In the market for an EV? Here’s what you need to know

HOUSTON – Wednesday was day one at the 2nd Annual Houston Autoboative Show and there was power and beauty at every turn, especially in the electric car fleet.

Evolve Houston partnered up with the Houston Auto Show this year to educate drivers on all things electric vehicles. At the Evolve booth, Houstonians have the opportunity to check out the latest electric cars on display including the Mustang Mach-E and the Audi Q4 e-tron. Outside in the parking lot, many got to experience a “ride and drive” in the VW ID.4, F-150 Lightning, Polestar 2, and more.

Many of you want get into an electric car, but don’t know where to start. There are so many options out there now, in fact, there are more than 50 models of EVs nationwide, including sedans SUVs and trucks in all price ranges.

Here’s what you should keep in mind, and few points that people don’t know, according to Evolve Houston:

  • EVs tend to have much lower maintenance costs. They do not require gasoline engine maintenance (i.e. no oil changes) (lower operation costs)
  • EVs have a lower relative cost of “energy” (gasoline vs electricity) (lower operation costs)
  • The average Houston user spends around $40-60/month on electricity to power their EV... the cost of “fuel” is about 60% less for an average EV vs a gasoline vehicle that gets 30.0mpg!
    • In 2022, the national average for 100 miles of range: $14.08 for gas and only $5.14 for electricity
  • FUN ONE: We have never had the ability to store electricity in larger quantities like we do now with an EV. Your EV also serves as a large storage of electricity that can be used beyond driving in the near future (i.e. powering your home or office for additional resilience, selling power back into the grid, etc.). This is an added dimension to the way we have traditionally looked at vehicles.
  • Most of the tech can be applied across gasoline vehicles (i.e. door handles, screens, etc.), but gasoline vehicles cannot produce the noise reduction, smooth & strong acceleration, and additional storage that the new EV can offer.

What about used EV’s? Here’s the number one question you should be asking

  • Let’s say you’re looking into a gently used EV-- what should you look out for? AAA Texas has you covered with a new used EV guide.
    • Beware the battery: According to AAA Texas, “EV’s Achilles’ heel is its battery pack. Whether in a smartphone, laptop, or EV, lithium-ion batteries degrade over time, limiting their storage capacity. Battery stressors include too many deep discharges (more likely with short-range EVs), very cold or very hot weather, routinely keeping the battery at a high state of charge (above 90 percent), and using a so-called Level 3 fast charger too often, rather than charging with a slower Level 1 or 2 charger at home... The good news is that automakers voluntarily give EVs long battery warranties, typically 8 to 10 years or 100,000 miles (sometimes more). Some automakers warrant the battery pack only against total failure, while others replace it if it’s only partially degraded. A used-EV buyer could be stuck with a degraded pack and diminished range even if it’s still under warranty.”

About the Author:

Traffic expert and What’s Driving Houston reporter, proud Latina, lover of animals, food and our beautiful planet.