Electric vehicle companies want drivers to give EVs a try. Maybe if they get people behind the wheel once, buying an EV will be a done deal.
It is National Drive Electric Week, a promotional time for car companies to get people to try an EV. ECC gathered a few of the reports we found useful to learn about EVs. Maybe they will be useful to you, too.
The 1.5 million EVs in the US today will grow to 18.7 million by 2030. There are 50 different EV models and that will be nearly 130 models 2023. EV operating costs have been cited as 50-70 percent below cars using conventional fuels. (Source)
Consumers have a couple concerns that can prevent them from buying an EV.
Charging away from home: Gasoline stations are plentiful, but not EV charging locations. That is changing, though, and can spur EV purchases.
Americans are six times more likely to switch to an EV if adequate charging infrastructure was available at their workplaces. Duke Energy, for instance, announced the launch of a campaign to increase charging at its facilities as a way of encouraging more of its employees to begin driving EVs.
Charging at home: How Home Electric Car Charging Works is a terrific introduction to EVs. Among the questions: Can I plug my EV into a standard wall outlet? The answer: “Yes, your EV should come standard with a 120-volt charging cable, which is officially called Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE). One end of the cable fits into your car’s charging port, and the other end plugs into a typical grounded plug like most other electronic items in your home.” This is Level 1 charging using a 120-volt outlet.
Consumers may move up to a Level 2, or 240-volts. That takes homework and work by an electrician.
There’s even a how-to article about installing a home charger: How to install an electric vehicle charger in your home. (Left) For me and my home projects, and my self-knowledge of skills, I would opt for professional help. Lots safer and more dependable.
Consumer Reports did a lot of work reviewing EV home chargers. Check the article.
Cost: Initial costs of EVs blocks some consumers. Telsa’s Elon Musk said as much. Car makers know the cost barrier. “Reducing the cost of electric vehicles is all about a cheaper battery. Tesla outlined a plan that includes making more of the components itself,” said one report.
Perhaps a used EV is a better fit, so check: Used EV Bargains Under $10,000: Window Shop with Car and Driver. (Image right)
Insurance: This is an area where the difference between conventional cars and EVs is interesting. “If you have an EV, your insurance will probably look much like that of a gas-powered vehicle—with some notable differences. You’ll likely pay a little more to insure an EV. That’s because it generally costs more to repair an EV than a conventional car. But the increased cost to insure an EV could be offset by tax credits (depending on which vehicle you buy).” (Source)
Range anxiety: This is the fear of running out of power. It may be the biggest barrier in some people’s minds.
Is range anxiety a problem? “95% of EV owners reported they have never run out of range while driving. On average, 75% of owners just charge their cars at home. Think about it: If you make the investment and, at a minimum, install a Level 2 charger, the car should always be nearly topped off. It’s rare someone will blow through an entire, say, 200-mile range in one day. The average EV driver goes 39 miles per day.” (Source – left)
Environment: Making a difference in the environment may be one of the biggest benefits of an EV for some consumers. If a car is charged with a no-carbon source (e.g., wind, solar, nuclear, hydro) it is clean. (Though we know some people look at the complete footprint of a vehicle, including carbon emissions in making the car. That is an evolving part of all product manufacturing.)
California may have recently made the environmental case on behalf of the nation. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order banning the sale of petroleum-based vehicles by 2035. Newsom cited transportation emissions for half of all of California’s carbon emissions and 80 percent of its smog-forming pollution that are from gasoline and diesel vehicles. (Source) California is a big market, so it may influence others.
Will you own an EV? If you want a car in the future you almost must buy an EV at some point. It is the future.
Will you like it? I recall my first ride in an EV, a Tesla. The driver enjoyed the way I was pressed back into the seat when he “stepped on the gas.” Pretty cool!
Feature image is under the hood of a 2020 Nissan LEAF from the Nissan website.