With all the conflicting advice and constantly changing technology, is it worth getting an EV? If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that there are many things to consider before buying an EV. In today’s rapidly evolving automotive landscape, electric vehicles have become a compelling choice for environmentally conscious consumers and those seeking cost-effective transportation solutions.
As battery technology and charging infrastructure improve, EVs are becoming a more practical and sustainable option. That sounds great, but before jumping on the electric bandwagon, here are six factors to consider to ensure an EV makes sense for you.
What is Range Anxiety?
One of the most significant concerns for potential EV buyers has been “range anxiety,” or the fear of your battery’s charge running out before you get where you’re going. It makes a spicy complement to your generalized and social anxieties. So is it worth getting an EV if it’s just going to add more stress?
However, modern electric vehicles now offer impressive ranges. Some models can exceed 200 miles on a single charge. This range is more than enough for most daily commutes and even longer road trips. As battery technology advances, range anxiety is steadily becoming a thing of the past.
Where Can You Charge an Electric Vehicle?
While it’s fantastic that batteries have improved so much, charging infrastructure (or lack thereof) also contributes to range anxiety. The availability of charging stations is a pivotal factor in adopting electric vehicles.
Thankfully, the charging infrastructure is growing rapidly, with more public charging stations added daily. Major players in the industry, such as Tesla and Electrify America, are investing heavily in expanding charging networks across the country. Moreover, you can install a home charging station for added convenience, allowing you to start each day with a full battery.
We have a robust charging network here in Austin, with more stations constantly added. In fact, we update our guide to charging EVs in Austin quarterly to keep up with the changes. However, if you live in an area with few charging options, it may not be worth getting an EV.
Do You Need to Charge an EV at Home?
Before purchasing an electric vehicle, you’ll want to evaluate your personal charging situation. Determine whether you have access to charging facilities at home, work, or on routes you regularly travel.
Charging at home is convenient, allowing you to start each day with a full battery. You don’t need a fancy, high-voltage plug to charge a hybrid or EV. The same 120-volt plug you use to charge your phone can charge your car, although it takes longer. Suppose you want to install a dedicated EV charger. In that case, Austin Energy offers a rebate for installing and purchasing a 240-volt charging station.
However, it isn’t a dealbreaker if you don’t have a home charging option. Consider the availability of public charging stations in your area. Planning your charging needs ensures a seamless transition to electric driving.
Is it Worth Getting an EV for Lower Operating Costs?
One of the most compelling reasons to consider an EV is the potential for significant savings on operating costs. Electric vehicles are more energy-efficient and have fewer moving parts than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. This can translate to lower maintenance costs.
The catch is that you’ll need access to a mechanic who can handle electric vehicle maintenance and help you solve any issues. Otherwise, high dealership prices and towing costs can quickly eat into any savings. If you struggle to find professionals who can work on your vehicle, it may not be worth getting an EV until you can solve that problem.
Another consideration is that electricity is generally cheaper than gasoline, and some regions (like Austin!) offer further incentives, such as reduced electricity rates for EV charging during off-peak hours.
What Are the Environmental Benefits of an EV?
Driving an electric vehicle is not only cost-effective but also environmentally responsible. EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, contributing to reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. By choosing an electric vehicle, you’re playing a part in combating climate change and promoting cleaner air quality in your community.
That’s the good news. The less good news is that we’re still determining what impact the batteries will have on the environment. Sourcing the materials for these batteries and disposing of batteries that are no longer viable are both areas that need more research. Fortunately, groups (such as ReCell Center) are working to further improve EV batteries’ eco-friendliness.
Are There Federal or State Incentives for Owning an EV?
Governments at both the federal and state levels offer various incentives to encourage folks to purchase electric vehicles. You might receive a tax credit, rebate, or reduced registration fees.
The Treasury frequently updates qualifying cars for federal tax breaks, so do your research when shopping. You should also look into incentives on a state and local level, as these can can vary drastically from one area to another.
Keep in mind that some states are instituting annual charges to try and offset the loss from gas taxes. These fees vary based on your car’s make, model, and age and can effectively double your annual registration fee.
Making the change to an electric vehicle is a big decision, and it’s not right for everybody. The reasons for going electric are compelling with advancing technology and the expansion of charging infrastructure. It’s hard to say no to longer ranges, lower operating costs, environmental benefits, and various incentives. However, “is it worth getting an EV” is a question only you can answer for yourself.
Electric vehicles offer a compelling proposition for those looking to positively impact the environment while saving money in the long run. Just be sure that an EV will fit in with your lifestyle before purchasing. If you decide to go electric, we’ll be happy to help you keep your vehicle on the road. Contact us to make an appointment any time!