NATIONAL REPORT—If you’ve ever considered buying an electric car, you’re not alone. Drivers in California lead the way in terms of the states with the most electric car purchases, but states like New York, Washington, Florida, and even Texas aren’t far behind.
There were nearly 95,000 electric vehicle sales in California in 2017 and then that number went up almost 62 percent in 2018. There were more than 153,400 electric vehicle sales in California in 2018.
New York saw a sales increase of 56 percent for electric vehicles from 2017 to 2018, and in Washington, the number of electric vehicle sales went up almost 79 percent.
So what is it that people in these states and many others around the country find so appealing?
The following are some things to know and benefits of electric cars and vehicles to consider if it’s something you’re weighing.
There are More Options Than Ever
If you’re thinking about an electric vehicle, now is a great time to do it because there is a huge selection compared to what there was just a few years ago. There are 17 total electric vehicles and crossovers for the 2019 model year. There are also more budget-friendly options than previously were available.
Affordable electric vehicles include options like the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Nissan Leaf Plus. There’s also a less expensive Tesla Model 3 version now available.
Of course, if you want a luxury electric vehicle, you’ll find plenty of options for those as well such as the Audi e-Tron.
You have to keep in mind that in addition to the fact that EVs are becoming more affordable, there are also tax credits that make them even less expensive. Many states offer EV tax credits, and there’s a $7,500 federal income tax credit.
One of the biggest worries people tend to express when it comes to electric vehicles are range limits. For example, it was difficult with previous models for them to be able to go beyond the 100-mile barrier on a single charge.
Now, several 2019 models can go 200 miles with a full battery charge. Then, there are the Teslas with models that can get a 300-mile range or even higher. The affordable Nissan Leaf Plus can go an estimated 226 miles with a full battery.
Electric Is Less Expensive Than Gas
Gas prices have remained low in recent years, but electric vehicles still tend to be less expensive. As an example, based on the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, you could expect to spend around $4,250 less over five years to operate it in terms of fuel cost as compared to a non-electric vehicle.
As well as reduced fuel costs, many people find the overall costs of maintenance are lower with an electric vehicle. They don’t have to take it for oil changes, for example. Electric vehicles also have simple transmissions and don’t require some of the things on a traditional car that take the most wear-and-tear.
When an EV does go in for routine service and maintenance, it’s usually reserved for less expensive things like checking the brake pads and rotating tires.
Charging Stations Are More Readily Available
There are an estimated 21,000 public charging stations around the country, which is a figure that’s doubled in the past few years. Many of these charging stations are now offered at convenient places such as airports and mall parking lots.
What Are the Downsides?
While there are quite a few benefits to owning an electric vehicle, it is important to have an idea of what the potential downsides are as well. Some of the possible downsides you may experience and should be prepared for include:
- Some people experience a sense of ongoing anxiety about running out of battery juice, and that can make it difficult for them to own one of these cars, especially without having a backup option.
- You will have to put in a charging station at home unless you’re going to rely entirely on public charging stations. This will cost money that you need to factor in your overall cost of ownership.
- If you live outside of a big city, you may not have a lot of public charging options near you.
- While you don’t have to do things like oil changes, if you do need some types of maintenance it can be very costly—for example, new battery packs can cost thousands of dollars and batteries are only expected to last around 10
Despite possible downsides, a growing number of people in the United States are finding the pros outweigh them when it comes to EV ownership.