Making the decision to ditch gasoline-fueled vehicles is a great first step, but how do you actually go about finding an electric vehicle (EV) that will work for your lifestyle? From different manufacturers and models to battery and hybrid options, these tips can help you make the complicated decision.
Choose the electrification level
First, consider your daily driving range and where you'll charge your vehicle. Does your workplace offer charging? Can you install a charging station at home? Answering these questions can help you choose between the three main options: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric.
A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) uses both an electric motor and internal combustion engine (ICE). The two sources can operate independently or work together to power the vehicle. In this model, the battery pack is charged only by the ICE, boosting fuel economy but shortening driving range.
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is similar, but includes a larger battery pack — about 10 times larger than an HEV's — and a plug that allows the battery to be charged by external sources. This addition increases range and makes it a more appealing option for an everyday ride.
A battery electric vehicle (BEV) runs exclusively on battery power. This battery can be at least five times larger than a PHEV's and can only be charged by plugging the vehicle into an outlet or charging station.
Narrow down model options
Whether you're someone who prefers to drive compact cars or who relies on the versatility of an SUV, there is an EV out there for you. Even minivans and pickup trucks are now available. As you shop around for an EV, you'll need to determine how many seats and the amount of space you'll need to move on to choosing the right brand.
Tesla is the first EV brand that comes to mind for many, but the number of automakers that offer battery-powered or hybrid vehicles has increased drastically. Traditional auto companies like Ford, GM, Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia and more have entered the EV space. Even luxury brands like BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and more offer EVs. That means you can either stick with your preferred manufacturer or consider new, exciting options when you switch.
Your maximum budget will also be a factor here, but luckily, you don't have to pay for it all alone. Some electric utilities and states offer incentives and discounts when you spring for an EV, and federal tax credits may also apply to your vehicle purchase.
Head to the dealership — or website
These days, there are many ways to purchase a car.
- Head to the traditional dealership to test drive an EV and potentially take one home that day.
- Visit a manufacturer showroom to view your options in person.
- Head to a manufacturer's or online dealer's website to purchase an EV for pickup or even home delivery.
If you decide to go the online route, check your state's vehicle sales regulations to ensure manufacturers can sell directly to state residents.
By analyzing your daily habits and doing thorough research, you can select and buy the right EV for you. Then, you can enjoy a comfortable and quiet driving experience while paving the way to a cleaner and brighter future.
Contact Beltrami Electric Cooperative for information about available rebates for the installation of a level 2 charging station in your garage.