Thinking of buying an Electric Vehicle (EV)? There are several reasons doing so may or may not be the right decision.
What are the main advantages of EVs?
- No fuel required, so you save money on gas. Paying $0.10 per kW is the equivalent of driving on gasoline that costs less than $1 per gallon.
- Environmentally friendly because they do not emit pollutants.
- Lower maintenance due to an efficient electric motor.
- Better performance.
What discourages some people from buying EVs?
- Their batteries need rare metals.
- Making electric cars creates more emissions.
- They are only as green as their power sources.
- Electric cars can be expensive to buy.
- You can’t drive as far in an electric car.
- Finding charging points may be a challenge on the road.
- Choosing a new car is hard, and it’s even harder if you’re deciding between a traditional gas-powered car or an electric car like the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona, or Tesla Model S.
A Deeper Dive into the Advantages of EVs
The United States became a key exporter of petroleum in 2020 with exports surpassing imports, although imports of 7.86 million barrels per day remained an important part of balancing supply and demand for domestic and international markets. Overall, the transportation sector accounts for approximately 30% of total U.S. energy needs and 70% of U.S. petroleum consumption.
Using more energy efficient vehicles like hybrid and electric vehicles supports the U.S. economy and helps diversify the types of vehicles purchased and driven.
Learn more about the fuel efficiency and the differences between EVs, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and their cousins here
Energy costs for electric vehicles are generally lower than for similar conventional vehicle. The downside is purchasing prices can be significantly higher. As production volumes increase and battery technologies continue to mature, prices may likely match those of conventional vehicles. Initial costs can also be offset by fuel cost savings, a federal tax credit, and state and utility incentives.
The federal Qualified Plug-In Electric-Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit is available for EV purchases from manufacturers that have not yet met certain thresholds of vehicle sales. It provides a tax credit of $2,500 to $7,500 for new purchases. These tax credits depend on certain guidelines.
Electric vehicles can reduce fuel costs dramatically because of the high efficiency of electric-drive components. Because all-electric vehicles and PHEVs rely in whole or part on electric power, their fuel economy is measured differently than that of conventional vehicles.
Drivers can charge overnight at a residence, as well as at multi-family housing, the workplace, or a public charging station when available. PHEVs have added flexibility because they can also refuel with gasoline or diesel (or possibly other fuels in the future) when necessary.
The number of publicly accessible charging stations reached more than 41,000 in 2021, offering more than 100,000 places to charge, according to the Alternative Fueling Station Locator. Search for electric charging stations near you.
All-electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions, and PHEVs produce no tailpipe emissions when operating in all-electric mode. The benefits of HEV emissions depend on vehicle model and type of hybrid power system.
Although they wear out eventually, the advanced batteries in electric vehicles are designed for extended life but will wear out eventually. Several manufacturers of electric vehicles are offering 8-year/100,000-mile battery warranties. Predictive modeling(PDF) by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory indicates that today’s batteries may last 12 to 15 years in moderate climates (8 to 12 years in extreme climates). Check with your dealer for model-specific information about battery life and warranties.
The Three Top-Rated EVs
Introduced in 2022
MSRP: $41,450 – $56,500
Edmunds Rating: 8.3 out of 10
MSRP: $43,895 – $61,995
Edmunds Rating: 8.2 out of 10
2022 Kia EV6
MSRP: $41,400 – $56,400
Edmunds Rating: 8.0 out of 10
Luxury electric cars tend to cost a lot more than mainstream models, but you get a lot more, too, typically including sports-car acceleration and the latest interior tech. Like their fuel-powered counterparts, there are many foreign and domestic EVs to choose from. As with any consumer product, thoughtful research is key.