Most electric vehicle owners will tell you they’re happy with their gas-free vehicle, but that doesn’t mean an EV is for everyone. The driving characteristics will be familiar, but there is more to the equation. If you’re thinking about buying an EV, follow the list of considerations below to help make your decision.
Going green, technology enthusiasm, simple curiosity, or one of many other reasons may have you considering an EV. But there is a more to consider when buying an EV than with a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. Think about what’s driving your decision and do your research on whether or not an EV will fulfill those needs.
EVs are almost always more expensive than gas vehicles of the same size and equipment level. But while the upfront cost can be thousands more, there is long-term savings that can help distribute the upfront cost of an EV after just a few years of ownership. Lower operating and maintenance costs help to bring the monthly spend back in line.
Gas stations aren’t always the most appealing destinations, but they do offer unparalleled convenience. This isn’t exactly the case with EVs. Charging stations are less common, but are often placed in convenient locations like shopping centers high-traffic locales, making it easy to charge when shopping or dining out. In many cases, you’ll also be given premium parking close to entrances as an additional perk.
Charging on the go is only half of the equation. Ideally you’ll have the ability to charge nightly at home or at the office while working. The more convenient, the happier you’ll be. Conversely, inaccessibility to reliable charging can be a deal-breaker for some would-be EV buyers.
Do you regularly stay close to home, or spend a lot of time on the road? Daily driving habits can play a huge difference in the purchase consideration for an EV. Driving just a few miles a day could mean you’ll rarely need to charge anywhere but home. Long commutes may require a charge at some point during the day, and regular road trips will absolutely require charging stops. However, with a little route planning it is not a big deal, but keep in mind your total travel time will change due to additional stops.
Overall cost of ownership
If you drive a lot, home energy costs should be calculated and compared to fuel costs for a comparable gas vehicle. More often than not, the cost of electricity will be considerably less expensive than gas costs. Oil changes and engine tuneups are completely off the table, while brake replacement will be much less frequent. Fewer trips to the dealer can add up to thousands in savings over the course of a few years.
(Editor’s note: Not ready to go full electric but looking for an incredibly cheap cost of ownership. Take a look at the Corolla Hybrid.)
We’ve only scratched the surface in this article, but also don’t let this intimidate you. Like any large purchase, research is advised before signing the check. However, EVs are a solid solution for many lifestyles and use cases. Take a few test drives, run the numbers and if you decide an EV is for you, we’re almost certain you’ll never look back.