IS AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE RIGHT FOR YOU?
Consider the following questions if you are thinking of purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) but aren’t sure if one suits your lifestyle or budget.
What are your typical daily driving patterns? (Consider all that apply to your situation.)
- I commute 40 miles or fewer each day.
- I commute more than 40 miles each day.
- I frequently take long trips.
- I rarely take long trips.
What is your daily mileage? Would charging a battery electric vehicle (BEV) overnight meet your commute demands? If you average more miles per day and/or take frequent long trips, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) may better meet your needs. PHEVs use a combination of an electric motor and gasoline engine to provide about 12-50 electric miles and the ability to keep driving on gasoline after the battery is depleted. They do need to be plugged in to charge but can operate in gas-only mode when necessary.
How will you charge the vehicle?
- I have access to a 120-volt outlet in an area where I can charge the car (or am willing to add one in a convenient location) and can charge overnight.
- I have access to a 240-volt outlet in an area where I can charge the car (or am willing to add one in a convenient location).
- My workplace offers access to a charging station.
- Areas where I shop or spend time (public buildings, malls, etc.) offer access to a charging station.
- BEVs operate solely on electric power and must be charged by plugging in. The battery in PHEVs must also be charged, but the vehicle can operate on gas if the charge runs out.
A 120-volt outlet in your garage or driveway may handle overnight charging if you are driving only about 40 miles per day and have a full 8 hours to plug in. If you drive more and charge less, you may not get a sufficient charge.
If you want quicker charging, you will need a 240-volt outlet and compatible charging station, which start at a few hundred dollars.
What are some other things to consider?
- Energy costs to operate BEVs typically run $590 a year, while PHEVs cost about $720 a year.
- What are the maintenance costs for an EV?
- Can you apply a federal tax credit? NOTE: the exact amount depends on the vehicle, manufacturer and your tax liability.
- Do you qualify for other rebates and/or other federal, state or city benefits?
Vehicle ownership, whether electric or gas-powered, is a personal choice that should take many factors into consideration. For anyone interested in an EV, it is recommended that you visit a dealership, test driving one, and ask as many questions as possible to make an informed decision.
Source: Touchstone Energy, Advanced Energy