One main consideration for an EV is the ease of charging your vehicle. Fueling an EV is different from fueling a gas-powered car, and change can feel scary at first. But most people adjust easily within a few weeks of purchasing their EV, and quickly come to enjoy the convenience and cost savings. Plus, no more gas stations, no more oil changes — very little maintenance!
Do the research. Before purchasing or leasing an EV, it is important to know the range (miles per full charge) of the makes and models you are considering. You want to make sure that it’s enough for your daily commute and lifestyle. Keep in mind, you’ll have more range with stop and go driving than on the highway, because the act of braking helps to regenerate the battery. On the highway, you can increase your range by driving at speeds of about 60 mph. It won’t take long to become familiar with your EV’s range as you test it at different speeds and under different terrains and weather conditions. Hills and heating and using air conditioning affect the range.
Average EV ranges are getting longer each year. Today, most EVs get 220+ miles per charge, and some models are getting over 350 miles per charge.
If you want to take road trips, you will need to plan for roadside charging along the way. Generally, high speed charging is available on main corridors across the country. These supply an 80% charge in about 30 minutes.
Finding Charging Stations
Most EV drivers charge at home each night and wake up every morning with the charge they need for their day. There may be times that you need to top-off by using a public charging station — some are free, and others cost and may require a subscription. If you do plan to take longer trips, some planning will ensure you can find charging stations along the way. You may also want to have back up or secondary plans should there be any problems with the chargers.
Most people charge their EVs at home overnight. With a relatively short commute one can charge by simply plugging into a normal household 110-volt outlet (Level 1 charger) to get 40 to 60 miles of charge overnight. If more range is needed or to charge your car faster, a 240-volt Level 2 charger can be installed to get about 25 miles of charge per hour.
EV batteries are usually warranted for 8 years or 100,000 miles. But as technology improves, new EV batteries are lasting much longer — in some cases, close to 500,000 miles. If your battery does eventually degrade to the point that you need to replace it and the replacement is not covered by the vehicle’s battery warranty, you may need to buy a new battery.
You don’t have to be rich to drive an EV. In fact, EVs are often more affordable than gasoline powered cars. The cost savings on fuel and maintenance alone make the total cost of ownership less for most people. There are also federal, state and local incentives to reduce the upfront price of purchasing or leasing.
And if you pair home solar system with your EV, you will save the most on power for your household and for your vehicle.
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