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The EV Buying Guide – How to Find the Right Electric Car for You

Updated: Oct 21, 2022


Electric Car | EV | Electric Car Buying Guide

Whether you’re looking for a new car or a used one, we have everything you need to know about EVs.


The electric vehicle market has been growing rapidly in recent years, and there are now many different types of vehicles available. We’ve put together this guide to help you understand how these cars work, which ones are best suited for your lifestyle, and where to buy them.


How Much Does It Cost?

There are two main categories of electric vehicles: battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Both types of vehicles offer several advantages over conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. They produce no emissions, save fuel, and reduce noise pollution. However, they also come at a higher price than traditional gas-powered vehicles.


Electric Vehicles Types: Overview

While there are numerous reasons to consider an EV, what types of EVs are available?


Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)

This type reduces fuel consumption by combining an internal combustion engine with an electric motor/battery pack. In situations where an electric motor can provide the best performance, it drives the car. The gasoline engine is used only when it is the most efficient option (such as cruising on the motorway).


Pros:

  • excellent fuel economy

  • no range issues because the petrol engine and regenerative braking charge the battery

Cons:

  • you still have to pay for gasoline

  • they still emit CO2 and other greenhouse gasses


Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

PHEVs combine gasoline engines with an electric motor and battery pack, but there are differences. PHEVs have larger batteries as well as more powerful electric motors. To charge the battery, PHEVs use the gasoline engine and regenerative braking. PHEVs can also be charged by plugging them in. and they have HEV-level fuel efficiency.


Pros:

  • have HEV-level fuel efficiency

  • can also be driven solely on electricity or gasoline

  • cheap to run if doing regular 10/15 mile commutes

Cons:

  • relatively expensive

  • fuel economy is not very good on motorway journeys

  • battery life concerns


Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

These vehicles are all-electric and run solely on electricity. Because BEVs are all-electric, their batteries are larger in capacity than those in HEVs and PHEVs. As a result, BEVs are typically more expensive, and they must be charged before driving.


Pros:

  • zero CO2 emissions from the vehicle, performance, refinement

  • More affordable to run since it is driven solely by electricity

Cons:

  • costly, and can take a long time to charge

  • only ideal for a second car or people who drive fewer than a few hundred kilometers per day


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV)

These vehicles, like BEVs, are completely electric but store energy through a chemical reaction with hydrogen fuel cells. This means that FCEVs must be filled with hydrogen, rather than being plugged in and charged like a BEV or PHEV. The only thing that FCEVs emit is water. However, there are only a few hydrogen filling stations in New Zealand.


Pros:

  • less greenhouse gas emissions

  • can be driven solely on electricity making it cheaper to run than gas

Cons:

  • only a few models are now available for purchase or lease, and they are only available in areas with hydrogen fueling stations

  • currently, hybrids and conventional vehicles are more expensive


Choosing The Right Electric Vehicle

When choosing the right electric vehicle, you should consider several factors related to your lifestyle and vehicle needs, such as the distance you need to travel, charging capacity, maintenance, and environmental principles.


Driving Range

One of the factors that kept EVs in the niche until recently was that many of them had less than 150mi (241km) of range and in some cases less than 100mi (161km). Even if your area is densely packed with charging stations, 150 miles isn’t much of a range for a city commuter. If you’re going between cities, you’ll need something with a range of more than 200 miles (322 kilometers), preferably more than 300 miles (483km). Even so, the real-world range can be influenced by factors such as temperature, throttle usage, and whether or not you have air conditioning or heating.


Charging Limits

While Hybrid Electric Vehicles are charged using the built-in gasoline engine, most Plug-in Electric Vehicles require charging. The capacity of the battery limits the driving range of most Plug-in Electric Vehicles. If you choose a Plug-in Electric Vehicle, you must have a 240-volt three-phase charger at home (for the most efficient charging) or consider other charging options that may be inconvenient. More and more locations are providing electric car charging stations, allowing you to extend the range of your PEV while on the road.


Maintenance

When you look at a standard gasoline car, you will notice that it has a large number of parts. These include things like oil, spark plugs, fuel injection systems, starter motors, and so on. Because electric cars are built in a much simpler manner, they are less likely to develop problems and thus require less maintenance and servicing.


Environmental Advantages

There’s no denying that the sheer number of vehicles on the road is harmful to the environment, and pollution and global warming are starting to creep into our daily lives. Pure electric vehicles emit no tailpipe emissions, making them extremely environmentally friendly. Electric vehicles contribute significantly to the improvement of the situation.


Federal And State Tax Credits

At the moment, all pure electric vehicles qualify for some federal and state government incentives — but they won’t last forever. Tax credits can be substantial. The average federal tax credit for purchasing an EV is $7,500. State tax credits differ. Some are tax credits for purchasing a vehicle, but other states provide rebates for wall chargers, reduced rates for EV charging, or lower vehicle taxes, though some states impose EV fees to compensate for lost gas tax revenue.


Where To Buy Electric Vehicles

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s vehicle registration counts derived from Experian Information Solutions data, California had approximately 425,300 light-duty electric vehicle registrations in 2020. Furthermore, California has the most EVs, accounting for approximately 42 percent of all EVs in the country. Florida comes in second place, followed by Texas.


Conclusion

You should purchase an EV if:

  • the majority of your driving falls within the EV’s battery range (e.g., short/medium distance driving);

  • you have off-street parking and access to a plug/charger;

  • you’re looking for a cheap-to-run second car; or

  • you are frequently stuck in traffic.

You Shouldn’t Purchase an EV if:

  • you require a car for frequent long-distance travel; or

  • you’re towing a boat, trailer, or caravan.


References

  • https://afdc.energy.gov/data/10962

  • https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/all?state=CA

  • https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fcv_benefits.shtml

  • https://www.neilhuffmanhonda.com/blogs/2795/clarksville-in-honda-dealer/electric-vehicles/electric-car-buying-guide/

  • https://www.androidauthority.com/electric-cars-buyers-guide-3085127/

  • https://www.selectcarleasing.co.uk/news/article/electric-car-buyers-guide

  • https://www.autoblog.com/2018/03/23/ev-electric-car-buying-guide/

  • https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/electric-car-buying-guide/

  • https://witchdoctor.co.nz/index.php/2022/02/electric-vehicle-buyers-guide/?utm_source=r

  • https://www.sust-it.net/vehicles-plug-in-hybrids.phpss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=electric-vehicle-buyers-guide

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