Buyer’s Guide for Your First Electric Vehicle
Electric vehicles (EVs) are truly the future of automotive transportation. When EVs first appeared on the market they were viewed as a novelty, a fanciful car of the future reserved for the ultra-wealthy. Well, the future is now, and EVs are more mainstream than ever and gaining in popularity every year with car buyers from every background. With many car manufacturers, including Volkswagen, applying their engineering force toward building their line of EVs, consumers will soon be seeing more of these vehicles on the market than ever before. So, why are traditional combustion engines still dominating the market?
The answer largely lies in consumers’ tendency to stick with what they know best. As with any form of modern technology, consumers hesitate to deviate from what they are most comfortable with, just as many people were slow to switch to cell phones over landlines or streaming TV services over cable. Here at Capistrano Volkswagen in San Juan Capistrano, California, we believe that knowledge is power, and we’re here to help give you vital information about EV ownership to help you feel more comfortable as the world slowly transitions to one with fewer exhaust fumes and engine noise.
What Is an EV?
There are several different types of EVs on the market, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and fully electric vehicles. Hybrids were the first to gain in popularity, largely due to their similarity to traditional combustion engines, in that they don’t need to be plugged in to charge. Instead, the battery works in conjunction with the gas-powered engine and is recharged by regenerative brakes, eliminating the need to plug it into an outlet. Plug-in hybrids have a similar concept to the hybrid, but they differ in that their battery is larger and needs to be plugged into an outlet to charge.
Fully electric vehicles are increasing in popularity every year because they eliminate the need for gasoline. Fully electric vehicles rely solely on a battery-powered motor and eliminate a gas-powered engine. Drivers need to stop at charging stations to maintain power to their vehicles.
What Types of Vehicles Are EVs?
A car lot exclusively displaying EVs would appear to be just as diverse as a car lot showcasing traditionally powered vehicles. Electric vehicles come in all forms, from small sedans and hatchbacks to larger SUVs and trucks. As the engineering of EVs progressed, the electric-powered engines were built to be just as powerful, and in some cases more so, than their traditional counterparts, allowing the market to expand to include vehicles of all shapes and sizes.
Here at Capistrano Volkswagen, we are pleased to offer the ID.4, Volkswagen’s fully electric SUV, with an estimated driving range of 275 miles per charge. We’re also excited to bring you the ID.Buzz, a fully electric minivan, and the ID.7, a fully electric sedan, in the near future. Volkswagen anticipates bringing these much-anticipated models to the US in 2024.
How Do I Charge an EV?
One of the most common issues surrounding an EV is the charging conundrum — how do you charge your vehicle, and what happens if you go someplace without a charger? The most common method of charging a plug-in EV is with a home charger. Since the batteries found in EVs are very efficient, drivers can go days without needing to recharge their vehicles. For some drivers, simply using the 120-volt outlets already installed in your house will do the trick. However, charging an EV using this type of charger is time-consuming, sometimes even taking several days.
If you use your EV regularly and need to be able to charge it quickly, it makes more sense to install a 240-volt, or Level 2, charging station in your home. The cost to install this type of charging station ranges from around $500 up to several thousand, depending on the type of charger you choose and the current state of your home wiring. Installing a 240-volt charging station will allow you to charge your car in a matter of hours, making it easy to have it ready for daily excursions.
For drivers interested in taking a road trip, the thought of having to find charging stations might seem daunting. However, to accommodate the growing number of EVs on the road, public charging stations are quickly popping up all over the country. In the United States, there are currently over 50,000 Level 2 or DC Fast charging stations. DC Fast charging stations can charge an EV in minutes, making them the best option to help get you back on the road quickly. No matter where you’re going, you’re bound to find a charging station nearby.
What Are the Advantages of Owning an EV?
Many drivers in the Capistrano area will find that the advantages of owning an EV far outweigh the disadvantages. For starters, owning an EV will likely cost you less money over time. Not only is the cost of charging your vehicle less than the cost of fuel, but there are far fewer maintenance costs with fully electric vehicles. Their lack of a combustion engine means fewer moving parts and eliminates the need for fluid changes or tune-ups. No gasoline also means you’ll no longer be emitting noxious exhaust fumes and polluting the environment on your daily commute.
If you’ve never driven an EV before, you might be surprised when you take a seat behind the wheel. Electric motors produce peak torque from a standstill, meaning you’ll experience faster acceleration without having to wait for the build-up that you’re used to from a gas engine.
What Are the Disadvantages of Owning an EV?
While owning an EV has many advantages, as with any vehicle, there are still some things to consider. First, the initial purchase price will likely be slightly higher than a gas-powered vehicle. Planning where and when to charge your vehicle will also be a continuous part of ownership. Charging takes longer than stopping for a quick tank of gas, and people who live in multi-dwelling units or who rent might find it difficult to find a designated charging location available when they need it.
Ready To Take a Closer Look at EVs?
Now that you’re more informed about what it takes to own an EV, you might decide that it’s the right choice for you. Our team here at Capistrano Volkswagen will be happy to answer any additional questions you might have about EV ownership. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to learn more.