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In 2021, Electomo investigates the questions you have about buying, driving, maintaining, and owning EVs. you can check for more at FAQ (frequently asked question about electric vehicles)
Why should I care about electric vehicles?
A good tale will always have a high level of tension. As if it were a romance set on the decks of a cruise ship that is going to sink. Or a superhero film that bends time and space to leave you guessing if the good folks will be able to get their hands on the jewels before the evil guy triumphs (again). When we were discussing ideas for articles for 2021 last autumn, the notion of taking the entire crew on a long road trip in electric cars sounded ideal. If you add a little range of anxiety to a journey, you’ve got the makings of a good story.
It turns out that our timing was spot on. Car manufacturers have been announcing plans for more and more electric vehicles of all kinds and sizes since we began organizing the rally. Electric cars accounted for only 1.8 percent of the market last year, according to IHS Markit, but analysts anticipate that number will grow to more than 10% by 2025. Whether you like them or not, you’ll see a lot more electric vehicles on the road in the coming years.
To learn to appreciate EVs, traditional vehicle fans will need to change their attitude. When you’ve spent years learning to recognize engine purrs and roars as signs of something extremely right (or wrong), driving a silent electric vehicle around a few curves may be disorienting, and many of the manufactured noises automakers give for false feedback are too foreign to be cool. It may appear as if something fundamental is missing. After three weeks of driving 11 electric cars, we discovered that EVs necessitate a rethinking of what constitutes enjoyable. That isn’t to say the new fun isn’t as enjoyable as the old.
It’s a joy accelerating onto the road with all of that instant torque at your feet. On a road trip, stopping to charge for a half-hour every now and again relieves the strain to merely get to your destination.
Change is unavoidable, no matter how much you stomp and complain about it. When the first human erected a hut, it’s likely that some caveman grumbled that it wouldn’t be as solid as his own. And while he wasn’t always correct, the hut did acquire market share. Change is upon us, and we want to embrace it, analyze it, and press the industry to continue producing vehicles that fans of all hues can enjoy.
Where will the electricity come from to power up the EVs?
EV enthusiasts frequently debunk two fallacies about our electric infrastructure’s ability to handle a large number of EVs. The first implies that as the number of electric vehicles grows, utilities will be unable to meet the demand. On the contrary, these firms have no trouble delivering energy to EV buyers, assuming that the majority of them charge their vehicles overnight. Because demand is lowest, excess generating capacity remains underutilized at this time. Many utilities currently provide discounted rates for off-peak energy consumption, and every EV on the market today allows you to schedule charging—so you may plug in your car when you park and wait for the reduced cost to kick in.
The second misconception is that EVs would cause the electrical system to fail. A higher-capacity transformer may be required in areas with a large number of EVs, although utilities are used to upgrading transformers when new development increases electrical demand. Adapting to an increase in the number of EVs should be no different.
According to a report released by the Department of Energy in 2019, widespread adoption of electric vehicles “would not offer considerably larger problems than previous evolutions of the U.S. electric power system.” In the long term, EVs may potentially improve grid stability. Ford claims that the F-150 Lightning will be able to power a home at peak demand, saving homeowners money and easing utility strain.
Will EVs ever be as cheap as today’s cheapest gasoline automobiles?
I think that EVs can be had for under $20,000, but this will depend on segment and range. By 2030, this might be the situation for compact automobiles in the United States. They may have an efficiency of 0.23 to 0.25 kilowatt-hours per mile by then, and a 50-kWh battery would cost less than $3000, offering around 200 miles of real-world range.
It’s impossible to call this one. The electric Volkswagen ID.4 and the similarly sized and fitted gas-powered Tiguan were compared in terms of five-year ownership costs. If you’re financing, the price increase of the ID.4 meaning you’ll pay more interest (our calculations are based on a 60-month loan at 3.11 percent APR with $3000 down). According to GEICO, the EV is much more costly to maintain for a 29-year-old male. According to Black Book, the ID.4 will maintain just 32% of its value, comparable to 41% for the Tiguan. However, the EV saves money on maintenance and gasoline (considering 10,000 miles per year and $2.96 per gallon of gas, and $0.13 per kilowatt-hour of electricity).
Are used electric vehicles really the deals they appear to be?
While Teslas retain their value rather well, EVs, in general, degrade more quickly than gasoline-powered vehicles. According to a survey by iSeeCars.com, EVs lose 13 percent more of their value after three years than gas cars. We recommend shopping for a Chevy Bolt, a past 10Best winner if you want a good bargain on a terrific automobile. Cars with fewer than 30,000 miles cost less than $20,000, yet the EPA-estimated range of 238 miles is comparable to that of some $50,000-plus new EVs.
Maintenance history is less of a worry when searching for secondhand EVs than it is with gas automobiles, but you should check the battery’s condition. The simplest method to accomplish this is to charge the car completely and compare the projected range to the original claimed range. Are the figures comparable? If that’s the case, congratulations. Also, although a “Southern automobile” may be a selling feature for a gas-powered vehicle, the same cannot be said for an electric vehicle; hot temperatures can deplete battery life.
What is the EVs tax credit and how does it work?
It provides new-EV owners a one-time tax credit ranging from $2500 to $7500, based on the gross battery capacity of the car (we report usable battery capacity, which is always lower). However, there is a catch: you won’t get a check for the difference if your taxes don’t exceed the amount your car qualifies for. Someone whose salary puts them on the hook for $5000 over the course of the year, for example, won’t be able to take home $2500 from a $7500 credit. To qualify for the entire kickback in 2020, a single individual would have required a taxable income of at least $53,200.
Another item to keep an eye on Once an automaker sells 200,000 plug-in vehicles (so far, only GM and Tesla have done so), the credit enters a year-long phaseout period, after which EVs produced by that manufacturer are no longer qualified for the credit. Consider leasing if all of this seems too difficult. Despite the fact that the carmaker claims the tax credit, many of them pass the savings on to you in the form of a cheaper monthly bill.
Can I buy an EV if I don’t have access to 240-volt charging at home?
Sure, just as a 14.4k dial-up network might potentially allow you to surf the web today. Because a normal 120-volt (also known as Level 1) home outlet only provides a few miles of range per hour, recharging a big battery pack from empty can take days. If you travel fewer than 30 miles each day or have access to charging equipment at work, you might be able to get by. It may be tempting to treat a local DC fast-charger like a petrol station, but it comes with a price. Fast-charging at Electrify America stations can be more than three times the cost of charging at home, and fast-charging can shorten the life of a battery.
According to a UC Davis poll, 21% of Californians who possessed a plug-in later abandoned the device. 71 percent of individuals who gave up the electric life did not have access to 240-volt (Level 2) charging at home.
When will Americans begin to buy electric vehicles in large volumes?
It’s all about finding the appropriate body design at the right pricing point in the right range, as well as giving customers confidence in charging infrastructure, whether outside or at home. Part of me needs to tell something right now, because you’ve almost completed all of the boxes. But, by 2025, I believe it will be a very different story. We’ll reach that scale in the next 4 years.
What happens if an electric vehicle (EV) runs out of power?
When an EV’s battery reaches a low charge level, the vehicle lowers the available energy and warns the driver to seek a charging station or pull over. If you can’t plug in at this time, range anxiety turns to panic, which is frequently followed by a call for assistance from the roadside. Automakers’ methods to distance-to-empty readouts differ, just as they do with gas-powered automobiles. Zero means zero with certain EVs, such as the Audi e-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace. We have invoices from tow trucks to verify it. Others, such as those from Ford, Tesla, Volvo, and Polestar, give several miles of extra range even after the estimated range has been reduced to zero.
Another complication: after the high-voltage battery pack has died, you risk draining the 12-volt auxiliary battery. The car will not charge until the auxiliary battery is recharged if this happens. Take this as a warning.
Should I be concerned about the electromagnetic radiation emitted by an electric vehicle?
Put your tinfoil hat and lead underwear away; your electric vehicle is perfectly safe. True, the powertrain components of an electric vehicle—battery pack, wiring, motor(s)—produce more electromagnetic radiation than an internal combustion engine, but the difference is insignificant. Radiation readings inside an EV were found to be considerably below the levels suggested by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, according to the Norwegian research organization SINTEF. Radiation exposure at the car floor is less than 20% of the maximum, and it’s less than 2% at head height.