As the climate rapidly brings about changes to the environment and gas prices continue to soar, many of us are considering purchasing an electric car.
Consumer Reports just last month sent out a press release indicating that as many as 71% of Americans manifested some interest in leasing or purchasing electric vehicles. Of this 71%, 14% said they would purchase one immediately if buying a new car, 22% considered it a serious option, and 35% said they would consider the possibility.
So, electric vehicles have definitely entered the collective mindset, but switching to electric isn’t necessarily easy. There are numerous variables that will contribute to your final choice when deciding. Here are some of the principal considerations to factor in.
Where to Charge Your Electric Car
Even if public charging stations are increasing in number, the easiest place to charge up is at home. When charging overnight, you can start the new day with a fully recharged car battery. The “at home” option is also less costly.
You’ll need off-the-street charging such as in a garage where you’ll have convenient access to a source of electricity. When buying an electric vehicle, factor in installing a Level 2 charger that can recharge your vehicle completely in 4 to 12 hours. If you use a typical 110V home outlet (Level 1), you’ll need considerably longer to recharge.
Installation of a Level 2 Charger
How much you’ll need to spend to install a Level 2 charger in your garage will vary. If your home is already outfitted with a 240V outlet, this can facilitate the operation. You may only need the proper charging cord which may come with the vehicle. You might also need to purchase one which means shelling out several hundred dollars.
If, on the other hand, you need to upgrade an older home electrical system or install a connection to your garage, expenses will levitate into the thousands of dollars depending on exactly what you need. In this case, get a licensed electrician to evaluate the situation and provide estimates before you purchase your EV.
What you need in a charger will also be determined by how far and how much you drive. You can probably manage with a 110V Level 1 charger if you drive no more than 30 to 50 miles daily. If you travel for work, you’ll need more.
It’s crucial to evaluate your driving needs and habits. Examine how you use your car. Do you commute to work and how far is that commute? Perhaps the EV you are considering will suffice. Most EVs on the market offer a range from 150 to 350 miles on a full charge. This may be more than sufficient for your driving requirements.
Charging when out and about can prove to be extremely stressful, so analyzing what range you need for your lifestyle can prove to be fundamental in selecting a car. Tesla EVs are a bit of an exception as the company has expanded its charging network, but they only serve Tesla cars.
California, which is at the forefront with its plans to phase out gas-fueled vehicles by 2035, still faces a major challenge in its public charging network with many of its charging stations not functioning.
Short cables, payment systems that don’t work, broken plugs, and non-functioning touch screens all proved to be major impediments to the public charging infrastructure.
If you travel for work or pleasure, always investigate charging options along your planned route. If you have more than one family vehicle, you may want to begin with a compromise so that you are not entirely dependent on your EV right from the start.
In today’s inflationary climate, the cost will be a consideration for just about everyone. Electric cars are not cheap, they are expensive. Nonetheless, there are rebate incentives and tax credits that will aid in making an electric vehicle somewhat more affordable.
The Federal Government, at this writing, offers a $7,500 tax credit for electric cars sold by a majority of car manufacturers, so it’s important to research available savings opportunities before making your final choice. Check any local and state incentives along with that offered by the federal government. You can save quite a bit on your final purchasing price.
As most people finance car purchases, do check out however how much financing your vehicle will influence the final cost.
Along with savings on the car itself, talk to your utility provider. Electric companies may give you credit or discounts or the installation of a home charger for your auto or offer you a better rate for the electricity you use.
Also, factor in vehicle maintenance. Your final monthly cost for owning a car needs to include both maintenance and fuel costs. In this sense, while the initial price tag may be higher for an EV, long term an EV may be much more economical. Studies implicate that EVs do cost less over time than gas-guzzling cars.
Insuring an electric car will most likely cost a bit more. This is because replacement parts tend to be more expensive, and batteries can range from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the model. The cost of labor may also be higher as it requires specialized training.
It’s important to contact your insurance provider to verify if discounts are available and if you can transfer your actual insurance policy to a new EV.
The most important part of an EV is the battery and its life. When purchasing an electric car, ask about the warranty offered, and battery repair costs as opposed to purchasing a new one.
Car Style and Lifestyle
Just because it’s electric doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice aesthetic style. New EVs offer distinctive and taste-pleasing options. From the Chevrolet Bolt to the Luxury Lucid Air EV there is an EV for every taste and every wallet.