The top 5 reasons people think they don’t want an electric car

July 8, 2021 | 4 min read

If you’re thinking about getting a plug-in electric vehicle (EV), you might have a few questions. Buying or leasing a car is always a big choice. If it’s your first time with an EV, that choice comes with some unknowns. This guide addresses some of the common misconceptions about driving an EV. Understanding the truth about driving an EV in Vermont will help you make an informed choice when you next look for a car.

Worried about winter? EVs are all-season cars

Vermont’s cold and icy winters are a consideration for all car owners. If you’re considering an EV for the first time, it’s likely that you’ve wondered if it can handle the winter. It’s a valid concern. Cold weather makes all vehicles less efficient. Your current gas car might lose about 15% of its fuel economy at 20 degrees.

For your EV, the battery that powers the car is also less efficient in cold weather. Running the heat to stay warm in the car drains the battery. Altogether, your vehicle might lose up to half its official range when temperatures drop below 0 degrees. But even at half range, most EVs can still handle commutes, errands, taking kids to school, and other common trips over the course of a day.

You can always choose to follow the path of the bear and hibernate all winter. But that’s true with or without an EV. For more tips on buying an EV that will keep you moving all winter, check out this blog post from our partners at Drive Electric Vermont.

Cost conscious? You don't need to pay luxury car prices on a new EV

More and more car manufacturers are offering all-electric or plug-in hybrid options. As the cost of EV batteries declines and more cars are made, there are more options available at lower costs. There are also incentives available from your local utility and the State of Vermont that can reduce upfront purchase or lease costs by up to $14,000 in for qualifying customers.

It’s also important to look at the total cost of owning an EV. Over its lifetime, you’ll save money on maintenance and fuel. Over five years, you could save over $6,200 on your car by not paying for gas and routine maintenance.

But saving money over the long-haul doesn’t avoid the upfront cost. Here are some options for getting an EV without breaking the bank:

  • Try leasing: it’s a popular choice for many EV drivers who want to test an EV without that upfront cost.
  • Go used: While availability of used EVs in Vermont is still lower than for gas cars, the number of cars available is growing.
Time sensitive? Charging doesn't have to mean a long wait

One of the great benefits of owning an EV is that your home becomes your gas station. Get home at the end of the day, plug in your car, and it’ll be ready for you again the next time you go out. Most vehicle charging happens at homes or apartments. And most people who charge at home just plug into a standard home outlet. Some workplaces are also offering free charging.

But if you’re out on an errand or a road trip and low on miles, you might need to find a public charging station. Vermont has the most EV charging per capita of any state with 300 public charging stations. Consult this handy map with tips on how to charge using a public charger to get started.

When you do need to charge downtown, it’s a great time to support local businesses, have a meal, or engage in the great Vermont tradition of people watching.

Worried about not having enough range? EVs make great second cars

If you commonly drive more than 150 miles in a trip, consider an EV for a second car. Many two-car families might be able to dedicate one car to road trips and long hauls. The EV is great for regular commutes, errands, and shorter trips. Think about what your family needs out of a car and whether an EV could replace an existing car.  

Alternately, the car’s range could be a great excuse when you just don’t want to go to your college friend’s bagpipe convention in Massachusetts.

Is an EV right for you?

There are a lot of other benefits of driving an EV. They are great fun to drive and make almost no noise (watch out for your teenager trying to use it to sneak out of the house!). They have no tailpipe emissions, which is healthier for your whole family. And the reduced maintenance means less time spent dealing with car appointments. Consider whether an EV could be the right next car for you.