Electric cars, and now SUVs and trucks, are moving well into the mainstream now. They are becoming better in terms of range, charging and expense. There’s also a quickly growing range of vehicles and sizes of EVs. There’s a Hummer pickup truck, a Ford electric F-150, of course there’s Tesla. GM is committing to producing nothing but electric vehicles by 2035. With so many choices and options, what do you need to consider about getting your first, or another, electric vehicle? If you’re buying one for the first time, when does it make sense to buy an electric car?
Is it Affordable?
Electric vehicles are still, on average, more expensive than comparable gas vehicles. Using government incentives to get an EV might help enough. It’s worth considering, though, will the offset with lower operating (gas) and maintenance costs be worth it even if monthly or upfront cost is more?
A gas vehicle costs an average of $3,356 a year in fuel, taxes and insurance. The average is $2,722 for an electric vehicle. Maintenance costs, more there in a minute, could change the equation, too.
What are You Using it for?
While there are more electric SUVs, vans and trucks coming on the market by the year, many “large” SUVs are still too small for some families, jobs or uses. Think about the family in the EV you’re looking at. The same goes if you’re planning on workload, cargo or the needed power and functionality.
What About Maintenance for an Electric Vehicle?
Generally, electric automobiles need less maintenance than gas vehicles. There are basically no fluid changes or brake maintenance needed for EVs.
A electric battery is designed to outlast the life of the car itself, although this isn’t always the case. Replacing an EV battery can be expensive, at $5,000 to considerably more, much like replacing an engine in a gas vehicle is.
Federal regulations mandate EV manufacturers cover the battery for eight years or up to 100,000 miles, but there can be exceptions or disqualifiers with the manufacturer warranty so it pays to know that fine print ahead of time.
How Far is Your Normal Trip?
Do you love long road trips? Or, even if you don’t love them, do you have to be on the road a bunch? If so, it no longer should automatically take an EV out of your equation.
Almost all EVs now have a range of more than 200 miles before recharging. A Chevy Bolt, one of the most affordable electric cars out there, has a range of 259 miles.
Another thought might be having an EV for normal, daily use, then a gas vehicle for long trips when you want the longer, easier to plan for, range.
Where Do You Charge it at Home?
If you live in an apartment or townhouse without an EV charging station, this can be a major setback. The number of public charging stations is increasing all the time. That said, at home, most people will need to install their own charging station.
Most EV owners need to get and install – professionally – a 240-volt charging station at home. This costs about $1,200.
What About Charging Stations Around Town?
While charging at home, with the upgraded power station, is the best and easiest plan, you’ll certainly need an electric refill sometimes, even during a typical day of commuting and driving around. Some public charging stations are Level 2, however several offer DC rapid charging, which recharges cars and trucks quickly. Some EVs can be charged up to 80% in less than half an hour at a fast-charging terminal. Nonetheless, there are numerous variables involved.
You’ll need to know if the new EV you’re considering is compatible with fast-charging, as well as the amount of miles you can expect to get with a recharge in a certain amount of time. Furthermore, you need to know the locations of the charging stations in your area and along the common routes you’re on. Maybe most important of all, know what type of EV charging each station supports.
There are numerous sources available. You can go to PlugShare.com and PlugInAmerica.org. Charging networks, such as EVgo, ChargePoint, as well as Electrify America additionally have their own interactive maps. Tesla proprietors have exclusive access to the Supercharger network, that includes fast-charging stations strategically situated nationwide.
Do You Care About Performance?
This may be a plus for gas or a plus for electric. It simply depends on your preferences. There are some ways EVs are great when it comes to fun and performance.
- Fast response with excellent low-end velocity, especially in 0-30 mph.
- Great handling because of the heavy battery giving the car or truck a low center of gravity.
- No “shift shock” when shifting gears compared to a standard gas transmission.
- Quiet sound except from the wind and tires.
Less Time Refueling – If you can always, or almost always, recharge your EV at home, most likely overnight, this should mean you rarely “stop for gas.” If you rarely need to find a recharging station, you’ll save time and money that you used to spend on gas and gas stations.
No Oil Changes – In the maintenance time and money category, EVs need much less maintenance overall.
Express, Carpool Lanes – Check about the good side of regulations, taxes, mandates, carpool lanes, parking spaces, free charging stations and so on which are incentives for EVs.
More Tech – Along with the electric technology, new EVs are in a very competitive marketplace amongst each other and the latest gas vehicles, so many models have top comfort, safety, sound and high tech options which are worth it.
Your best bet? Hire an expert to do the job. South End Electric has the background and understanding to ensure a safe and smooth installation. We can provide electrical safety inspections and wiring and lighting service. In addition, our professionals provide whole-house generator sales and installation to meet your needs. See everything South End Electric can do for you. Call us direct at 704-368-4694.