Should I Buy an Electric Vehicle?

Millions of people throughout the world now drive an electric vehicle (EV). That number is expected to rise in the coming years, as people ponder whether their technology, features, and benefits make them worth their while. Given that everyone’s needs are different, choosing a car to suit your lifestyle can require a bit of research. Could an electric vehicle be right for you? The following information may be worth factoring into your decision.

Source:technologyreview.com

Running Costs

Some EV owners have reported spending just a quarter per mile of what they would spend on a petrol-powered car. However, the cost savings can be higher or lower, depending on your electricity costs. For example, someone using solar energy to power their home and car could make even more savings than someone accessing power entirely from the grid. If your electricity company offers lower rates at certain times of the day, taking advantage of these rates may also put more money back in your wallet.

Overall Costs

Regarding running costs, electric vehicles are leading the way. As it turns out, they are also leading the way in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). A report compiled by the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT) compared the costs of a fully electric VW Golf to plug-in hybrid, petrol, and diesel versions in five European countries.

In the report, the costs associated with the vehicle purchase price, tax, and fuel were examined. Over four years, EVs were cheaper in all five countries included in the study – Norway, Netherlands, France, UK, and Germany. The price difference in Norway was the greatest, with EV ownership at 27% cheaper than petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The lower costs were associated with tax reductions, purchase price subsidies, and less expensive fuel costs.

EV Insurance

Source:cover.com

Insurance is something that many people factor in the decision-making process when purchasing a new vehicle. Not everyone is aware of whether their insurance even covers an electric car. When requesting car insurance quotes from various companies, it pays to make it clear that you own an EV. You can visit this site for car insurance quotes. However, there shouldn’t be too many differences between an EV policy and a petrol or diesel-powered policy.

You can still expect options like collision insurance, medical payment coverage, liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, and personal injury protection. However, what’s also worth considering is your home insurance. If you have installed a vehicle charging station, it can be worth phoning your insurance agent to advise them as you may require additional liability coverage.

Maintenance Requirements

Mechanical bills for petrol-powered vehicles can be astronomical. The complicated makeup of internal combustion engines means any number of things can go wrong at any time. However, even the coolest electric cars don’t come with substantial maintenance costs. They tend to feature electric drive trains with very few moving parts. Tires, brakes, windscreens, wiper blades, and washer fluid are often the extent of your duties. The batteries may require repairs and replacement, but they can last several years before you need to invest in a new one.

Options

When the first EVs hit the market, there weren’t too many options for everyday consumers to choose from. Now, though, you can fit almost any vehicle with an electric power-train to turn it into an EV. From buses to bikes, trucks to trains, you should have no problems choosing an EV to suit your needs.

You can even purchase hybrid EVs that operate with a combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric engine. With a hybrid, you can enjoy superior fuel efficiency while also emitting less carbon dioxide into the environment.

Fun Driving Experience

Source:mashable.com

Electric cars are high-performance vehicles, and they are becoming more advanced by the day. With those advancements comes some outstanding benefits for drivers, like an incredibly quiet driving experience. Unlike a petrol or diesel-powered vehicle, the occupants of an EV can have a conversation without having to raise their voice over the sound of the engine. Electric engines are also smooth to run, responsive, and provide incredible torque.

Surprisingly, that fun driving experience is also enhanced through preferential treatment across many towns and cities. Given that some businesses offer EV charging stations, parking is often provided to EVs at store frontages. Some cities may even allow EVs to use high-occupancy and carpool lanes, as well as free public charging stations.

Financial Incentives

It might seem strange, but governments sometimes offer tax credits and other financial incentives for people to purchase electric vehicles. Essentially, you’re getting paid to buy a new car. Federal tax credits of up to $7,500 are available for many plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles purchased new from 2010 onward. The credit amount is based on the battery capacity, and some models are exempt.

If you’re not eligible for a federal income tax credit, you may qualify for state or local incentives. These vary throughout the country. In California, rebates up to $5,000 on purchased or leased EVs may be available. If you live in Delaware, you may be able to receive a refund on residential and commercial charging stations of between 50% to 75%. It’s always worth asking your local EV dealer about available tax credits when you start browsing their lot.

Advanced Technology

Electric vehicles are at the cutting edge of technology, given that they are so new to the market. While you get to benefit from a fuel-less approach to travel, many other advancements are also bound to capture your attention. Keyless ignition, touchscreens, Android and Apple connectivity, and incredible battery life are just some of the many new features you can expect. The more high-performance and advanced the EV, the more exciting features you can expect to see.

Choosing a new vehicle can be challenging at the best of times, but we’ve now got more options at our disposal than ever before. Given that EVs can save you money and the environment while being insured similarly to petrol-powered vehicles, they may be worth a closer look. You may be surprised at how they not only meet your expectations but exceed them.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com