Should I Buy an Electric Car? Facts & Stats to Help You Decide
Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace on the road with every passing month. If you’re one of the many drivers who asked themselves, “Should I buy an electric car?” finding the answer can be somewhat daunting.
If you’ve already started the process of shopping for a new car, you probably already know that buying an electric vehicle has a variety of benefits for your wallet and for the environment. That said, the electric vehicle driving experience is far different from what you might be used to if you’ve always driven cars with an internal combustion engine.
Ready to put your days of driving a gas car behind you? Read on to learn the benefits of driving an electric vehicle. We’ll help you discover which EV is right for you, put to rest some troubling myths about EVs, and have you heading out on your next road trip with a full charge!
Should I Buy an Electric Car? The Benefits
When it comes to protecting the environment, the benefits of driving a vehicle with an all-electric motor can’t be understated. It’s no secret that harmful emissions from internal combustion engines are one of the leading contributors to climate change.
If you’re asking yourself if you should buy an electric car, you can know that doing so will drastically reduce your carbon footprint and ensure you’re making a positive contribution to the health of the planet.
That said, the benefits of buying an electric car aren’t purely related to their positive environmental impact. While the price of an electric car can often be higher than those powered by fossil fuels, they are considerably more affordable to maintain over the length of your ownership.
While things like tires, wiper blades, and cabin filters all require attention, other routine car maintenance tasks you’ve grown accustomed to will no longer be required should you buy an electric car. These include oil changes, spark plug changes, transmission tune-ups, and brake jobs.
Last, but certainly not least, the cost to fuel an electric car is far less expensive than fueling a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. For many wondering if they should buy an electric car, the thought of never having to buy a gallon of gas again is all the reason they need.
Which Electric Car Should You Buy?
The automotive world moves very fast, and automakers are more than eager to bring highly desired all-electric vehicles to the market. From all-electric pickup trucks to high performance vehicles, the frequency of new electric cars coming onto the scene is almost too much to keep up with.
If you’re wondering if you should buy an electric car, it’s helpful to understand that there are three main types of EVs:
- Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV): Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by a conventional internal combustion engine in combination with an electric motor and battery pack to reduce fuel consumption. The battery of a hybrid vehicle is recharged by regenerative braking and the ICE, and does not need to be plugged into a charger.
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV): A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is similar to a hybrid electric vehicle in that it also utilizes a combination of gas and electricity for power. However, the battery pack in plug-in hybrids must be replenished via a charger.
- Battery electric vehicle (BEV): Battery electric vehicles run solely on electricity and require charging infrastructure to replenish their battery pack.
Choosing which EV is right for you is a matter of personal preference, and should be based on the frequency and distance you’re accustomed to driving. Hybrid electric vehicles are ideal for people who tend to travel short distances from their home, while all-electric BEVs are likely a better option for drivers who travel long distances or have a lengthy daily commute.
Cost Considerations of Electric Cars
If you’ve perused EVs at a local dealership, you’ve probably experienced some sticker shock. Many EVs, particular luxury brands like Tesla, are often more expensive than conventional gas-powered cars.
That said, as EVs become more commonplace on the roads and more in demand by consumers, the price of electric cars is expected to drop considerably. Right now, the average cost of an electric car is approximately $55,600.
The average cost of a new gas-powered car is $36,600, making them $19,000 cheaper than an EV. But while the average sticker price of an EV is higher, it’s important to consider how much more affordable EVs are to maintain. Without frequent maintenance tasks like oil changes, brake jobs, and transmission fluid changes, the cost to drive an EV over time is far less expensive.
The lifetime cost of maintenance for a gas-powered vehicle is estimated at $9,200, while the lifetime maintenance cost of battery electric vehicles is half that: just $4,600 over the lifespan of the vehicle.
While electric vehicles are more affordable to maintain, keep in mind that it can be more expensive to insure an electric vehicle. Insurance companies place higher premiums on more expensive vehicles. According to a recent study by NerdWallet, car insurance rates for electric vehicles are 21% higher on average than rates for gas-powered vehicles. Check out some ways to save on your premium in this article.
Charging 101 for EVs
You might still be asking yourself “Should I buy an electric car?” One of the concerns holding you back might be confusion surrounding EV charging. After all, once you get behind the wheel of a battery electric vehicle, your days of stopping at gas stations (at least for gasoline) are over. But not to worry, EV charging is a relatively straightforward and easy to learn process that can be quickly mastered.
Most of us have driven for a few miles with our car’s gas light on, anxiously awaiting the sight of the next gas station ahead. For those who drive an electric car, this fear looks a bit different. The fear of one’s battery pack running out of power before you can get a charge is known as range anxiety.
Thankfully, the already-extensive network of public charging stations across the United States is continually growing, particularly in densely populated regions. The average miles of range for electric cars is approximately 250 miles on a single charge.
To put that distance into context, you could complete the five-hour drive between Boston, Massachusetts, and New York City, which is 216 miles. If you’re concerned about driving further than that on a single charge, however, here’s a list of EVs with the longest range.
While the public charging infrastructure is growing, the vast majority of EV drivers utilize home charging to power their EVs. The cost of charging an EV ranges based on a variety of factors. The biggest factor is the cost of electricity in your region by kilowatt-hour, whether or not you’re utilizing a fast-charging device, and what specific type of EV you have.
The national average EV charging cost ranges from 8 to 27 cents per kilowatt-hour, with the national average cost about 15 cents per kWh.
A home charging network must be installed by a professional electrician. If your home power grid is antiquated, it may need to be upgraded before you can install an EV charger.
Making the EV Leap
The variety of new EVs coming to market, their numerous environmental and economic benefits, and the array of new technologies they have on board are all good reasons for choosing to buy an electric vehicle.
Don’t forget, you can get additional savings when purchasing electric vehicles through state and regional rebate programs and potential federal tax credits. Additionally, your car-buying process can also be made affordable by considering a pre-owned electric vehicle.
With many new model EVs arriving at dealerships soon, the used car market in the United States is expected to include even more pre-owned EVs thanks to drivers who are eager to trade in their older models for new ones.
Ready to say goodbye to gas stations, oil changes, expensive maintenance, and harmful emissions? Then maybe you should buy an electric car.