EVs are starting to break into the mainstream of car buying – Dayton Daily News | CarTailz

Grooms, who is married with a 5-year-old daughter, estimates he saves about $1,200 a year on gas and has never spent on repairs or maintenance. (EVs don’t need an oil change.) “It makes our costs much more predictable,” he said.

Electric vehicles are starting to become mainstream in the United States, having earlier penetrated the mass markets in China and Europe.

Battery-powered cars now represent the fastest-growing segment of the auto market, with sales up 70% in the first nine months of the year from the same period in 2021, according to data from Cox Automotive (which is part of Cox Enterprises). and publishes this newspaper), a research and consulting firm. Sales of conventional cars and trucks fell by 15% over the same period. Electric vehicle buyers were more likely to be women and tended to be younger in 2021 than in 2019, according to Cox data.

“Two years ago, it was the EV nerds,” said Scott Case, CEO of Recurrent, a research firm focused on the used electric vehicle market. Newer buyers are among what he calls the early majority – “when the first sizable segment of a population begins to embrace the innovation.”

Gasoline-powered cars still make up the majority of the new car market, of course. According to Cox, the share of electric vehicles in new vehicle sales has almost doubled in the first nine months of the year from 2.9% in the same period in 2021 to 5.6%.

That growth could have been stronger if automakers had been able to make more electric cars. Many manufacturers have long waiting lists because production has been hampered by shortages of computer chips, batteries, and other parts.

Battery-powered car buyers are concerned about climate change, but lower costs are also a powerful incentive, according to more than 3,000 respondents to a query for stories about buying electric cars on the New York Times website. Driving with electricity is usually significantly cheaper than with petrol. Many respondents indicated that they use energy generated by rooftop solar panels to charge their cars, potentially reducing costs even further.

Electric car buyers used words like “love” and “awesome” to describe their vehicles. Many said they would never buy a petrol car again, but many others said they intended to keep at least one conventional vehicle because traveling long distances with electric cars can be inconvenient and sometimes impossible due to the difficulty of finding charging stations .

EVs are now becoming popular in places other than where they started, including California, where 39% of all US EVs were registered as of June, according to Department of Energy data. Registrations outside of California increased 50% in 2021, compared to a 32% increase in the state.

In the long term, much wider use of electric vehicles will require many more affordable models. The Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt are among the few more affordable battery-powered cars, with several on the way, including a Chevrolet Equinox SUV that will start at around $30,000. But it may still be a while before there are enough affordable models, including used cars, which sell in much higher numbers than new cars. For now, Tesla, Ford Motor, Mercedes-Benz and other companies have focused on premium models that are more profitable.

Still, many buyers are finding that electric vehicles make good business sense, even if they cost thousands of dollars more than comparable gasoline vehicles.

Volatile gas prices, which hit record highs this year, influenced people like Tracy Miersch, a resident of Miramichi, New Brunswick. She drives 3,000 miles a month setting up merchandise displays for retailers.

“I was kind of averse to all the new technology,” Miersch said, adding, “My goal was to get rid of gas.”

She estimates that the Tesla Model 3, which she bought used for $70,000 in January 2021, saves her more than CA$600 a month, or about $440. Charging the car at home costs about CAD$6, she said.

The fuel savings can be even greater for some people.

David Kreindler, who lives in northern Vermont 3 miles from the nearest paved road, runs his home and car solely on solar panels.

Kreindler, an information security specialist, designed and built his home to run on solar panels and batteries because of the high cost of a new utility hookup. His system generates far more than his house needs. He uses the surplus to charge his Volkswagen ID.4 SUV, which he bought in July. “I’m my own provider,” said Kreindler.

But despite all the enthusiasm, buyers had problems.

The lack of quick and convenient places to charge electric cars on longer trips has been the biggest frustration. Chargers are few and far between outside of urban coastal areas. In North Dakota, for example, there are only 19 fast-charging stations, according to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, an automotive industry group. Fast chargers can charge a car battery in 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the device and vehicle. Home chargers typically take an entire night to recharge a battery.

Ruth Milligan, a resident of Columbus, Ohio, tried to get her daughter, Maggie Daiber, into Michigan State University in August. Milligan calculated where she would need to charge her ID.4 during the four-hour drive.

“I’ve done my homework on the charging grid,” said Milligan, an executive language coach, “or so I thought.”

But she hadn’t considered that the battery would drain faster when the car was loaded with belongings from her daughter and husband Dave Daiber, who is 6ft 4in tall.

After less than two hours of driving, Milligan realized the car wouldn’t make it to Toledo, Ohio, where she wanted to charge up. Instead, they exited the highway at Findlay. Of the four chargers in the city, one was behind a locked gate; another was at a Toyota dealer who wouldn’t let a Volkswagen use its charger; a third would only charge Teslas; and the fourth had recently been installed and was not yet working.

The family ended up staying the night in a hotel and making the rest of the trip in a rented van.

Still, Milligan says she likes the ID.4, which she bought after waiting 10 months for delivery. “In general I’m happy with the car, but I’ll be careful when I push its limits,” she said.

Some EV owners interviewed said that the charging stations they stopped at sometimes offered no protection and felt unsafe.

“Women don’t want to sit in a dark parking lot waiting for their car to be charged,” said Caroline Gambell, a Vermont resident and curriculum writer for a nonprofit educational organization who bought a Chevrolet Bolt last year. “Range anxiety is real. When you’re trying to get things done and you have kids in the background, the last thing you need to ask is, ‘Will my car get there?’”

Most Tesla owners have found that the company’s charging network works well.

Some electric car owners said they also had petrol vehicles to avoid the hassle of charging on longer trips. Beth Gonzalez, of Austin, Texas, said her husband had a Jeep Wrangler and her daughter had a Hyundai Santa Fe, which the family used for longer trips. Her primary vehicle is a 2017 Mercedes B250e, a car the automaker developed with Tesla and sold in small numbers.

Gonzalez, a graphic designer who works from home, couldn’t find the car in Texas, so she bought one in California for $19,000 through CarMax and had it shipped to her. The car will go about 80 miles on a full charge and less when the air conditioning is on, but that’s enough for her day-to-day needs, she said. “I absolutely love this car.”

Charging at home is usually not an obstacle for people with a garage or driveway. But millions of Americans live in apartment buildings that rarely have charging facilities. Even Los Angeles doesn’t have enough street chargers for renters, said Arianna Stern, a copywriter who bought a used Nissan Leaf last year.

She typically uses a public charging station three blocks from her home, but about 20% of the time it’s out of service. If it doesn’t work or another car is using it, she uses chargers further away. “What would make the difference is for the city to install more charging stations and keep them running more consistently,” Stern said.

But like many other electric car buyers, Stern is happy with her choice and says it has enabled her to reduce her reliance on fossil fuels that are warming the planet. “Overall,” she said, “I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone in my situation.”

Leave a Comment