Prospective electric vehicle owners may assume that once they cut their ties to gasoline, they are free from the costs and guilt associated with it. But that is not entirely the case, according to experts.
A big issue with owning an electric vehicle is charging. As models have advanced, the miles of range — or how far you can drive before you recharge it — has extended. Now, consumers can expect new models to last for 200 miles or more, according to Eric Ibara, director of residual values at Kelley Blue Book.
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But depending on the model you drive, your transportability could be limited.
“A nightmare scenario is you’re stuck in traffic on the freeway and your battery dies and you need to call a tow truck,” Ibara said.
Tesla is addressing that issue by putting charging stations across the country. But those stations are only compatible with their cars.
Companies such as Electrify America and ChargePoint are also establishing charging stations that work with other car brands. But using these services will cost you, experts warn.
“It’s gotten very expensive to publicly charge an electric vehicle,” said Sam Jaffe, managing director at Cairn ERA. “Tesla used to give it away for free; they don’t with the Model 3. And with other networks, you’re paying a lot.”
Fully charging your battery — depending on your model — could take anywhere from 40 minutes to eight hours.
Meanwhile, many people are turning to electric vehicles as a more environmentally friendly option. But in some respects, electric cars can be just as bad for the environment as traditional cars, experts say.
“There’s no question that electric vehicles are not environmentally neutral,” said Jack Gillis, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America and author of “The Car Book.”
While less emissions are produced by the cars themselves while driving on the streets, carbon dioxide is still being emitted by power plants to charge the electric cars, Gillis said.