Why You Can’t Just Buy an Electric Car – Review Geek | CarTailz

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Buying a new vehicle is always exciting, especially when it comes to a new electric car. We all love not having to stop and fill up on expensive gas. However, you cannot just buy an electric vehicle and call it a day as there are other things and expenses to consider.

Well, you can buy an electric vehicle and nothing else, but you probably shouldn’t. Both gas and electric cars have additional costs, not to mention maintenance. And while electric vehicles require less maintenance, other factors include the cost of installing a charger at home, dealing with software updates, finding a new routine with charging stations, and even higher insurance costs.

Do not get me wrong. I’m not suggesting electric cars here. Instead, think of this as a guide going through some things new electric car owners should think about after bringing that shiny new ride home.

Get a fast level 2 charger installed at home

Ford's Charging Station Pro EV charger that powers a home

Perhaps the biggest misconception about electric vehicles is that you can charge them quickly and easily from your garage. And while that’s true, it’s a bit complicated.

While almost every EV in the US comes with a standard manufacturer-supplied charging cable, these are almost entirely useless. That’s because it’s a Level 1 110/120 volt slow power plug that you’ll find in every home. These chargers only offer about 5 miles of range per hour; simply put, that’s not fast enough.

For example, if you can get 5 mph with that slow level 1 wall plug, you’ll only get about 40 miles of range after an 8-9 hour overnight charge. Unfortunately, that may not be enough to get you to work and back. It’s not ideal.

To get the most out of your EV, consider having a Level 2 charger installed at home, which can cost anywhere from $400 to over $2,000. And that’s just for the charger itself. If you have it installed by a professional, it’s going to cost even more.

To make matters worse, some homeowners need to upgrade their equipment, panelboard, or wiring in a garage to handle enough power to power an electric vehicle. And while we’re seeing more affordable options popping up, it’s still a significant additional expense to watch out for.

On the plus side, some EVs feature bi-directional charging, and once you have a supported charger installed, you can use your EV to power your home.

EV insurance could cost more

Car insurance for electric cars

Although this is no longer a problem, electric car insurance is more expensive than if you had a regular vehicle. Even a similar model will cost more if it’s an electric vehicle or a PHEV.

As a rule, more expensive vehicles cost more to insure because they also cost more to repair or replace. This is especially true for electric vehicles due to the complex equipment, battery packs and other technical limitations. Also, electric cars are quite expensive, which means insurance costs more.

Corresponding Get JerryOn average, electric vehicle insurance costs about $56 more than a regular gas-powered vehicle. That’s almost an extra $700 a year. It’s worth noting, however, that you could get tax incentives for this electric vehicle, not to mention that you’ll offset that increase thanks to fuel and maintenance savings, especially in the long run.

While there is more expensive auto insurance to consider for an EV, it’s by no means a deal-breaker. All you have to do is factor that into your finances instead of just focusing on savings at the pump.

Software updates & charging station apps

Public charging station for electric vehicles
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Aside from Tesla and a few others, electric vehicles are brand new. That means growing pains, testing new hardware and software, software updates, and more. And while this isn’t exclusive to electric vehicles, it’s more widespread.

With most new electric vehicles, we see a lot of software recalls or updates that require owners to bring the car back to the dealer. And while some of the first Ford F-150 Lightning EV recalls are quick over-the-air software updates you can do from home using the app, several other brands have urged owners to bring the car back.

Electric cars are pretty smart, but that also means they require more software updates than a smartphone or computer. Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and EVs have some fantastic features, but owners need to be prepared.

And speaking of software, be sure to download a few EV charging apps onto your phone or infotainment system. These help you find nearby charging stations, filter them by speed, or occasionally get a free charge.

Routine and route adjustments

Tesla car and EV charger in public

Most of my family members are constantly out of gas. Or they drive to work in the morning and are late after having to stop to get gas. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never let my truck go below half full. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about many of my friends and family.

With a gas powered car, you can drive to work or take a car trip without thinking much or worrying about gas. If you need to fill up, there are locations all over the place. And while we’re seeing more EV charging stations popping up across the United States every day, it’s still a big change that EV owners need to incorporate into daily life.

Once you’ve bought an electric vehicle, you’ll likely need to make some changes to your routine or commute so you have a place to charge when you need it. This is especially true if you don’t have a Level 2 charger installed at home.

Knowing the battery level and charging stations requires more effort than with a regular car. And if you’re going on a long journey, you really need to consider loading locations, routes, and loading times. Well, unless you use a fast charger.

Tires, adapters and more

Tesla tire and wheel

Next we wanted to touch on a few other things, like EV tires and charging adapters. You can only charge a Tesla at one of Tesla’s charging stations, which isn’t ideal. Thankfully, Tesla now sells a CCS adapter that allows Tesla drivers to use public charging stations from other brands.

Then Tesla will soon open up its expensive SuperCharger network to EVs from other manufacturers, relieving many of the pain points and range anxiety of EV ownership. It is currently testing this program in other countries, and eventually Tesla charging stations will work with Ford, Tesla, Chevy, Nissan and other electric vehicles. For now, you should buy an adapter or two just in case you only have one option to juice the battery.

Another big topic of discussion on the internet is whether or not electric vehicles need special tires. Electric cars are heavy, have tremendous torque and are usually fitted with all-weather tires with the lowest rolling resistance to increase range.

However, EV-specific tires are a little more expensive than regular tires, and if you live in a place that gets a lot of snow, you’ll probably want to trade them in for EV winter tires. Speaking of snow, your electric car may experience a reduced range in winter. Yes, this also happens with gas vehicles, but you should definitely be aware of this with your electric vehicle.

In conclusion, owning an electric car is not much different than a regular gas powered vehicle. However, the technology, charging and range take some getting used to.

Most people have never owned an electric car. If you just bought your first electric vehicle, it’s not quite the same as your last car. You can’t just buy one and do what you’ve always done. Instead, you’ll need to spend some cash to install a faster home charger, maybe add solar charging, check insurance rates, download a few EV-specific apps, and be more mindful of your battery and charging locations.

Nonetheless, electric cars are fast, exciting, fun to drive and packed with fancy tech. You will absolutely love it.

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