Why You Should Get Off the Fence About Owning an EV

December 21, 2020

Why You Should Get Off the Fence About Owning an EV

Hel­lo fence. We meet again.

Trust me – I’ve been there. It’s that nag­ging voice inside of your head that pre­vents you from mak­ing a very expen­sive and long-last­ing deci­sion. These types of anguish­ing deci­sions range from where to go to col­lege, whether to take that new job, and where to live.

Select­ing a car can feel almost as sig­nif­i­cant, because no one wants to be stuck with a car they hate. As a result, peo­ple spend on aver­age about 14 hours research­ing their next vehi­cle. There is a grow­ing amount of infor­ma­tion about EVs that makes it eas­i­er to com­pare options, but some of it might be on non­tra­di­tion­al car sites, like your local elec­tric util­i­ty website.

Per­son­al­ly, I also rely heav­i­ly on word of mouth for my car. About 10 years ago I bought a Sub­aru Forester after a friend let me bor­row hers for a week­end. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, since there aren’t that many peo­ple with an EV yet, it can be tough to find some­one who may own the mod­el you are look­ing into. That’s where ride and dri­ve events, like Nation­al Dri­ve Elec­tric Week local meet-ups, can come in handy. Pre-COVID there were spe­cial events every­where that you could attend, talk to the EV own­er and pos­si­bly even test dri­ve or ride shot­gun in a vari­ety of mod­els. Due to con­cerns about coro­n­avirus these events have reduced in size and scope, but there are orga­ni­za­tions who are still hold­ing in-per­son events and new vir­tu­al events.

The next best thing is to test dri­ve EVs at the deal­er­ship. How­ev­er, unless you show up to a deal­er­ship armed with your own EV infor­ma­tion, it is pos­si­ble you’ll be dis­suad­ed from buy­ing one. Sier­ra Club research showed that vol­un­teers were deterred from the EV mod­el at a deal­er­ship or pro­vid­ed with bad infor­ma­tion and that 74% of deal­er­ships didn’t even have EVs to sell. For­tu­nate­ly, not all deal­er­ships are the same. In the same Sier­ra Club study they high­light a list of deal­ers that are doing a great job at edu­cat­ing con­sumers about the tech­nol­o­gy. If you have one of these deal­ers in your area, I’d rec­om­mend check­ing them out first.

Anoth­er great resource are online cal­cu­la­tor tools. These help you fig­ure out how long it will take to pay­back the extra cost for the EV ver­sion com­pared to the car you plan to trade in or sell yourself.

Some­times though it isn’t as impor­tant to wor­ry about what you are going to save as it is how much you can afford to spend. Not all of us have the abil­i­ty to spend that kind of cash on a new car, let alone the addi­tion­al price for an EV. That’s where used EVs are a great choice. My first EV was a used Nis­san LEAF and I have saved even more mon­ey than if I had bought new.

I can give you a long list of altru­is­tic rea­sons why you should go elec­tric, like the envi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits and reduc­ing our depen­dence on for­eign oil, but at the end of the day what should get you off the fence about own­ing an EV is that these cars are just bet­ter than any­thing else you have ever driven.

I wouldn’t con­sid­er myself a car per­son, but I love the free­dom and sav­ings that my EV pro­vides, the qui­et and peace­ful ride that is also enjoy­able and fun, and every­thing that this car rep­re­sents about my beliefs and ethics. If you can find a mod­el you love that works for your lifestyle and it is at the price point that works for your bud­get, then you should go for it! I’ve nev­er heard some­one say they regret­ted their EV pur­chas­ing decision.

List of rec­om­mend­ed EV research sites:

Find cars and EV charg­ing sta­tions: http://pluginamerica.org

Tax cred­its: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws

Com­pare cars: https://fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.shtml

Thank you to Eri­ka Myers for this guest blog post. Check out her web­site, electricvehiclelove.com, for more EV information!

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