideal drive.

Strike a balance between functionality and price

Every EV has a different offering, so think about what you need most in your daily drive and what makes the best financial sense for you. 

“Just like ICE [internal combustion engine] cars, there are many things that impact the price of EVs,” van der Westhuyzen says. “These could include the size of the car, different features and functionality, the battery size and charging capability, as well as what’s included in the car’s interior and the level of technology connectedness.”

With the range of available EVs growing in Australia, there are now cars available at a wider range of price points to suit different buyers, starting from about $45,000. State-based government incentives can also offset a portion of the recommended retail price, so it’s worth carefully considering each option.

Make sure you really understand your driving habits

You might already be thinking about some common EV myths: that they have limited driving range or that charging stations are hard to find. Van der Westhuyzen says many of these concerns stem from people not being aware of how they really drive.

“Current EVs have a single charge driving range between 350 and 600 kilometres,” he says. “However, the average Australian drives about 40 kilometres per day, meaning they can drive for days on end before recharging. Some of what we think of as barriers to buying an EV are not barriers after all.”

He suggests new buyers take a closer look at their driving habits before they make a decision. When you use the EV car-buying service Macquarie Vehicle Select, a specialist will ask questions to understand your driving patterns and match you with different models that might be suitable.

Plan carefully and do your research

The types of questions to ask yourself before buying an EV are similar to those you would ask before buying an ICE vehicle, van der Westhuyzen says. These include identifying the car size, make and model most suitable for your lifestyle. Just like ICE vehicles, EVs come in a range designed for different needs, including ferrying families, going off-road or zipping around urban streets.

Finding a car that meets your requirements involves careful research. “Talk to people who can give you good independent information,” van der Westhuyzen says. “They will ask questions to cover the important topics you need to understand before making a final decision.”

He suggests starting with finding information online, and extending your research to include car manufacturers, speaking with friends and family, and using a service such as Macquarie Vehicle Select which can help you find your perfect match.

Choose a finance option backed by experts

When it comes time to switch, financing your decision is an important consideration. “There are a range of options available,” van der Westhuyzen says. “Having a good think about how to finance your new car can save you a lot of money.”

Macquarie is the first Australian banking group with a specialised EV buying service, giving you the support of a team of motor industry experts as well as lending consultants who can help arrange finance.

“We wanted people who understand cars to talk to our customers about their transport needs, with industry relationships that would allow us to provide independent information and the best possible service,” van der Westhuyzen says.

“You can come to Macquarie and talk about the right car to suit you, your family and your driving needs, and we will come back to you with a range of options. We can help you to trade in your existing ICE car and negotiate the price on your behalf, and then, at the right time, we can guide you through the car loan approval process.”

Once you’ve found your perfect match, Macquarie offers a discounted interest rate specifically for new EVs, and, depending on where you live, can even make sure your new drive is fully charged before delivering it to your home.

“We are very, very committed to decarbonisation,” van der Westhuyzen says. “We know that the next decade is critical for the world in terms of climate change. We want to help people transition to EVs and reduce their carbon footprint by providing discounted interest rates to support electrification.”

With so many EV options on the market, and experts available to help you make the right decision, 2022 could be the perfect year to finally make the switch.

Find out how Macquarie can help you transition to an electric vehicle

Originally produced content by Guardian Labs Australia to a brief agreed with and paid for by Macquarie Bank.
Finance is provided by Macquarie Leasing Pty Ltd Australian Credit Licence 394925, a subsidiary of Macquarie Bank. T&Cs apply.

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