Electric vehicles have moved from being a niche to the mainstream. With the continued improvements and advancements of battery tech and charging infrastructure, there has never been a better time to purchase an electric car.
This article is meant for you if you want to know why people are switching to battery-powered vehicles and whether it is worth it for you.
However, let’s start with an explanation on what electric vehicles are and how they work.
If a battery powers your car, it is an electric vehicle. The battery supplies electric power to an electric motor (sometimes more than one) that powers the wheels.
When the car relies entirely on a battery, it is known as a battery-electric vehicle or BEV. This means the vehicle does not have an internal combustion engine (ICE). You fuel the car plugging it into the grid.
In some electric cars, there is an ICE that serves as a backup to the battery. Sometimes, you can switch from using the electric motor to power the vehicle to the ICE. These vehicles are known as hybrids or HEV. When you can also plug them into the grid to charge the battery, it is further classified as a plug-in hybrid or PHEV.
Many companies now make electric cars, with the most popular being Tesla. Their models include the Model S, Model X, Model 3, and the newest release the Model Y, which has become the best-selling electric car in 2021.
Traditional automakers are also shifting their product line-ups to electric as they see the growing demand. They include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Ford, and GM. Another group of challengers includes startups like Lucid Motors, Lordstown Motors, Canoo, and Rivian, who has made the first production electric pickup truck.
Now that you know how electric cars work, let’s look at their benefits.
Cost savings come from two primary sources: fueling and maintenance.
It is cheaper to charge an electric car than to buy fuel for its ICE equivalent. This is because electricity is more affordable than hydrocarbon fuel in most places. In Southern California, average gas prices are $4.42 whereas average electricity rates are $0.22 per kilowatt hour (kWh).
Let’s use the gas saving Honda Civic as an example. A 2021 Honda Civic has a 12 gallon fuel capacity and a combined MPG of 31. This would cost $53.04 for a full tank and allow you to drive 372 miles, an average cost of 14 cents per mile. That’s a great rate by gas powered vehicle standards. Now let’s use a Tesla Model 3 for comparison. A Standard Range Plus has a range of 263 miles using its 55 kWh battery. It would only cost $12.10 to fully charge the battery at a rate of $0.22/kWh, breaking down to an average cost of 5.5 cents per mile, nearly 1/3rd the cost of the Honda Civic.
In addition, SCE offers special rate plans (among other rebates) for electric vehicle owners. This allows your rates to be even cheaper during off-peak hours which are generally overnight, which is when most EV owners charge their cars anyways.
Electric vehicles also require less maintenance due to having fewer moving parts that wear down or break down. Unlike gasoline cars, electric vehicles require no traditional oil changes, fuel filters, spark plug replacements or emission checks. As electric cars, even brake pad replacements are rare because regenerative braking returns energy to the battery, significantly reducing wear on brakes. What this means is that you do not visit your repair center as often and gain a significantly lowered cost of ownership for your car.
You can drive an electric car with a clean conscience because you are not directly contributing to the pollution of the environment. Electric vehicles produce zero emissions, unlike ICEs that contribute to greenhouse gas build-up.
Since you can charge your electric vehicle at home, you can schedule it to a convenient period for you. For example, many electric vehicle owners charge overnight and wake up to a full battery. Think of it like charging your phone every night before you go to bed.
If you are irritated by the noise ICE cars make, you will appreciate the quietness of electric vehicles. However, suppose you must hear a noise. In that case, some models produce artificial sounds which you can tune to the volume you are comfortable with.
The electric motors produce instant torque with electric vehicles, making acceleration instant and providing a dynamic and engaging driving experience. The Tesla Model S Plaid, for example, can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 1.99 seconds!
Electric vehicles are here to stay and they come with many benefits. If you decide to switch, feel free to browse through our collection of used electric cars. We offer a simple haggle-free and pressure-free buying experience with no bogus dealer add-ons ever. What you see is what you pay!