Is Electric Right for You?

By October 16, 2015Featured Articles

The most recent messages from car manufacturers are all about higher MPG, lower emissions and the move towards electric vehicles (EVs). This hits home for mainstream drivers looking to save money and lower their carbon footprint. While saving money and being less dependent on fossil fuels is always a great idea, the jump to an electric vehicle may not be for everyone. I spoke with Thuy Dang, our Head of the Automotive Domain about what it was like when he switched to a Fiat 500e as his daily driver.

The Good

First, the benefits electric vehicles are pretty clear from an ecological perspective by reducing the amount of pollutants in the air and relying less on gasoline. The ability to use this technology is also really cool. It opens the door to someday replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. From a monetary perspective the reduction in gasoline dependence brings freedom from fluctuating prices, and depending on your state there are loads of tax rebates available. When you factor in the gas savings, rebates and other deals, driving an electric car becomes very cost-effective. Another perk is the eligibility of EVs to use the HOV lanes which can help save time and reduce stress on your daily commute.

The Concerns

What are the downfalls of switching over to an EV? Well according to Thuy, there is ‘range anxiety’. This is when you worry the battery will run out before you can reach your destination or a charging station. While this is always a concern, and a very valid one, as EVs become more popular there will be more public charging stations. In fact, many of the current charging stations are free to use. So hopefully ‘range anxiety’ will be a thing of the past. In recent history several people have taken trips across America in the Tesla Model S, proving there are plenty of charging stations. Although it must be noted these trips were planned around the availability of those stations.

Another concern about EVs is the lack of power available to excite the traditional car enthusiast, and while Tesla has found a solution to this, the extravagant price tag is a major turn off to many. The new Model X can do 0-60MPH in 3.2 seconds but it also costs a whopping $132k. I do believe as the technology becomes more developed it will be cheaper for mainstream auto manufacturers to develop electric solutions with more giddy-up for the average motorist.

Speedy Charging Solutions From Newegg

Evo Charge

Aftermarket electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) is making huge strides to pick up where the stock equipment from auto manufacturers leaves off. Companies like EVoCharge are pushing the limits of EV equipment and making it easier than ever to switch over to electric with intuitive solutions for home and commercial use.

One of the biggest problems with stock Stage 1 EVSE is it does not take full advantage of the energy coming in since most operate between 8-16 Amps. This equates to a charging time of about 12-16 hours, which is inconvenient if you drive frequently throughout the week for long distances. The EVoCharge units and other Stage 2 EVSEs operate at 30 Amps, thus reducing the charge time to about 3-4 hours. It’s perfect for topping off or fully charging without sacrificing your schedule.

The units are made in the U.S.A and designed to increase the efficiency of the EV. For example, their charging solutions include a retractable cord, making it easy to keep your garage floor clear and safe from tripping. It even has more durable construction for outdoor use.

The Switch

EV Power

When talking to Thuy about his switch over to an EV daily driver, he says “I’m a motorhead and didn’t think I would be so accepting of EV’s, but it is just so convenient.” With the Southern California Edison Electric Vehicle Rate plan (Residential Time-of-Use Plan) designed for EV drivers, Thuy only sees a bump of about $20/month in his electric bill from overnight charging. This plus the tax rebates almost offset the cost to lease the vehicle, and combined with the gas savings on a daily driver make the switch very attractive to many in similar situations.

Looking to the future of the EV industry, Thuy sees charge times being reduced with the ranges extending. We can also expect more auto manufacturers adding multiple lines of electric cars to compete under the tightening federal mandates for emissions and MPG. Before long, the majority of the population may own an EV of some form or another and want to maximize the efficiency further with solutions like these.

Have you considered switching over to EV technology? Let us know.



Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Jacob says:

    I think the Arcimoto SRK EV solves some of these concerns simply by being physically smaller and more efficient. Why do we need to drive three ton vehicles down the road and then complain we can’t get to a charging station?

  • john says:

    Hard for apartment rentals to change, buying is bad idea vs leasing, Tesla cars heats up on race tracks , faster the speed shorter battery life, 60% of electricity are generated by fossil fuels.

  • Steve Rider says:

    Has the author ever driven an EV? By nature electric motors have massive torque at zero RPM, allowing an EV to accelerate much more rapidly than most fuel burning cars. My Chevrolet Spark EV develops 400 ft/lbs torque and does 0-60 in 7.9 seconds. It is an extremely fast car. After rebates it cost less than $20.000.

  • Christopher Barrett says:

    Range Anxiety? Get a used Volt. Mine is great. I got a 2012 for 14k. 52000 miles.

    I have out 15k miles on it and average 67MPG (with 60% GAS and 40% EV) and my first oil change hasn’t happened yet!

  • Mac says:

    While I can appreciate E.V.s, if one were to live in a smaller town the infrastructure is not not there yet to fully benefit from an E.V. The other issue is charge time, while 3-4 hours is a huge leep from 12-16, is still a far from 2-5 minutes filling a comparable sized car in gasoline.

    On a side note, I do love to here the roar of an unrestricted engine as it redlines and then the bark of tires as a gear is dropped. But that is just a personal preference.

  • GC says:

    I have a Zero SR electric motorcycle. Mainly because it *hauls* *butt* and has no clutch.

    106ft-lbs of torque. More than a Suzuki Hayabusa.

  • xrayangiodoc says:

    Bought my Tesla Model S 18 months ago and haven’t looked back!

  • tompinky says:

    I bought a 2 year old Nissan Leaf, 22.5k miles, premium package for $10.8k. Taking kids to and from school, beatds the heck out of 16mpg in the minivan (all stop and go traffic, city streets). 187 lb/ft of torque it will spin the tires just fine when not in “Eco” mode. I do have solar panels here, and rarely have to use my 240 volt 30 amp charger, the 120 volt stock one keeps me full, just plug it in when I get home each time. I don’t plan to take it on trips, we just use it for our daily errands around town instead of firing up one of our V6 cars. Not waiting in line at Costco for gas is a wonderful thing! I figure in 5 to 8 years I’ll just replace the battery pack with the updated longer range one and have a practically new car. Also the lack of needed maintenance is great, no oil changes every 5k miles, and driven properly they don’t wear out brakes by using the regenerative braking.

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