Before you head to the dealership, what should you look for in your first EV? What kind of EV should you buy? Let's walk through how to find the best EV for you.
If you’ve driven around on the highway recently, you may have noticed an increasing number of electric vehicles (EV) on the road. This isn’t a new trend — more and more drivers are buying their first EV.
Moreover, the EV market is only set to grow. BloombergNEF predicted in its “Electric Vehicle Outlook for 2020” that “over half of all passenger vehicles sold will be electric” by 2040. This is due to a variety of shifting factors — namely better electric batteries, policy pressure and a growing investment from companies in green technology.
If you’re ready to join this growing group of EV drivers, you may have a couple of questions before you head to your local EV dealership. What kind of EV should I buy? What qualities should I prioritize in an EV? Is there anything else I should look out for?
Together, let’s walk through how to find the best EV for you.
What kinds of EVs are available?
Right now, there are two main types of EVs that you can choose from on the market. They are:
All-electric Vehicles (AEV)
AEVs store all of their energy in lithium-ion batteries and run solely on electricity. These types of vehicles are the most environmentally friendly and don’t produce any tailpipe emissions.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)
PHEVs, on the other hand, can use both electricity and gas to run. Also known as hybrids, PHEVs feature an internal combustion engine as well as an electric motor and battery pack. They can draw power from multiple available sources.
In general, AEVs and PHEVs are largely similar but differ when it comes to fuel capacity. PHEVs typically store more energy since they can take both electricity and gas as energy sources.
As you decide which type of EV you would like to purchase, look at the typing of the vehicle and decide whether you would prefer buying one over the other.
Consider how you will use your EV
One important question you must ask yourself before buying your EV is what you will use it for. If you’re only planning to make short commutes to get to work or to travel around your neighborhood, a vehicle with a smaller battery size might be sufficient for your needs.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to make multiple cross-country trips and travel often, then it might be worth considering an EV with a longer range or a larger battery capacity. This could either mean buying a more expensive AEV, or opting for a PHEV instead.
Assess the environmental friendliness of your EV
Each EV on the market is different, ranging from their overall size to the impact that they have (or lack thereof) on the environment.
Finding the best EV for you means looking for a vehicle that aligns with your green goals. Use websites like the EV tool from the Union of Concerned Scientists to help you decide which EV is best for you.
To ensure that you save money, make sure to check any state or municipal-level tax incentives for buying an EV and calculate how much you can save per year. Compare that to how much you usually spend on your current vehicle — usually you can find that these incentives are enough to convince you to make the switch!
It could also help to compare how much you can potentially spend on energy for either an AEV or a PHEV. Sometimes there are even free public charging stations available that can lower energy costs, further incentivizing you to spring for an EV.
Know how much time you have before every trip
When you have an EV, you will occasionally need to budget your time wisely due to how long it will take to charge your vehicle. However, this heavily depends on the types of EV charger you can find while on the road, especially because each EV charging station may provide a different voltage.
Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 EV chargers all offer various charge times, so seek out the best kind for your needs before choosing a vehicle.
Scope out potential EV charging points near you
Did you know that there are more than 41,400 public charging stations around the U.S., and that there may eventually be about 500,000 thanks to the American Jobs Plan? Map out your area using an EV charging station finder like Plugshare and take into account how many stations are around you.
If there aren’t too many around your neighborhood yet, consider buying a PHEV to offset the lack of EV charging stations when you’re in a pinch. Better yet, you can try contacting your local government to see if there are any plans to open up public charging stations in the future.
Webasto can help
If you find a lack of EV charging stations around you, Webasto can help.
We can help you set up EV stations
at home, your business, or even for your community.
Reach out to us today.