The variety of electric vehicles (EVs) on the market today is expansive. Each make and model comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, which means the right car for you will be determined by your own specific needs.
Here are five key questions to ask yourself to begin to narrow the options for your next electric vehicle:
- How will you use the vehicle? You’ll find a wide variety of EV’s on the market—from hybrids that use a mixture of conventional gasoline and electric power to those that are wholly fueled by electricity. Before you start shopping, its important to determine if you’ll be using the vehicle as your sole transportation, rely on it primarily as a commuting vehicle, drive it mainly to complete local errands, or hope to take it for a road trip. Many electric vehicles can now drive 200 miles or more on one charge, but you should be aware of any limitations regarding driving range before making your investment.
- How will you charge your vehicle? Depending on the make of your EV, there are different methods to charge your vehicle’s battery. Some owners use a typical household outlet while others prefer a faster charge by installing a stronger 240-volt circuit. Around town, free and for pay charging stations are growing in popularity providing different speeds of charging capacity. Tesla’s have their own proprietary charging methods with the fastest charging speed at their Supercharger stations. Learn more about recharging electric vehicles here.
- Is a tax credit important to you? Most electric vehicles are eligible for a tax credit that can make the net investment of the EV more affordable. Check the US Department of Energy’s website to learn more about federal tax credits for all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles here. Be sure to talk with a tax professional before making a decision related to your income taxes.
- Will your insurance company charge you a higher rate? Insurance companies are not consistent in their evaluation of risks associated with electric versus traditional vehicles resulting in very different pricing models. According to an article by Mark Fitzpatrick, “How Having an Electric Car Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates,” some insurance companies charge a slightly higher premium (7 cents more per dollar), while others hike the premium up by as much as 45 cents more per dollar. Make sure you contact your insurance company or shop around for insurance options before you commit to a vehicle.
- Should you buy or lease? Just as with traditional vehicles, electric vehicles may be purchased or leased. Leasing tends to be a good solution for owners who enjoy trading in for a different vehicle every few years. With electric vehicles, leasing also makes it more convenient to always have a vehicle with the latest technology. On the flip side, purchasing a vehicle can result in a lower overall cost and removes the burden of ongoing payments.
By digging into this information and outlining specifics important to you, you’ll be well informed once you hit the car lot and begin looking at your options. Regardless of your selection, owning an electric vehicle is a great way to contribute to the community’s efforts to achieve clean air and conserve valuable natural resources.
Want to learn more about alternative energy solutions for your family?
The Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition’s mission is enhancing the livability of the Rogue Valley. We promote and educate on alternate fuels, seek to decrease dependency on petroleum, and promote clean air and water in the Rogue Valley via alternate fuels. Contact us today for more information!