When your car restricts you to a 200-mile radius before requiring a recharge, you want to make sure your battery is operating at peak performance. People who drive electric vehicles have a smaller carbon footprint and contribute less to global warming. That’s not the only benefit, though. Maintenance fees are lower, fuel costs are much less than traditional, and the cars have long lifetimes.
Fueling an EV is similar to running your A/C
Fuel costs for electric vehicles are similar to a home appliance, and hybrid vehicles are even less. For example, if you have a depleted battery and want to fully charge it to 100-mile range, it uses about the same amount of energy as operating an air conditioner for six hours. General Motors estimates the Chevy Volt uses less energy annually than what required for a typical water heater.
Charging at home is the most economical and convenient
Residential electric rates are typically lower than commercial, so it’s cheapest and most convenient to charge your vehicle at home overnight. Many utility companies offer off-peak rates, so if you charge at night, you can save on electricity costs. Look for energy incentives from the utility for EV owners to help further defray any costs.
Charging an EV at home requires a dedicated outlet
Most vehicles come standard with a three-prong 120-volt plug you can use at home without any other special equipment. Most vehicles come with a three-prong household plug on one end and a J1772 connector on the other as part of the standard equipment package. Charging an EV requires a dedicated branch circuit that doesn’t supply other appliances such as a refrigerator. You can get the most out of your electric vehicle by hiring an electrician to install an EV charging station. Check with your utility company to determine guidelines, incentives, or special pricing available before upgrading your electrical system.
Charging stations make it faster and more efficient
Drivers will get 2-5 miles per hour of charge with a standard home outlet setup. It’s generally adequate for hybrid vehicles, but you’ll need to consult with the manufacturer about this method for an all-electric vehicle to ensure you can get the full range without extreme charging periods.
Level 2 Charging stations are faster than standard home outlets, enabling vehicles to get 10 to 60 miles per hour of charging time. The charging station typically costs $500-$1000. It must be installed by a licensed electrician to ensure it complies with all applicable local, state, and national codes and regulations. Installation is usually relatively inexpensive, and some utility companies and state governments offer incentives to help lower the cost.
Save a little green with an EV
Before you invest in a new electric car, make sure you understand the implications of cost, equipment, and requirements for your vehicle. Hybrid vehicles and all-electric cars require different equipment to get the most range out of an overnight charge. Both a hybrid and an electric vehicle are less expensive to operate than a gas-powered car because they don’t require as much maintenance and the cost to fuel them is lower. Reduce your carbon footprint and save a little green by driving an electric vehicle.