Green Tips: What to know about buying an EV

Green Tips | April 19, 2018

As more car manufacturers release electric models and as battery technology improves, owning an electric vehicle (EV) has never been more within reach. There are tons of reasons why switching to an EV makes sense for the environment, but did you know that it can also save you cents in the long run? A federal rebate of up to $7,500 combined with a New York State rebate of up to $2,000 means that purchasing or leasing an EV is now comparable to purchasing a gas-powered vehicle. While you’ll pay for the extra electricity, it will be significantly cheaper than fueling up. Also, an electric vehicle motor is quite simple, and EVs do not require as much maintenance as regular cars. No more oil changes!

With all of these perks, it’s only a matter of time before people start making the switch. One of the key barriers keeping people from doing so is something called “range anxiety,” which is basically the fear of being stranded with an empty battery. Charging rather than fueling is much different, and until technology and infrastructure catches up to our desire to travel more sustainably, we’ve put together this simple list of tips that will better prepare you for owning an EV and hopefully ease some of that range anxiety.

  1. How far do I drive each day?

About 90% of car trips are within a 30 miles radius, and most EVs can last at least 100 miles on a single charge. If your regular trips are further, you may want to consider a hybrid.

  1. What kind of climate do I live in?

EV batteries can lose effectiveness in cold weather, so be aware of what the weather is doing, and plan ahead. Also, on cold days, try warming up the car while it’s still plugged in. This way, your battery won’t have to work as hard on the road to warm things up.

  1. Do I have regular access to charging at home or at work?

Most people with a garage can plug-in at home overnight. Charging at an off-peak time is crucial. Also, find out if there are public charging stations available for an on-the-go top off. (Apps like PlugShare or the Energy Department’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, among others, helps you find a charging station near you.) Charging takes longer than fueling, so planning ahead is important.

Even though EVs require less maintenance, it’s still important to take care of your car. Check your tire pressure regularly, and follow the instructions in your user’s manual. This will keep your vehicle running better, longer.

  1. Where does my electricity come from?

As the shift away from gas-powered vehicles and machinery continues, people are becoming more aware of where their energy comes from. This means that we should continue to push for investments in cleaner, renewable energy sources, like wind, solar, and geothermal. Get involved in campaigns for renewable energy development to ensure your EV is running on clean power.

Want to learn more? Attend our upcoming policy forum on electric vehicles Friday, April 27th in White Plains. Click here for more information and to register.

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