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Electric Vehicles: Pros and Cons

EV Owners Say “Going Green Isn’t as Scary as You Might Think”

Whether your motivation is a cheaper daily commute or concern for the environment, an electric vehicle is a compelling solution. Spending about 4 cents a mile for electricity is money in the bank compared to 84 cents per mile for gas. Plus, electric vehicles don’t need oil changes and other maintenance items, saving an additional $330 a year.

These energy-efficient vehicles help reduce dependency on oil and produce fewer emissions that contribute to climate change. Automakers have expanded their line-ups in recent years, including sedans, SUVs and – coming soon – pickups with towing capacity that rival their gas-powered counterparts.

These benefits help explain why 40 million Americans are open to purchasing an electric vehicle. Yet electric vehicle adoption in the U.S. remains low, hindered by consumer perceptions of the electric experience. We asked electric vehicle owners to weigh in on the pros and cons of electric vehicle adoption.

How do I find a charging station?

The biggest perceived drawback of electric vehicles is the fear of being stranded. AAA’s research found that availability of charging stations is a concern for 58% of consumers, and more than half of Americans worry they’ll run out of charge while driving. It’s understandable, given that we are used to seeing a gas station on nearly every corner.

Once they purchased an electric vehicle, 77% of owners realized there is no cause for “range anxiety” or concern about running out of charge. Electric vehicle owners drive on average 39 miles a day, and do three-quarters of their charging at home. In fact, 43% of electric vehicle owners said they drive more now than when they owned a gas-powered vehicle.

(BTW: You can find charging stations using AAA’s online TripTik Travel Planner and the AAA Mobile app.)

Can you take a road trip in an electric vehicle?

For an electric vehicle novice, it may be hard to grasp the concept of using this type of vehicle as your only source of transportation, especially for long-distance driving. Many electric vehicle owners straddle the electric/gas question by keeping a gas-powered vehicle in the garage. The reality is that 87% of dual-car owners report spending most of their time driving their electric vehicle, likely leaving their gasoline vehicle for longer road trips.

Auto manufacturers are constantly improving battery technology. Models launched in 2020 exceed 250 miles on a full charge, with some vehicles topping out at 400 miles of driving range. That’s more than enough charge for a daily commute, and will easily get you to the next rest break on that long haul. If you do plan to do a long-distance road trip in your electric vehicle, some careful planning can make it fun and practical.

Is it worth buying an electric vehicle?

Just about every owner had concerns before buying an electric vehicle, be it charging issues, lack of choices or performance and handling. A little time behind the wheel and 96% of those skeptics are now loyal electric vehicle enthusiasts.

Since real-world experience dramatically changes electric vehicle perceptions, buyers who are unsure about a purchase can become familiar with these vehicles by:

  • Checking out the annual AAA Car Guide reviews of high-tech and eco-friendly vehicles to help fill in the gaps and correct misperceptions.
  • Talking with electric vehicle owners to understand the pros and cons of their experience.
  • Visiting a dealership to learn about available vehicles and taking a test drive.
  • Researching at-home charging options.
  • Renting an electric vehicle for an experience closer to actual daily life. Granted, you won’t enjoy the convenience of at-home charging, but you will learn more about performance and handling, range capabilities and local charging stations.

Misconceptions about electric vehicles may be holding buyers back. But, the more real-world experience consumers can have with electric vehicles, the more likely they are to see going green as a viable option.

AAA Washington Insurance Agency is here to help. If you are looking to review your car insurance or simply have questions, call (877) 222-4678 for a free, no-obligation consultation. You also can find an agent near you, or request a quote online.

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