Owning an Electric Vehicle

January 14th, 2022 by

Electric vehicles are growing in popularity, but they still account for a relatively small share of total vehicle sales. In 2020, EVs made up about 1.8% of all vehicle sales in the United States. If you’re thinking about helping increase that share by purchasing an EV, you’ve probably been asking yourself various questions about what it would be like to own one. Our auto experts here at Miami Car Credit have put together answers to some of the most common EV-related questions we get asked.

What Are the Different Types of Electric Vehicles?

A Tesla car parked near a body of water

Tesla Model 3, S & X” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by Rutger van der Maar

Most major auto manufacturers are bringing out their own EV models in a range of designs. You can find a selection of hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, and pickups for sale. Tesla is perhaps the best known maker of EVs, but other exciting options include the Nissan Leaf, Kia Niro EV, Chevy Volt, Toyota Rav 4 Prime, and Honda Clarity.

EVs can either be a plug-in hybrid (known as a PHEV) or a battery electric vehicle (known as a BEV). PHEVs have smaller batteries with an electric driving range of between 20 and 50 miles. They are also equipped with a standard gas tank. If you need to drive further than the electric driving range, the gas-powered engine immediately kicks in. The idea is that you can use your battery for short-range trips, like the daily commute to work, while still relying on gas for long-distance journeys.

BEVs are only equipped with a battery and an electric motor. With a fully charged battery, most BEVs have a driving range of over 200 miles. Some range-topping BEVs have longer ranges of more than 300 miles.

How Can I Charge an EV?

The easiest way to charge an EV is by using a standard 120-volt household power socket. This should work just fine if you have a PHEV and charge it overnight. Within approximately 10-12 hours, your battery should almost be full. However, a 120-volt power outlet only charges a battery at a speed of about 4 miles of driving per hour. At this pace, you won’t realistically be able to charge a BEV, unless you’re able to leave it charging for several days.

A quicker alternative is to have a 240-volt charging outlet installed. These outlets are also sometimes called Level 2 charging. You can get an outlet online for between $500 and $700. You’ll also need to hire a professional electrician to install the charging system. With Level 2 charging, you should be able to charge a BEV overnight. Most PHEVs will be fully charged after a few hours of Level 2 charging.

A further option is to locate one of the growing network of public charging sites across the United States. Many EV manufacturers offer apps with their vehicles that tell you where the nearest charging station is. Alternatively, you can browse online to locate some sites near you.

Public charging sites usually have DC fast charging. These sites can charge your battery to between 80-90% in less than an hour. Some of the most efficient charging sites can do this in 30 minutes.

Where Can I Find Charging Stations?

If you don’t have the option of charging your EV at home, you could check to see if your workplace offers charging stations in the parking lot. Other common locations where you may find a charging station include large hotels, shopping malls, and large stores.

Keep in mind that while public charging stations are great if you need to top up your battery occasionally, they can be expensive to use on a regular basis. That’s why it’s best to use a charging site provided by your employer or charge your EV at home, if at all possible.

Are EVs Better Value for Money Than Gas Vehicles?

There’s no definitive answer to this question, because it depends on your driving habits and access to charging infrastructure. If you drive short distances each day and can charge your EV at home, a PHEV may have lower running costs than a gas-powered vehicle. However, if you plan on always charging your vehicle at a public charging site, you may end up paying more for the electricity than the cost of gas.

EVs tend to be cheaper to maintain than gas-powered vehicles because they have fewer parts. Tasks like fluid topoffs and other tuneups don’t need to be performed. On the other hand, EVs are typically more expensive to buy, resulting in higher up-front costs.

Is it a Good Time To Buy an EV?

This is arguably one of the best times to purchase an EV. Analysts expect the market share of PHEVs and BEVs to grow rapidly in the coming years, with some suggesting that they could account for one in ten vehicles by 2025. Due to this development, public charging stations and other infrastructure are currently being expanded. The growth in the EV market is also creating more competition, offering you more vehicles to choose from.

Finally, there are several federal and local subsidy programs that you can take advantage of when you buy an EV. The federal tax credit for purchasing an EV gives you a $7,500 reduction on the car’s price. Just keep in mind that the subsidy only applies to automakers who have sold less than 200,000 EVs. Due to this rule, Tesla and GM electric vehicles no longer currently qualify for the subsidy. You should always check the latest news on EV subsidies before you buy, since debates about updating the federal legislation are ongoing.

Find Affordable Electric Vehicles for Sale at Miami Car Credit

We hope that our guide to electric vehicles has helped you decide whether a PHEV or a BEV would be right for you. If you have any further questions about owning an EV, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Miami Car Credit in Miami Gardens and we’ll be happy to give you some advice.

Our team of auto experts is also standing by to help you get the purchase process started. If you require financing to buy your dream vehicle, you can talk to our professional finance team about an auto loan. Contact us today to learn more.

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