As the electric car becomes more common, it’s easy to forget that there was an earlier attempt to make it happen, back in 1990s. The technology wasn’t as good back then, so they had a limited range (80-100 miles), which is why they simply didn’t catch on back then. The good news these days is that the electric car is starting to gain in popularity, which means you can enjoy these 8 benefits of buying an electric car:
One of the biggest benefits of the modern electric car is how it uses electricity far more efficiently than regular cars use gasoline. When you charge up the battery on an EV, anywhere from 59-62% of that energy goes directly to moving the wheels of the car. On gasoline-powered cars, only about 17-21% of the gasoline’s energy goes to actually moving the vehicle. And range continues to improve across EV fleets. The days of 100 miles or less on a charge are largely a thing of the past. The new normal is now in the 200-250 range for many vehicles, including the new Chevrolet Bolt, the Kia Niro EV, and the Hyundai Kona Electric. Higher-end luxury EVs like those made by Tesla can get 300-400 miles out of a single charge.
What many people don’t realize is that every electric car is also a high-performance vehicle, which makes them surprisingly fun to drive. The engine is incredibly quiet both inside and out compared to gasoline-powered vehicles. The all-electric engine is also very responsive with great torque, both of which really enhance the driving experience. The get-up-and-go of an electric car will totally impress you, along with how smooth it is. You might also be surprised at how much preferential treatment you get for driving an EV, such as preferred parking at stores or use of HOV (high-occupancy vehicle or carpool) lanes, and even free public charging offered by a growing number of businesses.
The electric car needs a lot less maintenance than gasoline-powered vehicles. In an all-electric vehicle, there are bunch of things that completely disappear off the maintenance list because they don’t exist at all in EVs. These include oil changes, spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters, exhaust pipes, mufflers, and catalytic converters, which means no smog tests, ever!
Another big factor is how much simpler the engine is in an electric car. There are literally only about a half-dozen moving parts, whereas the internal combustion engine of gasoline-powered vehicles has hundreds of moving parts! Simply put, there’s a lot less to wear out, and when key items do wear out, they’re easy to replace. Some people will say an electric car doesn’t have a transmission, but they’re wrong. EVs do have a transmission, but it’s very different from the transmissions in gasoline-powered cars. The big difference is that while a gasoline-powered vehicle has a transmission with a multi-speed gearbox, an electric car has a single-speed transmission.
The big exception to all of this is the battery. Just like other rechargeable batteries, over time it’s ability to hold a charge will begin to fade. An electric car battery, because it’s the go-to feature of the car, is very expensive to replace. The good news is that most will last well past 100,000 miles. And the price of EV batteries does keep falling.
If you buy a true electric car (not a hybrid), you get to take a one-time federal tax credit of $7,500. If you buy a plug-in hybrid, the federal tax credit varies by vehicle. You can get the details at Fueleconomy.gov on the Federal Tax Credits for All-Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles page.
California residents can get up to $7,000 for purchasing an eligible zero-emissions vehicle. Get details on the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) website. And if you’re in San Diego, you might even qualify to get preapproved for the CVRP rebate . Yet another incentive for EV drivers in San Diego is the EV Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing plan allowing you to charge your vehicle overnight at home (midnight-6:00am) for just 9 cents/kWh. Get details on this and other plans at San Diego Gas and Electric EV Pricing .
Because the electric car is kind of the “new kid on the block,” they tend to have more cutting-edge technology included. EVs tend to be highly connected and feature more advanced tech as standard options. Take the Chevrolet Bolt, for example, which has a range of 230+ miles on a fully charged battery. High-tech equipment that comes standard on a Bolt includes
xenon headlights, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, keyless ignition/entry, and a great 10.2-inch touchscreen. Although the price on a Bolt starts high, when you take off all the tax credits, rebates, and incentives, then it suddenly becomes surprisingly affordable – and don’t forget paying less in fuel costs and maintenance. This is true for a number of EV models. And when you support electric vehicles by owning one, you’re helping to keep things moving in the right direction, which is away from gasoline!
An electric car that burns no gasoline produces ZERO tailpipe emissions. In fact, an all-electric car doesn’t even have a tailpipe! However, that doesn’t let the electric car totally off the hook. After all, it all depends on the how the electricity is produced, and a lot of the electricity in the US is still produced by burning fossil fuels, which does produce pollution and greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Once electricity is on the grid, it’s all the same, so people who are most interested in EVs as a way to fight global warming and climate change should also support the continued transition away from fossil fuels as a source of producing electricity. Right now, the overall electricity picture in the US is that only about 17% of it comes from renewable sources, so we still have a long way to go.
In order to show you how this benefit works, we’ll have to do a little bit of math, but not much. Let’s assume your electric vehicle has a battery that can hold 100 kWh of electricity. The average cost of electricity in San Diego is around 16 cents/kWh, so charging the battery from empty to full will cost you $16 (or less with free charging stations in some places, or off-peak charging at home). And let’s assume you’ve got a good EV that can go 200 miles on that single charge. If you drive the national average of 15,000 miles in a year, you’ll have to charge your battery 75 times, which will cost you a grand total of $1,200. If, on the other hand, you drive a gasoline-powered car that gets an average of 22 miles per gallon and you drive 15,000 miles, you’ll have to buy 682 gallons of gas. If the average price of regular gas in San Diego hits $4.00/gallon, those 15,000 miles will cost you $2,728 or more than twice as much as the electric car! And that doesn’t even account for the time you waste driving to gas stations. It’s much more convenient to charge an electric car at home overnight. As you can see, however, it all depends on the type of car and how much you drive, but now that you know how to do the math, you can figure out on your own based on different cars and how much you drive.
Now imagine you’ve got solar panels installed at your home to supply your electricity. A good system could reduce the energy cost of driving your car to ZERO! When you think about it, the investment you make into a home solar energy system will pay itself back much faster if you also have an electric car because you’re reducing both your home electricity AND car fuel costs to zero. That’s impressive! And don’t forget that the electric car needs less maintenance, which is another place you’ll save money. The maintenance needed on an EV can average a cost of about one-third compared to gasoline-powered vehicle.
The good news for San Diego residents interested in driving an electric car is that there are double the number of charging station in and around the city. EV infrastructure keeps expanding and is surprisingly affordable when needed. Learn more on the City of San Diego’s EV Charging Stations page.
At Auto City we have a constantly changing selection of vehicles for you to browse on the inventory page of our website. On the left-hand side of the page, scroll down to “Fuel Type” where you can choose among three different types cars that make use of electricity, including all-electric, gas/electric hybrids, and plug-in gas/electric hybrids. And you’ll love how we do things differently, such as no-haggle up-front firm competitive pricing, a warranty with every vehicle, financing for all, and a 3-day money-back guarantee if you have second thoughts after making your purchase. Get the full view of the Auto City advantage on the Why Buy from Us page , and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We’re here to help you get a fantastic deal on a great used car!