Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top 6 Reasons to Buy an Electric Car

Last week, I bought a fully electric car, a 2013 Nissan Leaf. I had been researching it for over a year, and I knew this would work for me. Now with the gas crisis in full swing, I can't believe my good timing! So for Top 10 Tuesday, here are 5 reasons to buy an electric car!

6. You probably don't need to go more than 70 miles in one trip. Look, I know that range is the top concern for many people. And I understand that a lot of us go on road trips. But if your commute is less than 70 miles round trip, track your driving for a month and see if you really need a bigger range. The 2016 Leafs charge between 87 and 107 miles, depending on the model, so 70 is conservative. As far as road trips, well, my husband has a gas car. We also occasionally rent a minivan for long trips, as it's more comfortable for our family. If you track your mileage and look at the data, you'll probably be very surprised.

5. Privileged parking. This is a regional advantage, but if you live in a city, chances are that there's some nice up front parking for electric only cars. The reason is charging stations. North Hills Shopping Center here in Raleigh has crazy parking issues, but if I drive my car there I can park in a great spot, thanks to my car.

4. Less Maintenance. Electric cars don't have oil changes. And emissions testings are a breeze, since there are zero emissions. Yes, I do have to maintain my car: wheels, wiper blades, lights. But it's a lot cheaper and easier.

3. Go used for a great price. A brand new Leaf can set you back upwards of 30 grand. That's a lot of money! And there is some debate about whether the savings on gasoline and oil changes really makes up the price differential. However, I got my 2013 Leaf, with less than 20K miles on it, for just over $11,000. That seems pretty reasonable for me. Most used electric cars will have lower miles because they aren't driven on long road trips, so that's less wear and tear. You'll want to make sure you see how much capacity the battery has when fully charged, because that's what you're buying: the battery life. It took Carmax a couple of tries to get the Leaf fully charged for me, but when they did I was pleased with the range.

2. Peace of mind. This may seem counter intuitive, but I find that I am much more relaxed about my car's range now that it's electric. Before, when I got low on gas, I had to think about where I was, how much time I had, and how far I could go before running out! For example, if I needed gas, but was on my way to pick up my daughter, I had to consider whether I had enough gas to get to her, or if it would be better to be late picking her up because I had a full tank of gas. But now I know: as soon as I get home, my battery will be recharged. I don't worry about whether the gas station will be gross, or whether it's cold and rainy outside, or whether there will be a line at the pump, or whether I have enough cash in my account. It's all pre-determined, and that leads to peace of mind.

1. Zero emissions. My car doesn't give off any exhaust. Now, in reality, I have slightly increased my carbon footprint because I am charging my car at home, which increases my power consumption. But there are economies of scale to power production. And there's less exhaust in my garage, and in the places I go. It's nice to know that my car isn't polluting the air around me all the time.

I hope this is helpful!

1 comment:

  1. Of all your reasons to buy an electric car, I think number 1 is the one that resonates with me. I want to leave the next generation a planet they can enjoy, and driving an electric car is my tiny way of helping the cause in a world that seems to be getting too big too fast without thinking in the future.