Electric car maker Tesla earned nearly $400 million in the fourth quarter of last year and its stock price has about tripled since last fall. While everyone’s been chattering about electric vehicles or EVs for more than a decade – and hybrids for longer than that – we may have finally reached the tipping point. The age of electric cars is finally here.
So the big question is: should you get one? Here are a few things to consider:
Electric cars can be expensive: One of the biggest barriers to buying one for many consumers has been cost. EVs currently average about $55,000 but the good news is that’s a more than 13% drop in a year, thanks in large part to Tesla’s Model 3, which starts at around $39,000. Many states also offer rebates as high as $5,000.
Electric cars can be more affordable: While they can be more expensive up front, it only costs about $300 a year to charge an EV. A hybrid costs about $700 a year and a gasoline car can cost $1,000 to $2,500 a year to fuel. Electric cars can also be cheaper to maintain – fewer moving parts and no oil changes.
When the battery runs out: EVs can usually drive for about 85 to 280 miles on a single charge, which is okay for short to medium-length trips. But if you travel long distances, a hybrid vehicle might be a better bet. Also keep in mind, while there are an increasing number of charging stations, it’s possible you might run out of juice before you reach one. Then again, the same can be true when you’re looking for a gas station except that there are far more of them.
And about filling up: A Tesla takes about 20 minutes to recharge depending on the kind of charger it’s plugged into and older EVs can take much longer. Again, the key is to plan ahead and ensure you’re recharging your vehicle when time isn’t a big factor.
How about the weather? If you live in a northern state, keep in mind that in cold winter weather, electric car batteries can lose over half their range.
So, while it’s probably cheaper to own an EV in the long run, there are some cons to owning one. Still, it may be worth it when it comes to the greater eco-friendly good and doing our part to battle climate change.
Do you own an electric vehicle or are you considering buying one? We’d love to hear what you think – have your say in the Shop Talk blog community forum.
Did you know? Eco-friendly but not emissions-free
While EVs take more energy to manufacture than a traditional car and lithium batteries pose some challenges, electric vehicles do produce fewer emissions in the long run. You can read more about their environmental impact here. (Source)