What You Need To Know Before Buying an Electric Car

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 4, 2016

Electric cars have slowly made their way into the automotive market primarily because of escalating oil prices. But since gasoline prices have been low for the past months, electric car sales have also decreased. So for those of you who are planning to get themselves an electric car, here are a few thoughts from various experts to help you before you make a decision.

According to Karl Brauer, an auto analyst and editor at Kelley Blue Book, one of the few things to remember is that the electric car’s battery packs are robust and can work for years without getting you into trouble. These cars also come with warranty coverage in case something happens. Before buying an electric car, inquire about high voltage charger installation costs.

Electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are now sold at cheaper prices because gasoline is cheap and demand is low. If you are a person who drives shorter than 60-80 miles a day, you might want to switch to an EV for regular trips and use your gasoline vehicles during longer range trips. A few benefits of owning an EV or PHEV is the low-speed torque, and a quiet and smooth drive that is similar to a luxury vehicle.

Denver Relief Consulting technical writer Curt Robbins says that owning an EV or PHEV saves a few dollars on maintenance because there are only a few moving parts that makes it move. EVs and PHEVs operate at a 60% efficiency, accounting for an 8% loss in the power grid. These vehicles also have a maximum torque from zero RPM; in fact, Chevy’s Spark can deliver more than 400 lb.-ft. of torque which is better than the $56K Corvette.

It is also a car for the tech savvy because it features remote diagnostics, touch screens, and over-the-air software updates from the manufacturer. EVs and PHEVs are also equipped with safety features and collision avoidance technologies as well as the first generation autonomous driving features. Storage capacity is also not an issue for EVs and PHEVs.

For Gina Coplon-Newfield, director of the Electric Vehicles Initiative, Sierra Club, EV owners can save a lot in federal rebates, decreased maintenance and fuel costs. For example, $9,000 can be saved in five years when owning a Nissan Leaf instead of a Toyota Camry.

There are also various kinds of EVs that fit its owners’ lifestyle from sports cars like the Tesla Model S to the conventional Nissan Leaf. A Pick-a-Plug-in Quiz by Sierra Club’s Online EV guide helps buyers choose the perfect EV for their needs and lifestyle. EVs can also be at par with high-speed gasoline cars like the Tesla model S that has a top speed of 130 mph and that can sprint from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds while non-sports car models like the Nissan Leaf are also equipped with 107 horsepower.

Charging anywhere now is not so much a problem because there are already public places like in San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle that can cater to EVs and PHEVs. To top it all off, director of industry analysis at Edmunds Jessica Caldwell recommends leasing as a practical way to own an electronic vehicle.

This gives its owners the freedom and option to trade up their vehicles for the latest models when the lease expires. A lot of changes are expected to happen in the next few years and EV enthusiasts are expected to anticipate improvements in range, charging times and increased infrastructure.

Topics: electric car

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