You are beginning to see more electric cars on the road and more recharging stations, too. Thanks to the manufacturer’s investments, technologically advanced batteries that are less expensive and last longer, and less impact on the planet, these vehicles are starting to be in high demand.
Believe it or not, even the manufacturers that you know and love are beginning to release electric vehicles (EVs), including Audi, Porsche, Kia, Volvo, and more. These new vehicles are entering the current line-up as a way to begin working toward a greener planet.
What You Should Know Before You Buy an EV
There are some questions you should ask yourself when you are looking at an electric car. These questions are especially important if you have never driven or considered an electric car before because it is a different car-owning experience.
What is the operating range of the EV?
Every EV has its own operating range. The average operating range of today’s EVs is around 200 miles per charge. You will want to make sure that the range your car offers is sufficient for your daily commute. You will also need to consider the range of use when driving in different weather conditions and using the heater or air conditioner.
Where and How Will I Charge My EV?
There are three types of charging when you drive an EV – rapid charging, fast charging, and trickle charging. The easiest one, and the one you are likely to use the most, is trickle charging. Trickle charging is when you plug your car into your home outlet overnight (12 hours or so) for a full charge.
The fast charger is a method that takes 3 to 8 hours to complete. You might find these charging stations in malls, shopping centers, work areas, and other community locations. These charging stations allow for a charge while you are going about your business.
The rapid chargers can provide an 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes. These may be found at service stations or car parks; they will cost you, though. These types of chargers are worth it, though, especially in a pinch.
How Long Will My EV Last?
It is possible to forge a lifelong relationship with your EV as long as you pay particular attention to the battery. Luckily, the government requires that most of these manufacturers offer an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty on EV vehicles.
Like any other battery, the EV battery will degrade over time, but in most cases (with proper care), your battery will live out the car’s lifespan. However, if you find yourself in need of a battery replacement, these can range from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the car, battery, and the cost of labor.
Does Insurance Increase with an EV?
An easy answer – Yes. Insurance premiums increase when you add an EV to the policy. Not only is an EV priced higher than gasoline-powered cars, but they are also more costly to fix. You could be the best driver in the world – no accidents and no tickets, but you would still pay more for insurance on an EV than you would a regular car.
Your insurance company is looking at the price to fix the car after a collision. We already discussed that the battery replacement ranges from $5,000 to $15,000, which are the amounts your insurance is looking at. Not only that but the other repairs that you would seek compensation for.
How an EV Works
Even though there are also hybrid cars (electric/fuel), we will only focus on the electric models. Hybrid articles can come another day. The main parts of your EV will be:
- Electric Engine/Motor – this is what provides the power that rotates the wheels. It can be a DC/AC type; however, AC motors are more common.
- Inverter – this part is what converts the electric current from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
- Drivetrain – EVs have a single-speed transmission (all automatics) that sends power to the wheels.
- Batteries – The battery is where the EV power is stored. The higher the kW of the battery, the higher the range it will provide.
- Charging – You can literally plug your car into an outlet to charge your battery.
The Cost-Efficiency of EVs
One of the biggest factors that factor into any vehicle selection is fuel cost. The same applies to EVs. The easiest way to figure out your “fuel” cost with an EV is to look at your electric bill. Your electricity price, especially if you will charge your vehicle at home, will be listed on your bill.
Here is an example:
If your electricity costs $0.15 per kWh and your EV consumes 35 kWh to travel 100 miles, the cost per mile would equal about $0.05.
So if you are looking to top your charge off on your EV and your normal range on a full charge is 275 miles, but you only have 70 miles remaining, at that price, you are looking at $10.25 to replenish your charge.
Manufacturers with EV Car Models
These are the car manufacturers that are currently offering electric vehicles in their line-up:
*Denotes fully electric-only car manufacturers
**Hyundai’s line of electric-only vehicles
Should Your Next Car Be Electric?
President Joe Biden has been pushing for an electric car revolution and might be able to accomplish this with a $2 trillion infrastructure plan that includes expenditures of up to $174 billion to encourage the American people to ditch gasoline-powered vehicles and turn to electric vehicles. The goal is to make electric vehicles more affordable (which they aren’t at this moment), offering more incentives and making the planet greener.
So if you are in the market for a car, you might want to consider the option of an electric car so that you can be ahead of the curve!