With gas prices, the way they’ve been recently, plenty of people are looking for a way to get around that isn’t so expensive. And many of them are starting to seriously consider electric vehicles (EVs) – according to Consumer Reports, 71 percent of Americans are willing to consider buying an electric car.
It’s not hard to see why. Electric vehicle technology is finally starting to reach a point where EVs have become feasible for the average person to own. They come with ranges of 150 to 300 miles or more. They’re getting more affordable – some models like the Nissan Leaf or the Hyundai Ioniq are available starting at about $30,000. EVs are cheaper to run, and because they have fewer moving parts, they need fewer repairs and less maintenance than gas cars. Before you rush out to the dealership to make your next car an EV, here’s what you need to know about them.
“Range Anxiety” Is Real
“Range anxiety” is a term coined to describe the fear people have that an electric car will run out of charge far from a charging station. People don’t have this fear about gas cars because they know that even if they run out of gas, which isn’t likely, the infrastructure exists to get more gas in a timely fashion. For EVs, though, the charging infrastructure just isn’t there yet – and among what is there, charging connectors are not yet standardized, so you could easily pull up to a charging station only to find that it doesn’t accept your type of plug.
However, most people aren’t going to need to worry too much about whether they’ll have the range they need from an EV. Some modern EVs can drive more than 500 miles on a single charge. Most EVs have a range of 150 to 300 miles or so. Most people drive about 25 miles a day. Unless you have an exceptionally long daily commute, you won’t need an EV with a large range to meet your daily driving needs.
Public Charging Stations May Be Hard to Come By
One of the big drawbacks of EVs remains the scarcity of public charging stations. They simply aren’t as prevalent as gas stations, and that can make using an EV difficult for many. However, the Biden administration has pledged $7.5 billion to create EV public charging infrastructure nationwide, so that’s expected to change in the near future.
Furthermore, many people charge their EVs at home. Charging your EV at home is usually cheaper than charging at a public charging station, and you’ll be able to add range to your car battery while you’re on your downtime, so you can be ready for the next day’s commute. That said, charging your car on a 120-volt outlet could take more than 16 hours to reach a full charge. A 240-volt outlet, like the one your dryer uses, will charge your car fully in about eight hours. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t need to charge your car all the way up every day. A charge can last several days, and even if you only have a 120-volt outlet to power your car, you can still get enough juice to run your daily errands.
Installing a Charging Outlet in Your Home Could Be Expensive
If you want to install a 240-volt outlet to charge your EV, be prepared to shell out some cash. Cars.com installed 240-volt chargers into six homes and found the cost ranged from $1,700 to $9,000. However, you might be able to get a discount on power used to charge your electric car, or rebates from your local municipality or state for installing an EV charger.
You Might Quality for a Federal Tax Credit for Buying an EV
In addition to rebates and tax credits given on the state and local level, you could qualify for a $7,500 tax credit from the federal government for buying some kinds of electric cars. While some EV manufacturers like Tesla have already sold too many cars for buyers to qualify, you can still qualify for the tax credit by buying Chevy’s affordable electric car, the Bolt. Nissan Leaf buyers may still qualify for a short time, and buyers of electric Cadillacs can also qualify.
EVs Tend to Cost Less to Operate and Maintain than Gas Cars
EVs are fast, quiet, fun to drive, and reduce carbon emissions. They’re also cheaper to operate than gas cars – if you charge at home, you can fill up your EV for as little as $10. If you choose fast charging at a public charging station, you can fill up for about $30, still cheaper than buying a tank full of gas. And EVs don’t have oil or other fluids to change or as many moving parts as gas cars, so you’ll spend roughly half as much on repairs and maintenance for an EV.
The time may finally be right for many of us to make the switch to electric cars – and not a moment too soon. Do your part to build a more sustainable future – buy your first EV.