Shopping For an Electric Car

Electric cars are a great way to cut your carbon footprint and avoid harmful pollutants. They also reduce air pollution that can cause diseases and premature death.

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The 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is among the longest-range EVs on sale, with its EPA-estimated 300+ miles. It’s also more affordable and offers more rear-passenger space than other large EVs like the Jaguar I-Pace or Tesla Model 3. Moreover, it qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Cost

EVs once commanded significantly more upfront costs than their gas-powered counterparts, but that’s no longer the case. A few forces are driving down those prices, including a $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs and lower electricity rates than those for gasoline.

In addition, electric cars generally require less maintenance than conventional vehicles. They don’t have complicated tailpipe emissions hardware and their batteries last longer, which reduces the need for frequent oil changes. And their regenerative braking systems capture otherwise lost energy to recharge the battery, further cutting operating costs.

As a result, it’s now possible to find well-equipped EV models for below $30,000 and even much lower when taking into account the federal tax credit that many qualify for. For example, a new Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Bolt EV can be purchased for $25,000 and below when factoring in credits. And even more affordable options are available with a little searching.

Despite these lower prices, however, electric cars tend to depreciate more quickly than their gas-powered counterparts. If you’re planning to keep your EV for a long time, you’ll need to factor in that additional depreciation cost into your budget.

Range

EVs have long struggled to compete with their gasoline-powered counterparts in terms of driving range. This was due to factors like smaller batteries and lower power output. Now, however, the industry is making major strides in addressing this issue. New battery chemistries and technologies have enabled the creation of EVs with a much higher driving range.

The driving range of an electric car depends on a number of factors, including how fast you accelerate and how warm or cold it is outside. These factors can dramatically affect the amount of energy an EV will use, and how far you can drive on a single charge.

To overcome this challenge, many EVs come equipped with a low-charge warning indicator. Some premium models can even calculate your remaining range and warn you when you are approaching a point where the vehicle will run out of power. If you ignore this warning, the EV will eventually stop running and your only option is to find a charging station.

As such, drivers should consider their lifestyle when deciding on an EV. They should choose an EV with enough range to cover their daily commute and road trips. In addition, they should have a place to plug their EV in overnight and during the day. This could be a challenge for people living in multi-unit dwellings or those without off-street parking, but there are still solutions available for these situations.

Chargers

When shopping for an Electric car, it’s important to understand the different types of batteries and chargers available. EVs require special charging equipment to prevent heat damage. The chargers convert AC electricity from the power grid into DC energy for the battery. The chargers also control the flow of current to ensure that the battery doesn’t charge too fast or too slowly.

Most EV drivers use Level 1 charging at home, with the cord set that comes with their vehicle. This level of charging is slow, taking up to 40 hours for a full charge, but it is enough for most plug-in hybrids and may be sufficient for battery-electric cars as well.

Some EVs come with an onboard DC charger that is compatible with public Level 2 charging stations. These chargers provide a higher power output and can charge the battery up to 80 percent of capacity in 30 minutes. You can also use the ChargePoint app to remotely start or stop charging, track how much your battery is charged, and schedule charging times to take advantage of lower-cost energy during off-peak hours.

Many cities and businesses have public EV charging stations. These can be free, pay-as-you-go, or subscription-based. Many businesses allow their employees to use the chargers for free, and some automakers offer complimentary public charging at certain locations.

Maintenance

Even though electric cars have fewer moving parts than traditional cars, they do still require maintenance. The good news is that EV repair costs tend to be lower than gasoline-powered vehicles. This is due to the fact that there is no combustion engine under the hood and because EVs use different braking methods. But that doesn’t mean that there are no repairs to worry about.

For example, if you own an EV with a battery that has reached the end of its life, it may need to be replaced. This is a significant cost that can offset the savings associated with an EV’s lower operating costs. Also, the tires on EVs tend to last less than those on conventional cars, which means that you will need to replace them more often.

Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind that the mechanic you take your car to for service will be critical to its maintenance and repair. It’s important to find a shop that specializes in fixing electric vehicles, especially if you have an older model. This is because EVs can have complicated electrical systems that need to be properly repaired.

Some mechanics are specializing in EV repair, but it’s still not easy to find an EV specialist outside of large cities and towns. This is a concern because it could make it more difficult for consumers to get the maintenance and repair they need.