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What You Should Know About Getting an Electric Car

What You Should Know About Getting an Electric Car

Electric cars are different from gas-powered ones because they utilize electricity for power instead of gas. Luckily, there is more to electric cars than just a battery. This can be a great option for a vehicle because it utilizes electricity, saving you some gas money while helping the environment. This is among the many aspects of getting an electric car you should know.   

Understanding How They Work

Before you buy an electric car, you should understand how they work versus a gas car. Having a basic knowledge of this is important so you can operate your vehicle with no problems. Electric cars have an electric motor with a rechargeable battery. The car needs to be plugged in, utilizing electricity. Gas powered cars utilize an internal combustion engine which uses a spark-ignition, while diesel uses compression-ignition. These systems utilize gasoline and diesel fuel for power. The battery in a gas-powered car is used for starting the vehicle and the electronics, not to get the car moving like in electric cars.

High-Tech Features

Car manufacturers are putting in more and more technology features into cars. One feature that most new cars have in them is their vehicle infotainment systems. These include large display touch screens which allow users to receive text messages, choose music, and use navigation, and utilize voice commands. These systems allow you to pair your smartphone via Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. These systems also support advanced features of the vehicle such as parking assistance, climate control and lighting.

Charging Your Vehicle

Electric vehicles need to be plugged in to charge. You can charge your electric car with a standard 120-volt outlet, 208-240 volt, or 480 or higher for fast charging. The power of your charging equipment will change the time to charge. A standard 120-volt charger easily charges your vehicle overnight. You can purchase and install other equipment at home to charge in less than 2 hours. DC fast charging isn’t available for use in homes, only in the public charging stations. This gives you 10-20 miles of range per minute. Always be sure to use the proper charging equipment to charge your vehicle.

How to Protect It

Just like any other vehicle, electric vehicles are subject to the wear and tear of use and inclement weather. They are made of materials that will also be subject to corrosion and rusting.


You should protect your vehicle by washing it regularly, especially if you live in a cold place that utilizes salt and other chemicals to help with snow and ice as this can cause damage to the vehicle. You should also protect it by waxing it regularly to help provide a barrier. You can prevent the need for waxing by applying ceramic coating. Ceramic coating will also provide protection to the outside of your car.

Cost

The cost of running an electric vehicle is about $485 per year as compared to $1,117 per year for a gas powered vehicle. Gas prices are very susceptible to change. Electricity prices, however, are much more stable overtime and cost less than gasoline to go the same distance. Some utility companies may also offer an incentive of lower utility prices if you are charging during non-peak hours. Electric cars tend to cost more up-front to purchase versus a gas vehicle, however the cost of maintenance is less in an electric car due to less components that need replacing.

Range

Electric cars have a range of miles they can go on a single charge. Gas powered cars are generally able to go further on a tank of gas than an electric car can go on a single charge. Gas powered cars tend to get better MPG while on the freeway, while electric cars tend to do better in a city setting. Electric cars use an EPA estimate to determine how far the car can go. Combined city/highway estimates range from 110 miles on a charge for the Mini Cooper Electric to 373 miles for the Tesla Model S Long Range.  Electric vehicles range and efficiency aren’t directly correlated. Many different factors can influence the efficiency and can lower the range. This is important to know because charging stations are not as common as gas stations.  

Incentives

Getting an electric car can get you a tax credit. For a new, fully electric car, the U.S. federal government offers a $7500 tax credit. There are also other ways to get incentives if you don’t have a fully electric car. There are also options for a plug-in hybrid car. The amount of tax credit depends on the size of the battery and is also phased out once the maker has sold a certain number of cars, so not all vehicles will be eligible. Make sure that you do your research and talk to a tax professional as well as the dealership to see what you can be eligible for. Your state may also have tax credits available, so be sure to investigate those to see if you can save on your purchase of an electric vehicle.

Battery

The range your electric vehicle can go on a single charge of a battery varies. Different weather can affect how far your car can go because temperature can affect the chemical reactions inside of the battery. Cold weather can decrease your range because this slows the reactions that make batteries work. This also means longer charging times and less distance you can drive. Hot weather also affects the battery in that it speeds up reactions and leads to a faster degradation of the battery. The car has mechanisms that can help protect the battery while charging in these less-than-ideal situations.

Electric cars have many features. They are also easier on the environment, and on your pocketbook because they use electricity instead of gas. It is becoming easier to find one of these vehicles that fits your needs because so many more are being made and sold, making it a great option for you.

Read this next: How Technology Is Changing the Automotive Industry

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