In the first quarter of 2022, 200,000 new EVs were registered in the United States. As more of these vehicles hit the road, curiosity continues to grow. According to Consumer Reports, 63% of prospective car buyers in the U.S. had some interest in switching to EV when asked in 2019.
When speaking of personally-owned EVs, Tesla is usually the first to come to mind. The sleek, quiet design of its vehicles along with its luxury features have made Tesla one of the top performers in the electric vehicle market. Studies have shown that Tesla has the highest satisfaction ratings compared to other brands.
Whether you’re willing to drop money on a Tesla, or are looking into something a little more affordable like a Chevrolet Bolt, it’s important to consider the implications of going electric.
We did a little digging to find out the realities of actually owning an electric vehicle. What’s up with “range anxiety,” what are some of the added costs of EVs, and what other questions should you be asking before investing in an electric vehicle?
How real is “range anxiety?”
Perhaps the biggest hang-up swirling around EVs is the prevalence of “range anxiety,” or fear of the battery dying before you’ve reached your destination. There is a consensus amongst experts that the feeling of “range anxiety” is often overstated, though real, for owners.
Most drivers report feeling secure in their charge. Fully-charged EVs can typically drive up to 200 miles, with some reaching nearly 300 miles. Their traditional counterparts can drive up to 400-500 miles before hitting the pump.
Experts also say that the idea that “range anxiety” keeps people from going electric is silly, as “EV range is less of an issue for the average American driver whose daily commute of 30 miles is considerably less than many EV ranges.”
We took it upon ourselves to ask one of Fluid Truck’s own employees, Connor, what it’s like to own an EV. When it comes to “range anxiety,” Connor says, “It's certainly a concern but I'm never overwhelmed.”
Connor goes on to detail his experience with charging his new Tesla, saying, “For the first few months of ownership I didn't have a home charger so I relied exclusively on the charging network around Denver. EV chargers are generally very solid, but I've had an experience where a charger wasn't working with less than 30 miles on the vehicle. Thirty miles was plenty, but that's around the time that ‘range anxiety’ starts to set in. Now that I can charge at home, I'll usually have more than 200 miles ready at any given point. Plenty for driving around town and even some trips to the mountains.”
Aren’t electric vehicles really expensive?
It is true that the up-front costs of an electric vehicle are greater than that of a traditional gas-powered vehicle. However, these costs can pay for themselves over time.
EV owners experience the perk of no longer relying on fluctuating fuel costs. Reduced maintenance costs also give EVs a financial advantage, thanks to the lack of spark plugs, oil, and other pesky parts. There is of course an uptick in electric bills, but most owners shrug at this cost, noting that it is a minimal increase from what they were paying before.
Overall, studies show that electric vehicle owners save an average of $4,600 over the lifetime of the vehicle compared to gas-powered cars.
What’s the charging situation like?
There are currently more than 46,000 public EV charging stations in the U.S., most of these predominantly Level 2 ports that can charge your vehicle in as little as two hours.
There’s growing federal support for the EV charging grid. President Biden announced plans to invest $5 billion in the span of five years to solidify EV charging networks.
On the other hand, most EV owners charge their vehicles at home anyway, comparing it to something as simple as owning a smartphone that you charge each night – unplugging in the morning, going about your day, and coming home at the end of the day to charge again for the next day.
Another concern regarding charging is that EVs will challenge the electric grid. Thanks to the growing adoption of EVs, the government and private companies are working hard to solidify the grid more. Extensive research suggests that EV charging "will not pose significantly greater challenges than past evolutions of the U.S. electric power system.”
Things you should consider before going electric
Before you transition to electric, there are a few things that experts believe you should consider:
- What do I need my car for? How often will I drive it?
Whether you’re going on a long trip or short commute, you need to know how long to charge your car in advance. Electric vehicle owners have to be planners.
- How do I plan on charging it?
Most owners charge their vehicles at home, but this will depend on your living situation. There are apps that tell you where the nearest charging station is in your area. It also helps to know what type of charger you’d like to purchase and collaborate with an electrician to get it set up. The charger alone can cost anywhere from $300-$700s before labor for a Level 1 or 2 charger, which most people opt for. The price may also increase depending on the electrical upgrades your home needs to maintain an EV charger.
- What type of EV do I want/what can I afford?
Will you go big with the newest Tesla Model 3, or are you looking for more of a hybrid vehicle? Just like purchasing a traditional vehicle, it’s essential to pick the vehicle that best suits your needs and budget.
Electrify your fleet with Fluid Truck
Going electric can be exciting, but tricky when it comes to the upfront costs of purchasing an EV. We hope this article has provided some help for making the decision!
Do you run a business that relies on a fleet of vehicles?
Want to experience the benefits of electric vehicles in your fleet?
Avoid the upfront costs and electrify your fleet with Fluid Truck’s newest addition: the Ford E-Transit, or, soon to be added to the app, Ford’s F-150 Lightning.
Fluid Truck was among the first to introduce a commercial e-fleet to the country, and we’re ready to help you build your e-fleet, too. Now, you can experience the emission-free efficiency of EVs without the price tag. Fluid Truck's EVs are currently available in LA, NYC, and Denver. Download the app today to see vehicles near you!