EV curious? 5 things to know before buying an electric vehicle

HOUSTON – Electric vehicles are gaining in popularity.

There are now more options for drivers, including an EV pickup truck. While you may be curious about owning an electric vehicle, there are a few things you should know before taking the plunge.

We are looking into the five top questions people have about owning and buying an electric vehicle.

It’s 7:30 in the morning and Shanoop Kothari is climbing into his Tesla electric car. This is the fourth electric car he’s owned in the past 10 years. What does he love about it? For one, the car is fast.

“Faster than you need to go,” Kothari said. ”The speed is ridiculous.”

Kothari also loves never having to go to the gas station. He saves about $2,600 a year in fuel costs since all he pays to power the car is electricity.

“The first thing people ask me is did your electricity bill change? I couldn’t see a difference,” Kothari said. “It might be a few dollars a month?”

Electric Vehicles are now more accessible

Today’s all-electric vehicles are a new breed. They are bigger, faster, more affordable, and able to drive much farther on a single charge. Still, less than 1% of all cars on the road today are electric.

“There’s about a million EV’s on the roads in the United States out of about 290 million vehicles on the road,” said Sam Abuelsamid, Auto Analyst, Guidehouse Insights.

To fire up sales, automakers like Ford are introducing exciting new electric vehicles like the Mustang Mach E, base model price just under $43,000, with a mileage range up to 300 miles and zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

President Joe Biden is also driving the push to sell more electric vehicles by taking a spin in the brand new Ford F-150 Lightning. Biden said to increase the production of EVs, it could create millions of American jobs. He also promises to increase the number of public charging stations from 100,000 to 500,000 as part of his infrastructure plan.

“The future of the auto industry is electric,” Biden said. “There is no turning back.”

Question 1: What maintenance costs will I avoid with an EV?

“Well, you’ll never need an oil change for one thing,” explains EV expert Abuelsamid. “The propulsion system, the batter, and the electric motors are generally maintenance-free for the life of the vehicle.”

Question 2: What kind of charger do I need and what will that cost?

“A typical level two charge is a charger that runs on a 240 WATT outlet, like your washer-dryer outlet,” said Abuelsamid. “They can cost as little as $350 or up to about $600.”

Question 3: How far can you drive on a single charge?

“If you’re buying a new EV, it’s going to be a minimum of about 159 miles, most of these cars are going for 250 to 300 miles of driving range,” Abuelsamid explains.

Question 4: Can I get a tax break if I buy an EV?

The answer is yes. Buying almost any new EV available on the market today with the exception of the Tesla can earn you a tax credit of up to $7,500.

Question 5: How much will the car cost?

The Mini Cooper EV is the cheapest electric car on the market today at about $30,750. Four others include the Ioniq and Kona both from Hyundai, the Chevrolet Bolt, and the Nissan Leaf, and all are priced between $32,000-39,000.

Ready to go electric? Kothari’s advice after driving EVs for 10 years, test drive one, it’s cooler than you can possibly imagine.

Maps of EV charging stations around the Houston area

Most of the electric vehicles on the market have navigation systems that will direct you to the nearest charging stations. There are several different companies that offer EV charging stations in the Houston area. Some are free to use, others charge a minimal use fee.

- Charge Hub

- Plug Share

- Charge Point

- EVgo

- Reliant map

Plug Share also has a feature that allows you to plan your vacation and where you can stop to charge your EV. Check here to find the best charging locations along your vacation route.

Hotels.com and other reservation websites allow you to search hotels that offer EV charging stations. The EV Hotels app also allows you to search hotels that have charging stations.

About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.