There’s more to owning an electric vehicle than simply plugging it in at home. Electric vehicles require special maintenance, and they come with a few downsides that gas-powered cars don’t have. They don’t have gas tanks we can check to see if we need to fill them up soon; instead, they haveometers that tell us when the battery is getting low. And because electric motors are much more efficient than gasoline engines, their batteries discharge energy faster. That means you can’t just drive for 30 miles and then pull into a gas station for 10 minutes to get 20 more. Instead, you have to plan your trip accordingly, keeping it under 65 kilowatts of range to avoid running out of power before you get home again. Fortunately, there are some things you can do beforehand to make owning an EV a little easier:
Educate Yourself Before You Buy
If you’re in the market for a new car, do your research before you buy. There are plenty of models available that can run on electricity—plus, a growing number of models can run on both electricity and gasoline. You want to make sure you know what kind of maintenance that car requires, how long it takes to charge, and how far it goes on a single charge. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the resale value of your car. EVs haven’t been around long enough for car dealerships or private owners to really determine how much they’re worth. That could mean a significant loss in value as soon as you drive it off the lot. So, if budget is a concern, you might want to consider a hybrid or a used electric car.
Make Sure Your Home is Equipped for Electric Vehicle
Your car may be ready to go, but you need to make sure your home is ready to charge it. Make sure you have an electrical panel that can support the increased load from an electric car. You may need to have an electrician come out and make some upgrades. Make sure you have enough outlets to support the number of cars you plan to charge at one time. If you don’t have enough outlets, you can always add another one, or you can use a power strip to plug several items into one outlet. If your car requires a special charging station, make sure you have a place to put it. Check with your homeowner’s insurance provider to make sure they cover charging stations and the connected wiring.
Have the Car Serviced Before You Bring It Home
If you buy your car used, make sure you have the car serviced before you bring it home. You don’t want to discover a problem with the car after you’ve had it for a while, so have it checked out by a professional. The person who sold you the car should be able to recommend a reputable mechanic. Ask him to check the battery, the charging system, and all the electrical equipment. Make sure there are no dents in the body that could affect the operation of the doors or windows.
Don’t Forget to Turn the Climate Control Off When You’re Not Using It
You might think that you can just switch off the air conditioner when you go inside, but that will drain the battery quickly. Make sure you set the climate control to “off” when you’re not using it. When it gets hot outside, you’ll want the AC on, but turn it off when you come inside. If you forget to switch it off, the car will automatically turn it off when the battery gets too low, and it will start charging again when it gets low again. That could send your car into an error mode, which could require a trip to the mechanic, so be sure you turn the AC off when you’re not using it.
Don’t Fully Charge Your Battery or Run it All the Way Down
You need to be careful about how much you charge and discharge your battery. Fully charging the battery will help it retain its charge, but it could have a negative effect on the life of the battery. Running the battery all the way down every time could damage it even more. There are some electric car owners who recommend keeping the battery between 50% and 75% charged, but that’s not an official recommendation. But, it is the best way to avoid damaging the battery.
Check Out EV-Friendly Maintenance Facilities Before You Need One
If you’re planning on keeping your car for a while, find an EV-friendly mechanic before you need one. You don’t want to be looking for one in a hurry when you have a problem with the car. You can find a list of maintenance facilities on the website of the manufacturer of your electric car. If you don’t know where to start, ask your friends and family members if they know of a mechanic who specializes in electric cars. You can also check online for electric car dealers or repair shops in your area. Wait, are these maintenance facilities different from gas stations? What do you do with an electric vehicle that needs to get serviced?
Wait, are these maintenance facilities different from gas stations? What do you do with an electric vehicle that needs to get serviced?
First, let’s get one thing out of the way: Yes, electric vehicles require maintenance, just like gas-powered vehicles do. And no, you don’t have to take them to a gas station to get that maintenance done. You can take them to any mechanic shop, as long as they know how to service electric cars. That’s because electric cars have a few differences from gas-powered cars that regular mechanics are used to dealing with. For starters, there’s no engine to work on. That’s because electric motors are much simpler than the typical internal combustion engine. There are fewer moving parts, so there’s less to go wrong. But, electric motors are also very efficient. That means they’re less powerful than gas-powered vehicles. That’s why electric cars can’t go as fast or travel as far on a single charge as gas-powered vehicles can.
Owning an electric vehicle is different from owning a gas-powered car. You’ll need to take a few extra steps to make sure your car stays healthy, and you’ll need to find a mechanic who knows how to work on electric cars. Fortunately, there are plenty of mechanics who understand how these cars work and can help you get the maintenance your car needs.