3 Important Things To Know When Shopping for Electric Cars
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You might be in the market for a new electric or hybrid car. Electric vehicles (EVs) can be more eco-friendly and, as an added bonus, you might be able to get car insurance discounts for green vehicles.
Edmunds provides nine detailed steps to electric car shopping but here are the three most important areas to consider. When you’re researching your vehicle be sure to keep these things in mind.
How many miles can the electric car go?
As mentioned by Edmunds, before making the jump to electric, you need to understand that electric car ranges are used to advertise the cars. They might not be entirely accurate and can easily be skewed by extreme temperatures.
Be wary of manufacturers’ claims or estimates and try to compare tests or ranges from other trustworthy sources. In general, you can expect partially electric cars to go 15 to 30 miles on an electric charge before the car converts to hybrid mode. In hybrid mode, the electric drive simply assists the gas engine.
Pure electric cars, like ones offered by Tesla, have improved their range over the years. Most EVs can go 150 to 250 miles, while the Tesla Model 3 can easily pass 300.
What is a kilowatt-hour?
MORE: How to Buy a Hybrid Car
The kilowatt-hour (kWh) is how the battery capacity for your electric car is measured. The more capacity a battery has, the farther your car will go.
You’ll need to know this measurement so you can compare ranges. For gas cars, you’d measure fuel economy in miles per gallon (mpg). For EVs, how much energy your car consumes is measured in kWh per 100 miles.
Keep in mind that lower kWh is better for electric cars since low mpg is bad for gas cars. This unit of measurement will also be helpful when you need to calculate how much it’ll cost to fill up your battery at home.
The basics of electric car chargers
There are different levels of plug-in car chargers that will give you more power over shorter periods of time. Some hybrid cars with small batteries can be charged overnight with a common wall socket, according to Edmunds.
On the other end of the spectrum, a Level 4 charger can give you an 80% charge in about 30 minutes. These are the chargers you usually see installed at dealerships or retail locations for your convenience.
Carmakers and electricians might have deals on charging equipment so be sure to check this out before choosing your electric car. On top of shopping around for these deals, look out for car incentives like tax credits on electric vehicles.
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