Is an Electric Car Right for Me?

By on August 5, 2019

Chances are, the idea of owning an electric car has crossed your mind of late. This is particularly true with just about every major manufacturer currently offering one. Teetering on the cusp of the mainstream, electric vehicles, or EVs as they are also known, do appear to have a solid future.

Still, though, there remain issues surrounding relying upon one as your primary source of transportation. With that in mind, it’s useful to ask, “Is an electric car right for me?”

Let’s look at the concerns.

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Range/Charging Times

This source of EV disquiet actually has its own term — range anxiety  — and it’s two-fold. Winding up far from a charging station with a nearly depleted battery pack is the primary one. Drivers also need to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for the vehicle to take on enough energy to carry them another 75 miles or so when that charging station is found.

This stands in stark relief when you consider a gasoline-fueled vehicle can pick up 300 miles of range in 10 minutes. 

However, this fear is unfounded for most people. With EVs like the Chevrolet Volt offering in excess of 200 miles of range on a full charge, going back and forth to work and running errands is easily accomplished — even with a round-trip commute of 90 miles or so. 

This is even more feasible with charging stations at work and at home. 

Home Charging Is Essential

Key to comfortable living with an EV, you’re solidly in the game if you have a fast-charging system at home, you can treat your car just like your phone. Put it on the charger when you’re in for the evening, it will be ready to go the next morning. With another charging station at work, you simply plug in when you arrive.

However, this assumes you live in a house you own. If you rent or live in a condominium complex, your landlord or HOA will have to be amenable to the installation of a charging station. Standard 120v household current is too weak to recharge an EV in a timely fashion. It’ll work in a pinch, but you’ll need a more robust charging solution if you’re going to rely upon it day-in and day-out. 

Long-Distance Travel 

Drivers who routinely cover long distances can do so with an EV. However, you’ll have to be OK with stops every two hundred miles or so to recharge. Granted, this is a good idea anyway on long drives. However, you’ll have to plan your trips carefully to ensure charging stations are easily found along your route. 

Conversely, you could have an EV for use in town and a gasoline-powered car for long trips if you’re a multi-car family. You’ll have to be pretty well off though. As of this writing, the least expensive electric car with 200 miles of range starts at about $32,000 — after the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs. This works out to be roughly $500 monthly over 60 months with good car loans like those offered by RoadLoans. Of course, buying used is an option too. 

Benefits vs. Concerns

Those are the three key considerations when you’re wondering if an electric car is right for you. Be forewarned though, you’re likely to be smitten if you test drive one. They are quick off the line, quiet and refined. They also need far less maintenance than conventional cars because they have fewer moving parts to replace. 

However, EVs also require you to plan your trips more carefully. You’ll have to be strategic about where you go to ensure you can use a public charging station while you’re out. This means compromising your mobility to a degree. 

Still, EVs are a superior option under the right circumstances. 

You just have to be careful to ensure those circumstances match yours. 


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Is an Electric Car Right for Me?