Electric Vehicles Purchasing Guide
Purchasing an electric vehicle might be intimidating, especially if you are unfamiliar with the technology and what to look for. But there’s a lot to think about, including battery range, kWh specs, and other factors that gas car buyers don’t have to worry about.
Electric vehicles, on the other hand, have a slew of advantages. Electric vehicles are quick, enjoyable to drive, low-maintenance, and emit no carbon emissions, which are a key contributor to climate change. Even if you’re certain you want one, there are many options: lower refueling expenses, less frequent maintenance, and an almost silent car when driving. Not to mention that you won’t have to worry about oil changes or pollute the environment every time you go to the supermarket. However, you will still need to decide whether an EV is suited for you and which model to purchase.
Tips in Purchasing an Electric Vehicle
People are becoming more interested in owning electric automobiles as they become less expensive and more widely available. Aside from the environmental benefits, several reasons to transition to an electric vehicle include superior economy, lower energy costs, low maintenance, and improved overall performance. Making the switch from gas to electricity, on the other hand, is a significant step. Thankfully, we’re here to help with our electric vehicle buying guide.
Do Some Calculations
Even the most affordable electric automobiles are still rather costly. Of course, there are bargains to be had. Still, EVs are typically a few thousand dollars more expensive to buy outright, or approximately $140 per month more on PCP than equivalent internal combustion-powered vehicles. However, your EV will have no VED, should be less expensive to maintain, and filling up with electricity is far less expensive than filling up with gasoline or diesel.
- Mini Electric, for example, uses 15.5kWh/100km and costs roughly $3 to charge at home.
- A standard Cooper S-car, on the other hand, consumes 5.6 liters of petrol to travel the same 62 miles. In unleaded, that’s $10.
Using an EV might save you hundreds of dollars per year in business costs.
Get Some Research
EVs come in all kinds and sizes these days, from small city vehicles like the Volkswagen e-Up to giant seven-seat SUVs like the Tesla Model X. Aside from the usual considerations like practicality, handling, comfort, and so on, keep in mind what brand you’re buying into and what they have to offer. Whether it’s a free wall box, exclusive access to charging networks, or something else entirely, there’s something for everyone. In terms of range, do you travel 300 miles per day? So, before you go out and buy that Model S, I-Pace, or Kona, consider how much of it you need. For longer excursions, you can always rent another automobile.
It takes some time to become acclimated to driving an electric vehicle. The absence of noise is the first thing you’ll notice, as is how even the slowest EVs rocket away from a stop like they’ve been dropped from a great height. Then you’ll try to come to a halt. Regenerative braking systems are standard on almost all-electric vehicles, and they capture the energy that would otherwise be lost as you slow down. As a result, when you take your foot off the gas pedal, electric vehicles lose speed more quickly than conventional vehicles. Many allow you to choose the quantity of regeneration, and some even allow you to turn it off completely. But don’t go there. Ineffective, to say the least. When it comes to efficiency, pay close attention to the range computer. ‘Extreme’ driving, chilly weather, and frequent usage of the air conditioner all put a damper on the range.
At-home Charging Station
Charging at home is one of the most convenient elements of EV ownership. You plug the car in at the end of the day. It’s ready to go when you get up in the morning. This means no more stinky hands from pumping gas, no more standing in the cold, and no more dragging your car out of the garage to warm it up.
With that said, there are a few things to keep in mind. You can charge your electric vehicle using a conventional 110-volt wall socket, but it will take some time. Level 1 charging adds around 4 miles per hour to the range. This can work for you if you don’t need a lot of range every day. However, if you use up all 250 miles of range, this method will take many days to recharge.
Most EV owners have a 240-volt outlet installed in their garage by an electrician. This enables Level 2 charging, which can add up to 25 miles of range every hour of charge. Make careful to find out how much adding 240-volt service to your home would cost. You can plug in outside if you don’t have a garage. Make sure your 240-volt outlet is up to code and that your charging cord or station is designed for outdoor use if you have one installed outside.
Look for Public Charging Station
While charging your electric car at home is the most convenient option, you’ll almost certainly need to charge on the road at some point. While some public charging stations are Level 2, many others provide DC fast charging, allowing you to charge your car quickly. Some EVs may be charged to 80% in less than 30 minutes at a fast-charging station. However, there are other aspects to consider.
Check to see if the electric vehicle you’re considering is capable of quick charging, as well as how many miles you can expect to add in a given amount of time. Furthermore, you should identify the charging stations in your neighborhood and along your usual routes, as well as the types of charging they support.
PlugShare.com and PlugInAmerica.org are just two of the many tools available. EVgo, ChargePoint, and Electrify America are just a few charging networks with interactive maps. Tesla owners have exclusive access to the Supercharger network, consisting of fast-charging stations strategically placed around the United States.
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for a car to come with a specialized smartphone app. Especially if it’s an electric vehicle. The finest of these apps allow you to schedule charging to take advantage of cheap energy prices, assist with trip planning, and provide complete control over the air conditioning. Tell your car what time you plan to depart in the morning, and by the time you open the door, all the windows will be defrosted, and the interior temperature will be steady at 21 degrees.
Road trips are possible in an electric vehicle. If convenient or viable, it depends on your route and your car’s range. If your EV has a range of 200 or 300 miles, you’ll undoubtedly be ready for a toilet and snack break by the time the battery power runs out.
It shouldn’t be difficult to plan your route and ensure that a charging station is available every three hours or so – especially if you’re going on major routes. You may need to deviate from the typical path to ensure that you may DC fast-charge at each station. Otherwise, your travel duration will be greatly increased. Many EV owners also possess a gas car, which they use for road trips with their families. If you don’t take long road journeys very often, you shouldn’t be concerned. You could always rent a car for your yearly family road trip while still saving money by driving your EV every day.
Incentives on Electric Vehicle
The Federal Government of the United States grants a $7,500 tax credit to electric car buyers. Only new, fully electric cars are eligible for the entire amount. The credit is also available to plug-in hybrid electric cars (PHEVs), albeit it is reduced based on the size of the vehicle’s battery. The entire tax credit is available for longer-range PHEVs like the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. Still, the Toyota Prius Prime and Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid are only eligible for roughly $4,500.
The tax benefit is not available to all-electric vehicles. The incentive is phased off in stages after an automaker sells 200,000 electric vehicles. Tesla and GM electric vehicles, for example, are no longer eligible. It’s also worth noting that not everyone will be able to take advantage of the credit according to their tax circumstances. Before buying an electric vehicle, consult a tax specialist to ensure you’ll qualify for the credit. If you lease an EV, you won’t be able to get the credit, but the dealership will get it and use it to your lease discounts. That isn’t always the case, though. Find out whether the tax credit will be applied or if the dealership will keep the money if you plan to lease.
In addition to the federal tax credit, states and towns often provide credits and incentives. Make sure you do your research to see whether you can get a local discount, financial aid for a home charging system, or any other type of local incentive for buying an electric vehicle.
Electric cars, on average, require less maintenance than gasoline-powered vehicles. There are almost no fluids to change, and friction brakes last longer since regenerative braking helps the car stop. The battery and motor in an electric vehicle can outlast the vehicle itself. If an electric vehicle’s battery needs to be replaced, it can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $16,000, not including labor. In comparison, depending on the size of the engine and the number of hours of labor, replacing the engine in a gas automobile can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.
Fortunately, federal regulations mandate that electric vehicle batteries be covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. Keep in mind that warranties can include a lot of exceptions and limitations, so make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Electric cars are more expensive to insure than traditional cars. It has nothing to do with the vehicle’s safety, however. Rather, it’s because electric vehicles are more expensive than gasoline-powered vehicles. Repairing more costly autos is always more expensive. Furthermore, insurance firms consider the high cost of EV battery packs. If the pack is damaged in an accident and needs to be replaced, it is one of the most costly repairs that insurance companies will cover.
Insurance of an electric automobile costs 23 percent more than insuring a gas car. Some insurance providers are more lenient than others, and rates vary dramatically depending on various factors. State Farm, for example, does not appear to charge a significant premium for electric vehicles, although Allstate does. Regardless of your vehicle, check around for the best insurance rates.
To Sum It Up
For first-time buyers, switching from a gas automobile to an electric vehicle might be intimidating, especially considering all the factors. But the essential thing is not to be put off by the possibility of switching. Of course, not everyone will be able to afford an electric vehicle. Although there are numerous advantages to owning an electric vehicle, and the industry has come a long way in the last decade, this does not guarantee that everyone will convert to an electric vehicle the next time they purchase a vehicle.
It makes little difference if the reason is financial, logistical, or a lack of confidence in making the changeover. If electricity is the best option for you right now, that’s fantastic. If not, there’s no need to feel bad about it. There will come a time when owning a car will require you to purchase an electric vehicle, but that time is still a long way off, and for now, the essential thing is to get the proper vehicle for you.