Have you decided to ditch your diesel or gasoline car for an electric equivalent?
If so, beyond the usual pitfalls associated with buying a new car, you should also consider several key factors when purchasing an electric vehicle.
Maybe you are concerned about the environment, damage to children’s respiratory systems, or maybe even just want to save fuel, there are many reasons why you have opted for electrification. Whatever your reasons, these points should help you understand and consider the ramifications of owning an electric vehicle.
The Average Distance You Travel Per Day
Compared to the normal gasoline and diesel vehicles we see, most EVs offer a significantly shorter range. For example, in reality, driving a Nissan Leaf has a range of around 226 miles, eGolf, and Hyundai Ionic have ~144 miles, and even high-end EVs can only travel around 400 miles on a full charge. The distance you cover each day is therefore of the utmost importance.
Today, the situation is improving for the owner of an electric vehicle, with public charging points in many other places, including gas stations, shopping malls, and even downtown parking lots. But despite this, recharging an EV is nowhere near as easy as it is for a gasoline or diesel vehicle.
It should also be noted that the time it takes to fully charge an EV can be up to an hour or more and this should also be considered if you are taking a reasonably long daily commute.
Therefore, the number of miles you cover on a given day is an important consideration. In the ideal world, you would buy an EV with a range that, when fully charged, will always be farther than you need to travel.
Charging Options for Electric Cars
As mentioned, the range of your EV is an important factor when purchasing an EV, but your ability to charge the vehicle should also be considered. Interestingly, almost every EV sold today offers the option of recharging using a normal household outlet. However, you may not want to wait the 8-12 hours it takes for the normal charger to charge the EV battery.
You can choose to install a more powerful charging system, which is available for most EV models at a cost. This can significantly reduce the charging time, perhaps up to less than half an hour, depending on your choice of EV and charger. But beware, high current chargers often require a dedicated power supply and will almost certainly require expert installation.
Beyond the above, even with a full charge, there may be trips that require charging or recharging before you return, so it is important to fully understand the limitations of your EV charging system and you should also know where you will find the appropriate public charging points for your vehicle.
Electric Vehicle Maintenance and Battery Lifetime
Another important aspect of EVs is the battery, its longevity, and, ultimately, its potential replacement cost. While EVs themselves require less maintenance than gasoline and diesel vehicles due to the lower number of moving parts, one thing to check is the condition of the battery.
Consumer Reports estimates the average EV battery pack’s lifespan to be at around 200,000 miles, which is nearly 17 years of use if driven 12,000 miles per year, so there should be no need to replace them while you own the car if you stay below that mileage. But be careful, like their portable equivalents, EV batteries degrade over time, which reduces their charging capacity and therefore their range.
You should also consider the environment you live in, as EV batteries typically perform much better in temperate climates than in much colder areas.
Your Future Electricity Bill
Fuel cars require regular visits to the gas station, which as we all know comes at a cost, and switching to an electric vehicle when charged at home will increase your electricity bill. However, in the real world, unless you are driving an inordinate number of miles every day, you won’t see a massive increase in that bill.
Resale Value for Used Electric Cars.
While electric vehicles have been available for some time now, the resale value of the new models is still clearly unknown, unlike their gasoline and diesel counterparts.
You should consider any likely depreciation of an EV beyond the norm because once it’s time to replace it, you might find that the number of miles driven has an impact on its resale value and you will find buyers pointing out the cost of replacing the battery.
Switching from a gasoline or diesel vehicle doesn’t have to be a life-changing decision, and if you put a reasonable level of research and thought into your purchase, and consider the points raised, you will find the joys of EV ownership at your fingertips