Monday, 3 March 2014

What questions do EV buyers ask dealers?

Questions EV buyers ask in the USA, according to
When buying a new car, including a PEV, it makes sense to ask a lot of questions before signing on the dotted line. We checked in with Stefan Kube, a Volt expert at Criswell Chevrolet, to see what types of questions he receives from potential EV drivers who visit his Gaithersburg, MD car dealership, and we provide some answers that you can use to help explain electric vehicles to the EV-curious.

What’s the range?

This is the most common question Stefan receives. He says many potential buyers are curious about how far you can go in an EV. Since many people’s daily commute (around 40 miles) is less than the 70-100 mile range of many PEVs on the market, on a typical day range anxiety shouldn’t be a problem. Drivers who desire long range might consider extended range electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt which uses electricity from a battery for the first 40 or so miles and then the onboard gas-powered generator provide electricity so you can drive further, or a car like the Tesla Model S, with larger battery packs.

How hard is it to charge?

There are still some question about how do you charge the car. Of course with access to home charging, fueling an EV is as simple as charging up your cell phone – you just plug it into any 120V outlet when you get home at night (which may also bring the benefit of lower priced electricity). While there may be some additional cost from installing a home wall charger, these units allow much faster charging. Public and work-place charging continues to expand, providing additional options for future EV-ers.

How much can I save in term of fuel costs by using electricity?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, on average, it costs about 3 timesless to drive an electric vehicle than a gasoline powered car. Fuel cost savings may be the most powerful argument for electric vehicles for many car shoppers. A recent study by J.D. Power found fuel economy was the top consideration for purchasing a non-premium model and the third most important reason for purchasing a premium model.

How do I learn about electricity costs?

Electric utilities have information about their rates on their web sites. Many companies have special rates and programs for electric vehicles – check out the TEG utility map which links to company web sites for quick access to utility information.

For PHEV/EREVs like the Chevy Volt, how often do I need to fill up with gas?

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and extended range electric vehicles do use some gasoline, but many typical PHEV drivers will not visit the gas station very often. Stefan notes these hybrid vehicles get a huge “jumpstart” from their electric motors, vastly increasing gas mileage. Stefan, who owns a Volt, has only gone to the gas station a handful of times in the past year, and Chevrolet reports that Volt drivers average 900 miles between fill-ups.

What tax credit is available?

Many customers ask about incentives. The federal tax credit for EVs is $7,500 and a number of states have additional incentives available. All of which make an EV an even better deal!