In all honesty, up until recently, I’d never thought about driving, much less owning an electric vehicle. I’ve known people who’ve owned electric vehicles – actually it was the strange, but rich guy at the office you’d find in the good parking spot charging his car all day. It seemed cool, but a little extra for my taste.
Well, things have changed. Remember my Niro Road Trip back in December where I got to experience the all new Kia Niro PHEV? Well, I later got to experience it for myself right at home! What I love about this car is that it’s actually a plug-in / hybrid and a perfect introduction to the electric vehicle lifestyle, which I have to admit, started to make me feel pretty cool. With the Niro Plug-in Hybrid, it’s really the best of both worlds. You get the great Kia Niro gas mileage (average 500 mpg) for long road trips, but then you also get the option to drive electric for your day to day tasks. And speaking of perks of driving an electric vehicle, here are just a few more things to consider before buying an electronic vehicle:
What You Need To Consider Before Buying An Electric Car
Charging at home
Before you buy an electronic vehicle you need to consider the ability to recharge your car. When I received the Niro PHEV, there was a handy charging plug in the trunk for me, but I was advised against simply plugging into the same outlet I use for the lawnmower. Charging an electric car may requires a little planning in advance or an electrical installation at your home.
An electronic vehicle can be charged at home using a 120 V power outlet or 240 V from an upgraded electric circuit at home. When you use a fast charger, the battery of Kia Niro Plug-in can be fully charged after a little over 2 hours. However, it is important to remember that fast chargers that use high current require a dedicated supply of power that should be installed by an expert. After you have fully charged your Kia Niro Plug-in, you can drive it for about 26 miles before it runs out of charge and will begin to start using the gas supply. If you work somewhere that has an electric car charger, you can easily just plug it in while you’re at work. Additionally, there are apps you can download on your smartphone that will show you nearby charging station locations.
Note: Your car doesn’t have to be on to charge it and the charger actually locks into the vehicle and is only released with your key nearby.
New or used vehicle
Every car buyer is always faced with the decision of either to buy a new or old vehicle. As the popularity of new electronic vehicles continues to rise, we will likely experience a growth in the used vehicles market. Buying
a new electronic vehicle is pretty much straight forward. However, if you have decided to go for a used electronic vehicle, there are special features you need to consider such as the battery life. Other common things to consider
include mileage, worn out tires, and up to date licensing paperwork.
The resale value
This is an important factor to consider. Like most car owners, you might want to sell your car one day so that you can buy a new one. Knowing how to determine the resale value of your electronic car is crucial. Unlike petrol and diesel cars, the resale value of electronic vehicles is somehow complex. Before you buy an electronic vehicle, you should consider the possible depreciation that may impact the resale value. For example, the number of miles you drive your electronic car may reduce its battery life, which may impact its resale value. This is because vehicles require expensive batteries which potential buyers will point out they need to replace.
Pros of owning an electronic vehicle
- No gas cost (if the car is electric only). The only cost you will incur is electricity bill if you’re charging at home. I’ve been told the cost for charging at home doesn’t come out to be much more than your bill from Christmas lights, but I can’t confirm that.
- Electronic vehicles don’t damage the environment because they operate on clean energy. Because, yes, we care about the environment!
- Electronic vehicles have few movable parts, which reduces maintenance costs. (more on that below)
- Last, but certainly not least – TAX Write-offs! Several states offer various financial incentives to buyers and owners of hybrid and electric vehicles, but the Federal IRS tax credit is for $2,500 to $7,500 per new EV purchased for use in the U.S. (size of the tax credit depends on the size of the vehicle and its battery capacity). You can learn more about these incentives and view those for your state HERE.
- More Incentives – in addition to the federal and state rebates, incentives include things like special parking areas, insurance discounts, and HOV lane exemptions in certain states (the NJ Turnpike, NY Long Island Expressway and CA highways are included).
Cons of Owning an Electric Vehicle
- Electronic vehicles have a shorter range compared to petrol cars. As I mentioned, you may only get about 25 mph on an electric charge which generally means you’re charging before or after each trip to work. This is one reason I prefer the PHEV, since once the electric charge runs out, I can rely on gas.
- Compared to petrol cars which take a few minutes to fuel, electronic cars take hours to recharge.
- As is the case with the Niro Hybrid and the Niro PHEV, in order to have the efficiency they have, the design structure has to be a little different. I heard this right from the mouth of Kia Niro designer Mike Torpey. So, for example, no lift gate in the trunk in the name of efficiency.
There is no doubt that car companies are definitely on to something with the rise of EV’s and truth be told, we can predict that the future of cars belongs to electronic vehicle. Kia Motor Company, for example, has plans to greatly expand their fleet of eco-friendly and electric vehicles by 2020.
That said, driving an electric car is more than just a vehicle choice or an economic decision. It’s about being a part of the EV lifestyle and involves a shift in how we think, act and care for the environment and – in my opinion – an important shift to make.
Have you owned or driven an Electric Vehicle before? Share your experiences in the comments below!