Electric vehicles are becoming more popular by the day. And as technology continues to improve—and the need for cleaner energy continues to grow—these cars are becoming more sought after.
According to recent data, nearly 1.8 million EVs are registered in the U.S.; that’s more than three times as many as in 2016, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). And nationwide, the number of publicly available charging stations has more than tripled since 2015, when there were fewer than 32,000 throughout the country.
How Much Does an Electric Vehicle Cost?
It’s no secret: electric vehicles are still more expensive than comparable gasoline-powered models. You'll see massive differences in price, ranging from $28,000 for mainstream EV models to well over $100,000 for electric SUVs and trucks.
Many electric vehicles are available with generous federal, state, local and utility incentives that can dramatically lower the price you pay. The biggest one is the Federal Electric Car Tax Credit of up to $7,500. It's not available to all shoppers or on all vehicles, but most qualify.
How Far Can You Travel in an Electric Vehicle?
The distance you’re able to travel on a single charge varies significantly depending on the car. But generally speaking, expect to pay more for more range. For example, the 2022 Mazda MX-30 taps out at about 100 miles. Conversely, the 2022 Tesla Model S can reach distances of over 400 miles on a single charge.
Different Types of Electric Vehicles
There are a lot of acronyms surrounding EV conversations—here’s a breakdown of a few you should know:
A standard electric vehicle (EV), also known as a battery-powered electric vehicle (BEV), doesn’t run on gasoline or use an internal combustion engine. Instead, these electric cars run solely on battery power. Drivers can charge them at home using Level 1 and Level 2 EV chargers, and at commercial charging stations with Level 3 chargers.
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) run on both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. However, unlike standard EVs, hybrid drivers charge their batteries with regenerative braking (i.e., stored kinetic energy). They are not plugged into a power outlet and charged.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) go a step further than the standard hybrid vehicle. They drive with an internal combustion engine and an electric motor powered by a larger battery pack. This allows the battery to store enough power to feed the electric motor and decrease overall gas usage. These hybrids can travel much further on electric power alone than a standard hybrid, and it restores its electric battery by plugging it into a power source like a traditional EV.
Is Now a Good Time to Buy?
Anyone looking to make the switch from fossil fuel to battery power may be in for a bit of a wait. A range of supply chain issues has strained supply for all new vehicles, but especially electric in response to rising gas prices.
Assess your transportation needs and budget carefully to find out if an electric vehicle is the right choice for you and your family.