As technology continues to advance, just about every aspect of life seems to be caught up in it. Electric cars, in particular, continue to grow in popularity.
More than 1 million electric battery-powered cars were in use worldwide in 2016, and that number will only continue to grow as technology advances.
As electric cars grow more popular, you may be considering making the switch from petroleum to electricity yourself. But there are many things to think about when making that change.
The switch from gas-powered to electric cars can feel like a complicated one, but the decision doesn’t have to be complicated. If you know even the basic ins and outs of electric cars, you’ll have an easier time making a decision.
There are significant differences between traditional vehicles and electric, so you should definitely do your research before making the jump. To make your decision easier, here’s our guide for choosing the right electric car for you.
Electric Cars: The Benefits
Electric cars aren’t a new idea. In fact, they’ve been around since the 1800s. But gasoline-powered cars rose to the forefront.
However, in recent years many people have realized the benefits of going electric.
Electric cars benefit both our pocketbooks and the environment. Lowered emission rates promote cleaner air, helping us breathe easier, mentally as well as physically. With an electric car, you know you’re not adding to pollution.
And while you’re breathing in cleaner air, you’re also reaching for your wallet less, since you don’t have to visit the gas station anymore.
Wars have been fought over oil, and electric cars reduce the need for that oil. To make things even better, an electric car is 100% American-fueled. No need to import a bunch of electricity from another country.
Choosing the Right Car For You
Compare the various types of electric cars before making a purchase. Keep some simple questions in mind as you carry out your search.
What will the car be used for? Will you be driving a lot of miles often? Do you tend to take long trips?
Where will you charge your vehicle? Could you have the right setup at home?
How much are you willing to spend? What maintenance costs could you run into, and what would they cost?
How many seats do you need?
Each of these questions will help guide you to the right vehicle.
“Range anxiety” is common among electric car owners. This refers to the fear of not reaching another charging station before the car’s power runs out.
The battery’s range should be one of the main things you consider when looking at electric vehicles. Electric cars run on lithium-ion batteries, and they’re not all made equally. A little bit of research will help you learn more about these batteries.
Some batteries will only last for 128 km (80 miles), while others may keep you moving for up to 320 km (200 miles). Make sure you know what the battery is capable of in each vehicle you consider.
In order to properly charge your car at home, you may need to install some specific equipment, though cars can charge from regular power outlets too.
Charging before your battery runs out is ideal. A fully-depleted battery may take up to 24 hours to charge. Fortunately there are charging stations already installed in many locations. Just search ‘car charging stations’ in Google Maps to see for yourself!
Count the Cost
How much, exactly, does an electric car cost? That depends on the car. Some come in pretty close to the cost of regular vehicles, around $30,000.
Luckily, the federal government offers a tax break for anyone purchasing electric vehicles.
Click here to see the details from The Government of Canada site.
While electric vehicles are pricier up front, the savings will stack up as you use the vehicle. The cost of electricity to power your car is much cheaper than regular purchases of gasoline.
Electric Car Meets Rain and Snow
The thought of an electric car might make you nervous when you consider potentially stormy weather, but you can put those worries to rest.
The electrical components of each type of electric vehicle are properly stored out of harm’s way. There’s no danger in taking your ride out for a spin in a rainstorm, and it won’t stop running if it gets snowed on.
Due to intelligent designs, you can use your electric vehicle in all types of weather.
You will see a drop in battery range to as much as 30% at cold temperatures like -20º or colder. Check out this YouTube video offering advice on EV’s in cold temperatures.
What To Expect When Buying an Electric Car
Once you’ve made your decision to purchase, what should you expect? Well, first be prepared to fork out a good chunk of money. While some electric cars closely resemble regular cars when it comes to price, others do not.
If you’re committed to the idea of driving an electric car, you’ll need the finances to back it up. Take advantage of the federal tax credit, and search for any state and local incentives to bring the costs down.
Some minor home construction may be needed if you need to create the correct charging setup in your home garage, so be prepared for that.
Have a plan for your old, non-electric car. Consider donating it instead of selling.
Helpful Tips After Purchasing
Once you’ve purchased your vehicle, you’re on your way to saving money. But your visits to the pump need to be replaced with visits to charging stations. Be aware of local stops, and research charging locations along any travel routes you plan to take.
High-traffic areas such as shopping centers and hotels are your best bets for finding chargers away from home. Utilize these stations while running errands to prevent depleting your battery.
If you go with a Tesla vehicle, you’ll have access to hundreds of superchargers throughout the United States.
The Electric Jump
Choosing the right electric car may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Let your lifestyle guide your decision.
It may feel like you require a celebrity-worthy home or other elaborate possession to own an electric vehicle, but they actually don’t break the bank as much as you may think. To lower costs, consider looking for the best used electric cars.
Know your needs and get to know your potential vehicle options, then see how they match up. Soon enough you’ll be on your way in your new electric ride.
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