With the electric vehicle (EV) market gaining traction, the time is now to consider a battery-powered vehicle as your next mode of transportation. To get you started, check out this list, provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, of EVs ranked by fuel efficiency. And keep the following in mind while shopping for an EV:
1. Price — EVs may cost more than their conventional counterparts, but they offset the price difference with rebates, tax credits and savings on fuel and maintenance.
For example, the price of a new battery-powered Nissan Leaf is about $30,000 while a comparable gas-powered subcompact starts at around $20,000. But the Leaf, like many EVs, qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit, plus its 2019 model comes with a $3,500 manufacturer incentive and a $200 rebate from OUC. That’s $11,200 in savings!
EVs also are cheaper to own. Consider that if you drove an EV 10,000 miles per year, you would spend about $300 on charging costs versus $625 a year on gas at $2.50 per gallon for a car that gets 30 mpg. If you’re car shopping, look for the EPA information label on a new EV for an estimated fuel savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and smog ratings
2. Less Maintenance — Not ever stopping for gas again isn’t the only advantage of EV ownership. You’ll see much less of your friendly auto mechanic because EVs don’t need oil changes and tune-ups, and their brakes last much longer than internal combustion engine cars. An EV also doesn’t have a timing belt, alternator, spark plugs, radiator, fuel pump, water pump, and many other replaceable parts found in traditional cars.
3. Range — Your commuting distance and travel routines will determine if an EV is right for you. The average workday commute is less than 30 miles roundtrip, which any EV could easily handle and still have plenty of range to spare. Converting to an EV becomes challenging when you regularly travel more than 150 miles per day.
But automakers are making great strides in extending distances EVs can travel on a fully charged battery. Keep in mind that range is affected by conditions beyond manufacturers’ control, such as driving conditions and driver behavior, weather and extreme temperatures.
4. Charging Stations — Most EVs come with a Level 1 charger, which plugs into an ordinary wall outlet and provides about 5 miles of range per hour. Depending on your driving habits, a better home charging option might be a Level 2 charger that gets 10-20 miles of range per hour. Level 3 fast chargers at public charging stations provide up to 80 miles of range per 20-minute charge.
OUC has installed more than 165 public charging stations in our service territory.
All charging ports on EVs aren’t the same, which means not all charging stations are compatible with every model. Use your smartphone to find charging stations with Google Maps (search for EV charging stations) or with apps like PlugShare, ChargeHub and ChargePoint. Tesla has an app specifically for its car owners. AM Conservation Group’s free e-book, Charging Your New Electric Vehicle, is a comprehensive guide EV charging.
5. Life of Battery – Most dealers warrant battery performance for 80,000 to 100,000 miles. So, be sure to check the automaker’s warranty before making a buying decision.
6. Size – EVs are large enough to accommodate families of all sizes, and this includes SUVs.
7. High Occupancy Vehicles – EV drivers can cruise along in high occupancy vehicles lanes with a Florida HOV.