General Question

janbb's avatar

Should my next car be electric?

Asked by janbb (58214points) 1 month ago

I’m expecting to buy a car in the next couple of years. I have in mind what I will get and it comes in a gas or an electric version. The electric is a lot more money.

Basically, I usually drive locally but I may take a long road trip once or twice a year. My concerns are the availability and the charging times of recharging and the costs of the electricity at home. And on the other side, are fossil fuels going to become harder to find in the next 10 years or so.

I realize that going electric is better for the environment. I don’t need convincing on that score. I’m just not sure yet about the practicality.

Putting this in General. Off-topic will be flagged.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

92 Answers

jca2's avatar

If you do a road trip a few times a year, you could always rent a car. That’s what I do (I have a regular gas car), to save wear and tear on my car. Plus if the rental breaks down, the fix is very simple as the company will just come out and replace, although rentals are usually brand new cars.

I’m in a FB group where people are bitching about the price of gas (among other local issues) and someone with an electric car said when she first got it, the change in her home electric bill was minimal. It’s more a concern for someone with a long commute or someone who lives in a condo or building where the owners may not want them to put in a charging station.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Maybe a hybrid is more suitable to your needs.

JLeslie's avatar

Hybrid or gas in my opinion. It’s easier for a couple to have one car electric and one gas, but when it’s your only car I would be concerned about long distance trips or power outages all sorts of things going wrong. I asked a Q several months ago about long trips in electric cars and some jellies felt it wasn’t as difficult as I thought, but I’m not convinced.

You can always rent a car for long trips as @jca2 mentioned.

One thing I really like about electric is not having to touch a gas pump after this whole covid situation.

In other words, I’m not really sure.

smudges's avatar

I have a 2015 Camry hybrid and really like it. I’ve never actually figured out the gas mileage, but I only use it for driving around town (one side to the other ~15 minutes) and an occasional long trip (~600 miles). I fill the gas tank about once a month or less.

KRD's avatar

Get a gas.

KRD's avatar

Electric cars are not good in the cold weather; you can use them for driving around town.

crazyguy's avatar

I think, and I may be biased because my wife and I each have an electric car, that gas cars are like dinosaurs, dying out slowly but surely (I have no idea if the dinosaurs died out suddenly or gradually, but my point is, they are GONE). Gas cars will be around for many years to come, as we build out the needed infrastructure for all-electric cars. Remember the horse-and-buggy lasted for many years after the first Ford. BUT they shall be history in our lifetimes.

Therefore, my advice is get an electric car. There is an interesting new one called Aptera. However, I would stick with the tried-and-true Tesla if you can afford it.

canidmajor's avatar

Before I bought my current car, in 2015, I researched the source of electric power in my state. I mostly drive locally, so I took that into consideration.
At the time, most of my state’s electric was powered by petroleum sources (very little was hydro power or other sustainable sources) so I would essentially be using gas either way. I opted for a gas model car, taking cost and ease of fuel availability into consideration.

Maybe look into how the electric is generated in your area to help with the determination.

Caravanfan's avatar

My next car will definitely be electric.

zenvelo's avatar

I just bought a hybrid, because I go on a half dozen or more long road trips each year.

The car I traded in I usually filled up once a week, 16 or 17 gallons. I filled my new car yesterday for the first time in two weeks, just over 8 gallons. No change in driving behavior.

I read an article last week that we are about three years from some very revolutionary changes to EVs. New battery technology is about three years away that will drive the price down significantly. If you can wait a couple years, the market may be drasticlly more affordable.

janbb's avatar

So – a follow up question. Are they still going to make hybrids? It seems like all I read about are all electric now.

crazyguy's avatar

@janbb I think they will continue to make hybrids, and regular gas cars for many years to come.

As far as @zenvelo‘s comment about the relative economics, keep in mind that there is more to cost than the upfront purchase price. If you can afford the slightly higher cash down, I think you will find that your monthly expenses, including fuel and maintenance, are about the same. This is because electric cars catch a break from your utility if you charge your car during super off-peak hours (generally 10 pm to 6 am), reducing your fuel costs to a third or less of a gasoline car, and you have lower maintenance costs.

janbb's avatar

@crazyguy Yes, I realize that. Thanks.

kritiper's avatar

The technology is still too new. I’d wait another 10 years AT LEAST.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I live in an apartment so I can’t charge an electric at home. Otherwise I would get one. Maybe hybrids will survive for people in that situation.

I would love to get an electric. I am small-car shopping and Nissan Leafs (Leaves?) are one of the most common cheap hatchbacks. As mentioned above, for longer trips I can rent. I’ve done that often to save wear and tear on my own vehicle.

A Prius is probably my best green option. Practically and logically they are great cars, but they sure are lacking in pizazz.

YARNLADY's avatar

We just bought our second hybrid, after turning in our leased one. We sold my gas guzzler to our son, so it is still available for long trips, if we take any.

Zaku's avatar

I got to experience an electric car (Tesla) recently and I was extremely impressed (despite not wanting the self-driving part). It seemed quite capable of long-distance road trips, at least on the West Coast where there seem to be quite enough charging stations, even in rural areas. And there’s a built-in navigation system that knows where they are. Recharging times didn’t seem particularly long, and I wouldn’t mind taking breaks on a long trip. The car can phone you when it’s done charging.

I think I’d certainly prefer an electric myself. It’s more money at first, but then less money for fuel, and presumably less money for maintenance (electric motors not having the same sorts of issues with things that can fall apart that internal combustion engines have).

gorillapaws's avatar

I’m seeing a lot of misinformation about electric vehicles here (from people who I believe have never owned or driven one). It’s understandable because there is a lot of money invested in keeping the gas status quo.

I’ve been driving a Model 3 for just shy of 3 years. It has been an incredible experience for me. If someone offered to give me ANY car in the world (Ferrari, Bugatti, Rolls Royce, rare classic car etc.), with the stipulation that I would have to use it as my daily driver, had to pay for fuel/electricity/maintenance costs and couldn’t sell it, I would pick the Model 3, without a second thought. That said, there’s no one vehicle that’s right for everyone.

In my view there are 2 major requirements for EV ownership. The first is that either your home or work has the ability to reliably charge your vehicle every night. If you can’t plug in when you get home for the night and are relying on charging at charging stations around town, that would be too impractical and a royal pain in the ass for most people. The second stipulation is that you’re not REGULARLY driving 250+ miles per day (for reference, the average American drives about 26 miles in a day), or taking FREQUENT 500+ mile road trips (as in every other weekend or something). If you’re like most Americans you might do a handful of road trips per year, and that’s not really a big deal. My opinion is based on personal experience with Tesla’s Supercharger network. Other car manufacturers are further behind on this front, but will likely catch up in the years to come.

Let me address a few of the misconceptions and inaccuracies stated above. The first is cold weather. Cold weather does reduce the maximum range by about 35% less than the rated-range. For most people this is completely unnoticeable because you’re never driving anywhere close to the max capacity on a regular basis. However, gas cars can sometimes struggle to start in very cold conditions and they can often have traction issues in the snow. AWD electric cars are actually superior to equivalent gas cars because of how they can deliver the right amount of torque at any given time due to the computers controlling the wheels, they also don’t have to worry about being too cold to start.

@canidmajor “At the time, most of my state’s electric was powered by petroleum sources (very little was hydro power or other sustainable sources) so I would essentially be using gas either way.”

It’s true that electricity is often produced from fossil fuels, but there are several important considerations. One is that “even if your electricity was being produced from fossil fuel sources, EV’s still emit much less carbon overall than a gas car. This has to do with the fact that gas engines are ridiculously inefficient. The vast majority of the energy in a gallon of gasoline is wasted as heat energy, and only a small percent is actually converted into power for the vehicle. Batteries are much more efficient in this regard. Furthermore, electricity in the grid generated by fossil fuels are much more efficient than a car engine, so they also waste less of the energy. Lastly, it’s important to remember that the blend of energy from the grid is shifting green over time. An EV bought today could expect to be driven for 10–15+ years or more and (fingers crossed) it’s carbon footprint will shrink over time as that happens.

So let’s talk about the pros (again I’m basing this on the Model 3, but competitors are working on alternatives).
1. Safety. These things are completely unmatched in safety. There is no giant engine to get rammed into the driver on impact—instead there’s an extended crumple-zone. Furthermore the weight of the batteries keep the center of gravity very low and greatly reduces the risk of a rollover in an accident, and the rigidity of the battery packs give unparalleled side impact protection as well.

2. Convenience. I never have to leave for work early to stop by the gas pump, or conversely hit up a gas pump on the way home from a long day of work. Weekly trips to the gas station for hundreds of dollars a month and regular oil changes/maintenance is expensive and inconvenient. With the EV, you just unplug, jump in and go. You plug back in at night when you get home and don’t have to think about it. My $200+ per month gas bills have been replaced by about $30 extra per month on my electric bill.

3. Driving experience. The cars handle like a dream due to the low center of gravity, and the one-pedal driving feels really good. Being able to instantly accelerate and find an opening in traffic when I need to merge gives me confidence on the road and makes me feel safer. Driving gas cars feels like using a mouse that’s lagging behind where you point it—it’s not a 1–1 feeling like you get with EVs.

Lastly, I think hybrids are a bad idea for the vast majority of people who buy them. They have very small battery capacities, which is a major problem. These lithium ion batteries do not like to be charged to full and then drained down very low over and over. That fatigues the batteries and causes them to loose range over time, ultimately failing. I believe this is where much of the misinformation about the lifespan of EV batteries come from. Conversely, if you can charge to 80% and then take it down to 40% and then back up to 80% over and over, your batteries don’t really wear out very much over time and can last a decade or longer with minimal overall loss in range. Hybrids suffer from the problem that they are constantly putting their small batteries into overtime and can cause those cells to degenerate prematurely.

Another major downside for hybrids is that they lose all of the safety benefits of an EV. You have an engine that doesn’t allow the vehicle to crumple nearly as much as an EV with a specialized compartment, designed to absorb the impact. You also now have all of the mechanical problems that can occur on a normal gas-powered vehicle, plus the substantial expense of replacing a battery that’s being overworked constantly. These things are heavy, relatively speaking which means they are less agile and will perform worse in a crash. And for what gain? the freedom to save 15/minutes less when charging on a roadtrimp a handful of times per year. Plus the added maintenance costs. It suffers from the trying to do too many different things badly, instead of being efficient.

Not everyone can afford a Model 3. I understand that, but in a few years, hopefully the market will come down and there will be used Model 3’s on the market for an affordable price. Alternatively, Telsa is rumored to be releasing a prototype of their entry-level offerings sometime this year I believe. I would also give that much consideration.

LuckyGuy's avatar

My cars are parked outside. Sure, I have a garage but it is filled with other stuff that needs to be out of the weather.
We got 12inches of snow the other day. My Subaru Forester had been sitting in the driveway untouched since my son, DIL, and grandson went back to LA 3 weeks ago. (It seems like forever.) I brushed the snow off the driver’s door, reached in with the key, turned the ignition on and Vroom!, it started. I hit the seat warmer switch, front and rear window defrost, side mirror and wiper defrosters, put the heat on full and began pulling the snow off the roof and hood with my handy dandy snow squeegee. That took about a minute or so. I got in the car, put it in reverse and was able to drive through the snow the road plow lovingly deposited across my driveway. The car did not argue with me about the snow pile. It did not call home to the mother ship, It was not connected to wifi. It did not get stuck. It just started and ran, and likely will continue to run for another 80,000 miles – probably 20 years at the rate I’m going. I see no reason to upgrade to electric (or anything else for that matter). I don’t need to impress or look cool. I just need a car that will work.
No doubt anything on the road today will look like a fossil 10 years from now ala iPhone(n) when iPhone(n+1) comes out. That is also true of automotive electronics, batteries, metals, designs, paint, glass, features, functions, etc.
Unless your old car is giving you trouble why upgrade now? If you wait, everything will be better and there will be more choices.
Don’t rush into anything.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Almost forgot… I use a TroyBilt Storm 3090XP snowblower to clear my driveway. It is a monster that can, and will, chop up anything that gets in the way of the auger, including any power cord that happens to be buried in the snow.
A new welcome mat cost me about $8. I don’t know how much a vehicle charging cable would cost.

canidmajor's avatar

@gorillapaws I recognize that, but given all the variables (including cost, which is a big factor) my choice was appropriate at the time, almost six years ago. I mentioned it as simply another factor for @janbb to consider.
When I am ready for a new vehicle I will likely go electric, myself.

janbb's avatar

Another consideration since I too live in an area that gets a winter. Does the charger need to be in a garage? I have an old garage but don’t park my car in it (my Mini Roadster winters there). When it snows, I park it at the front of the driveway. And what happens if the power goes out?

@LuckyGuy My car is 12 years old. It’s in good shape; a Volvo XCountry wagon, but the little things are starting to go. I’m looking at getting a new car within the next two years; not necessarily immediately.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Mine won’t be electric. Two reasons:

1) I do enough long distance driving that the electric car range (300–400 range with a requirement to stop for hours to recharge) will be a serious negative. I can fill a gas tank in 8 minutes.

2) I carry enough stuff in the back of my pickup truck that I need a vehicle of that size. So far, now pickups of any size have been electrified.

elbanditoroso's avatar

that should read no pickups of any size…

janbb's avatar

@elbanditoroso Yeah, figured that.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@elbanditoroso Here’s Hybrid Trucks for USA

Not common though. Our local Ford dealer had one on the lot.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

When we moved into our house 14 years ago we had a list of enhancements for owner/contractor including two attic roof fans, outdoor outlet (where I have my BBQs set-up) and a 240 Volt 40 Amp in garage. The outlet currently is setup for my wife’s ceramic kiln, but could be changed over to Electric Vehicle Charger in half an hour by an electrician.

JLeslie's avatar

The problem I have come across with hybrids is the price was much higher than a regular gas car and the gas mileage was not that much better for the cars we were considering. Keep in mind I am a low mileage user, so I was calculating how much I would be saving on gas per year, and it didn’t add up to enough for me to go that route. Possibly, they are better in price now, and certain brands do seem to have very high mpg for hybrids. Also, gas prices in two years might affect your equation.

If the car was able to run on electric almost completely and plug in, and only used gas for long trips, then that would be ideal. I have asked a Q about that and it is still confusing to me.

I personally would like to get an all electric little convertible. I heard rumblings about an electric Miata, but I prefer to have back seats, more like an Eos, but they don’t even make Eos in gas anymore.

crazyguy's avatar

@gorillapaws Thanks for a fantastic writeup describing all the pros and cons of owning and driving electric cars.

I feel similarly. I first bought a Tesla (Model S) back in 2016. Musk introduced a Model S 60 for just a few months. I found out later that the 60 was really a 75 with the battery capacity limited by software! Now you can no longer buy a 60. If Musk had not done that, I would probably still be driving gas cars. The 60 was just barely affordable 5 years ago, so I took the plunge. However, anticipating major technological improvements coming down the pipe, I opted for a 3-year lease. After 3 years, the car was worth less than the residual value the lease was based on, so I had no choice other than turning it in. I did, tried out a Model X for one reason: WE have five grand-kids and sometimes like to go for drives with them all. However, the rear seat in the X was judged to be too uncomfortable by the grand kids, so that was that. Fortunately, those days (Sep 2019) Tesla still allowed a one week “test drive”; so we were able to return the X for no penalty.

The only problem was that our refund took weeks to arrive and I needed the money to pay for my new Model S. This time I went for a purchase, because I felt the technology was pretty much done. Was I ever wrong!

However, I love my car. It could be more luxurious, like the Mercedes or even the Jaguar. But, ride-wise, those cars have nothing on the S!

So much so, that we actually traded in my wife’s Lexus Hybrid on a Model Y just a year after she bought the hybrid. She loves the Y.

You can probably estimate that our finances have improved substantially over the last 4–5 years. I fully understand the reluctance of financially strapped people to spring for an electric. However, choices over the next 2–3 years will grow by leaps and bounds, and smaller electrics will be available. However, even today, if you buy a car with a small down payment, your total monthly cost, made up of the car payment, fuel and maintenance, will likely be lower for the electric. And for most brands, the Federal Energy Credit of $7,500 helps a lot. Unfortunately, there is no credit on Tesla.

crazyguy's avatar

@janbb I have a friend who charges his THREE Teslas in his driveway. BUT we live in Southern California. So you will have to check with the manufacturer. I know Tesla preconditions the battery before charging so I don’t think charging at cold temperatures is a problem.

crazyguy's avatar

@LuckyGuy I believe we have discussed the difficulties of an electric truck in your situation. When the Cybertruck comes out (rumored for late 21 or early 22), you may want to switch.

crazyguy's avatar

@elbanditoroso You may have to buy an electric car with a higher range. I know that the Lucid has over 500 miles range.

Also, it does not take hours to recharge. When we take a trip to the Bay Area, we get a full charge while lunching. BUT that is at a Tesla supercharger.

crazyguy's avatar

One thing to keep in mind is that a gasoline car does not protect you in a massive power blackout, unless your local gas station has its own generator. The reason, of course, is that gasoline needs to be pumped with an electric pump.

That was the argument that finally won over my wife. We now have no gas cars.

janbb's avatar

@crazyguy We gas powered car owners fill up our tanks before a big storm is coming.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy @gorillapaws How long does the battery hold a charge when the car isn’t used? Let’s say you fully charge up, and then you don’t use your car for a week, is it still fully charged when you turn on the car?

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws I’m with you on the Model 3. I just think Musk is an asshole so I’m hoping that by the time that I want to buy an electric vehicle there are alternatives that are as good.

Caravanfan's avatar

@elbanditoroso Rivian is building an electric pickup, although it’s designed more for “adventure” than work
https://rivian.com/r1t

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Caravanfan I saw that, but not being released until this summer. I’ll wait a couple years.

crazyguy's avatar

@janbb True. However, if you have to evacuate you just may need more.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I find there are some things the car does even when it is not being driven that uses up a little battery. One thing I know it does is the sentry mode in which it will take videos of anything going on in the immediate vicinity of the car. This helps if your car is parked in a dodgy neighborhood.

So typically, expect a bit of battery power to be used even when the car is parked. I am certain that you get some leakage also. However, the bulk of your stored charge is available 1–2 weeks after you charge it up.

crazyguy's avatar

@Caravanfan I do not make my purchase decisions based on the CEO’s personality.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy That’s good to know. Before a hurricane we fuel up for the very reason you said, gas pumps don’t work when the electricity isn’t working, but we could also charge up of course before the winds start. During hurricane season I usually have more fuel in my car in general, I try not to go much below a half a tank, while in the winter I get down to a quarter.

Another question: can I use the electric car as a power source? If I need to charge my phone or laptop? With a gas car we can only charge a phone for ten or twenty minutes and then we have to turn on the car to make sure we don’t drain the battery. With an electric car I would not have to worry dying because I forget to open the garage door. On the other hand, when my house was without electricity for 8 days, the gas stations nearby had been restored within 3 days. They restore the electricity in the commercial centers, hospitals, public utilities main operations, first. @janbb is in a cold place though, so getting through after a blizzard can be difficult or unsafe if the roads are icy. Unsafe after a hurricane too, but the roads get cleaned up fast usually.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I know that during a recent hurricane in Florida, Musk graciously provided free upgrades to Tesla owners whose battery range was restricted by software. For instance the S60 was allowed to be a 75. You definitely want a full charge on your car before the hurricane hits.

I have heard about Tesla plans to run their chargers in reverse, and thereby take power from the car for other purposes. As far as I know that has not been actually done yet (I may be wrong on this.) You can definitely charge a phone or a laptop without running the car. But I am not certain you can keep the lights on in the house.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Texas after the snow storm and power loss. Use of Ford F-150 Hybrid for house power.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy Oh, hey, I had not even thought about using the car to keep my refrigerator cold. Now, that would be very appealing.

I am bothered that it simply takes an upgrade of software to get more mileage. If a battery has the capability, why do people have to pay for a software upgrade. Is it expensive? I might be aligning myself with @Caravanfan. That sounds pretty crappy to me. I resisted buying Apple products for a long time because I was annoyed with Steve Jobs and how Apple groupies behaved.

RocketGuy's avatar

I have a plug-in hybrid, with 27 mile electric + 500 mile gas range. I get free charging at work (26 miles round trip), so get 4 days a week of free power for commuting. At the time, the fully electric version was a higher cash outlay. Turns out the $ per mile for electric is a bit lower than for gas. Nowadays, full electric would probably be better for you. As @jca2 suggested, you could rent a gas car for long trips and come out ahead money-wise.

My brother-in-law got a Tesla 3 with the big battery. He says he charges for free at a supercharger near his favorite coffeeshop once a week. I thought Tesla 3’s didn’t include free supercharging, so I don’t know how he got that deal. Maybe he bargained it into the sales contract.

gorillapaws's avatar

@LuckyGuy My point wasn’t to make the (obviously false) claim that gas cars are non-functional in the cold, only to illustrate that there are pros/cons to each type of vehicle. EVs do have some significant advantages in very cold climates and are used in the arctic circle for this reason. There is a cost to installing a 220v charger, and EV buyers should factor that into the equation (and yes they can be installed outdoors—mine is). Generally speaking, it is better for the planet to use your existing vehicle for longer than scrap it as soon as it goes out of style. In my case, the timing was right for me because my 18-year old Jeep was really showing its age, the Model 3 had been released and I was able to get the $7,500 tax credit. It was a nexus of multiple factors coming together that made it the right decision for me at that time.

@canidmajor I completely understand your decision. 6 years ago the choices were pretty limited.

@elbanditoroso “I do enough long distance driving that the electric car range (300–400 range with a requirement to stop for hours to recharge) will be a serious negative. I can fill a gas tank in 8 minutes.”

Charging is usually 20–40 minutes at a Supercharger. If you plan your trip to coincide with taking a stop for lunch at a charger and a few bathroom breaks, it’s not that much overall extra time on the trip. That said, if you’re having to stop more than 3 times (maybe around 700 miles) I think that’s the point where it starts to cross the threshold where renting a gas car (or flying) is worth considering. If a person is doing this more than a few times per year, I think that would probably be a deal-breaker. Some people want to race to their destination, pee in bottles, eat while driving etc. If that’s the mindset, then EVs are not a good choice for that person.

As far as trucks are concerned, there really aren’t any good EV solutions on the market today.

@JLeslie The video I saw had the vehicle losing about 18% charge over 10 days in long-term parking in the cold. Teslas are never fully “off,” it’s kind of like your phone being on standby when you’re not using it.

As far as charging from your car goes, we lost power for a little over 24 hours during the ice storm a couple of weeks ago. We charged up the Model 3 to 90% beforehand, and had it ready to charge our cellphones and laptops if necessary. My understanding regarding powering your house from your car, is that this functionality was available on the (now discontinued) first gen Tesla Roadsters. Apparently it was so rarely used that they stopped including this functionality. Also, if you happen to have solar panels, you can “refuel” your vehicle when everyone else is stuck with empty gas tanks, so they are more flexible in that regard.

As for unlocking the batteries, I think it was a really awesome thing that Tesla did. Basically they sold one vehicle at 2 price points, one with a software-limited battery. My mom bought her Model X 60D because she didn’t need the extra range and the 75D was beyond what she really wanted to spend at the time. Tesla just ate the lower margin on the sale, hoping some percentage of the buyers would eventually decide to upgrade to the full-capacity of the battery down the road. It was actually a really good deal from the perspective of the customer.

@Caravanfan I have mixed feelings about Musk. He is catalyzing the EV market (traditional carmakers would have loved to just keep making ICE vehicles had he not come along) which I think will have a significant net-benefit to the planet/mankind. I agree with his concerns regarding AI, and I think what he’s been doing with SpaceX is amazing. I would love to see humans on Mars in my lifetime. You’re also right that he’s an asshole. I can’t think of any billionaires who aren’t assholes. If I only bought products from companies that weren’t run by assholes, I’d be walking everywhere in Etsy-knitted clothes, eating Ben and Jerrys. I certainly take your point though.

I guess the main point is that EV’s aren’t for EVERYBODY, but I think the vast majority of American families would probably be better off with having at least one EV. These things are very much “ready for prime-time” and are already better than their gas equivalents in many respects. That said, I don’t think anyone should throw out a perfectly good gas car to switch. EVs are improving every year and I don’t foresee that trend changing for a long time.

I do think @janbb is doing the exact right thing by asking these questions a few years ahead of when she intends to make her next vehicle purchase. My advice to you is when you’re getting closer to the day you intend to make the decision, is to rent an EV for a week and see how it works for you. You and others have asked excellent questions. I’m happy to share my perspective if you guys have more.

kritiper's avatar

When you go on a camping trip up in the mountains, you can’t just plug an electric car into a currant bush…
Better if you stay close to home!

gorillapaws's avatar

@kritiper You’re correct that there are definitely some remote camping locations that are impractical for EV camping. If that’s a concern for someone, they should certainly take that into account. That said, there are tons of RV parks with destination charging available all over the wilderness. So it’s not like you can’t go camping with an EV. It may be the case that there’s a remote corner of North Dakota that’s too impractical to camp with an EV, but these places are becoming fewer over time as the charging infrastructure is built out across the US.

Also remember that EVs can slowly charge from a standard 110 outlet, so if you were hellbent on a week-long hiking trip in that remote corner of North Dakota, you could probably find a local that would be willing to let you park and trickle charge from an exterior outlet for the week (maybe in exchange for money) while you do your hiking if you were willing to get creative.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I was intrigued enough by the concept that I had just heard of to do a little digging. Lo and behold, it has been used in Japan for years – see
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/will-your-ev-keep-the-lights-on-when-the-grid-goes-down

I am not sure why it bothers you that extra range is just a matter of a software update. Would you be happier if the upgrade cost 10 hours of labor at a dealership plus whatever the company wanted to charge for the upgrade?

@gorillapaws My only disagreement with your post is the bit about loss of battery power in a parking lot. My experience has been that the car loses about an order of magnitude less than you state for a car left parked. I am running an experiment right now. I have parked my car in the garage AND TURNED OFF CLIMATE CONTROL. If you leave that on, it will maintain the interior at the specified temp and use up a lot of battery. Right now my range shows as 290 miles. I’ll check again tomorrow and report it here.

As far as Musk goes, I personally believe he is brilliant; no, that word does not do him justice. I think he is a genius of the same calibre as Galileo and Newton. As we know those two did not get much adulation in their lifetimes either.

gorillapaws's avatar

@crazyguy I was just referencing a YouTube video and relaying her results. I think outside temp plays a significant role here, as does any background processes like updates. Curious to see your results.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy How much does the software update cost?

That whole charging your home with your car is very cool. That is a big plus in my opinion.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie That particular update was available for just a few months. The S60 is no longer offered.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie The price dropped to $4,500 on the upgrade from Model X 60D to 75D. I believe this was cheaper than the original price difference.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws I understand what you are saying. I buy from Amazon and nobody will deny Bezos is an asshole. It’s just that Musk early in the pandemic was vocal about his opposition to measures by local health officers (one of whom is one of my best friends) and he flaunted workplace restrictions. He also tweeted offensive remarks about ICU care basically saying that how we were treating patients was wrong. He was wrong, of course, and that has still stuck with me. Additionally, I won’t be buying an electric car for about 4–5 years as my current beat up 15 year old Rav 4 still works fine so by that time there will be more choice.

FWIW don’t think Bill Gates is an asshole and I’ve admired a lot of the philanthropy he has done later in his life.

kritiper's avatar

@gorillapaws You really should try camping at some place that doesn’t have all of your favorite and needed amenities. The place I go camping has absolutely nothing except a creek with ice-cold water. No bathrooms. One of the most remote places in the United States. Nothing except some old cabins that were my grandfather’s mining camp. And no people.
And maybe you wouldn’t care for all of that remoteness….

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan I hear you and agree with your criticisms of Musk. IMO Musk’s pros outweigh his cons in the big picture, and it’s certainly arguable that Bezos’ Amazon played a larger role in spreading COVID with the way the ran their warehouses and covered up exposures/outbreaks. I don’t want to drift off topic, so let me put it this way, I would never fault someone for boycotting a company because of actions of the company or an individual running it. For example I would be very reluctant to ever buy a vehicle from VW or one of its subsidiaries after the emission scandal they participated in. Also GM has been sleazy with their EV1 back in the day. I’m certainly not one to begrudge someone for holding a grudge.

@kritiper That’s a fair criticism. An EV would be a bad fit for someone who frequently travels to very remote places to camp with no infrastructure for hundreds of miles if that is their only vehicle. I have no idea if that applies to @janbb‘s situation. As for me, I’ve never been hundreds of miles from the nearest outlet, but I have done some camping away from “amenities” and enjoyed the experience.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws I am thinking that by the time I’m ready to buy an electric car I’ll probably be over it.

crazyguy's avatar

@kritiper You can be removed from everything as long as you are within range of a charger. So, suppose this remote place is 100 miles from your home. That is no problem as long as you don’t drive much once you get there. If you do plan to drive around another 100 miles or so, you would be pushing the limits of a 350-mile range car, and may need more range. Thankfully, that will be available soon.

janbb's avatar

I wouldn’t buy a used car from that man so I think we can take Elon Musk out of the equation.

smudges's avatar

I ran across this and just had to post it here:

Petaluma, California, on Monday became the first US city to ban the construction of new gas pumps and stations, as a global push toward electric vehicles accelerates.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/a-california-city-just-voted-to-ban-new-gas-stations-as-the-state-eyes-an-all-electric-future/ar-BB1eadil?ocid=uxbndlbing

Caravanfan's avatar

@smudges Fortunately for Petaluma drivers, Santa Rosa isn’t too far away.

Response moderated (Spam)
crazyguy's avatar

@smudges Thanks for posting. I am, as you all may have guessed, a huge fan of electric cars. I am also diametrically opposed to government interference. Electric cars no longer need any help. As you can see, Tesla sales have not been hurt by the phasing out of the Federal Tax Credit.

crazyguy's avatar

@Caravanfan Precisely. All a government can and should do is provide little nudges, not draconian laws.

crazyguy's avatar

@Caravanfan In response to

_ I am thinking that by the time I’m ready to buy an electric car I’ll probably be over it._

I think by the time you are ready to go electric, there may not be any other choice.

Caravanfan's avatar

If there is no other choice I will stick with another gas car.

crazyguy's avatar

@Caravanfan What if no gas cars are available any more?

Caravanfan's avatar

If no gas cars are available then there will be more electric vehicles that are made by different companies other than the asshole’s company so I will have more choice.

crazyguy's avatar

@Caravanfan You have choices today. AND incentives.

chyna's avatar

A friend of mine just bought a hybrid. She gets 500 miles per tank.

Caravanfan's avatar

@crazyguy I understand. But the incentives and the price don’t make up for the fact that my car now works fine.

crazyguy's avatar

@Caravanfan Electric cars are not for people who are not in the market for any car.

Caravanfan's avatar

I’m not in the market for a car now. I’m saying that my next car, once my current car dies in a few years, will be electric, and it will not be a Tesla because Elon Musk is an asshole. I thought I made that abundantly clear.

janbb's avatar

@Caravanfan I think most of us go it – especially since I am in the same position.

I suspect this Q has passed its usefulness date for now.

gorillapaws's avatar

@janbb Did you have any other questions that an EV owner could help answer?

janbb's avatar

@gorillapaws Thanks! I’ve decided to hold off on getting a new car for now and see where things are at in a couple of years. I may have questions again at that point.

crazyguy's avatar

@Caravanfan I am sorry. Your very first post on this thread did make it clear that you intend to buy electric. For some strange reason I was under the impression that you were diametrically opposed to electric cars. In order to find out why I was under that impression, I have painfully gone through the entire thread and copied and pasted all your posts.

Your first post was crystal clear:

My next car will definitely be electric.

The next few posts just emphasized that you are not too fond of Tesla:

I’m with you on the Model 3. I just think Musk is an asshole so I’m hoping that by the time that I want to buy an electric vehicle there are alternatives that are as good.

Rivian is building an electric pickup, although it’s designed more for “adventure” than work
https://rivian.com/r1t

I understand what you are saying. I buy from Amazon and nobody will deny Bezos is an asshole. It’s just that Musk early in the pandemic was vocal about his opposition to measures by local health officers (one of whom is one of my best friends) and he flaunted workplace restrictions. He also tweeted offensive remarks about ICU care basically saying that how we were treating patients was wrong. He was wrong, of course, and that has still stuck with me. Additionally, I won’t be buying an electric car for about 4–5 years as my current beat up 15 year old Rav 4 still works fine so by that time there will be more choice.

It was then that I mistakenly started thinking that you were anti-electric.

I am thinking that by the time I’m ready to buy an electric car I’ll probably be over it.

I think what you meant was that you’ll probably be over your hatred of Musk, but I misunderstood. Sorry.

More on Elon
https://reason.com/podcast/2021/03/03/elon-musk-welfare-king/

Fortunately for Petaluma drivers, Santa Rosa isn’t too far away.
This was in response to a post advising that Petaluma had banned future gas stations.

If there is no other choice I will stick with another gas car.

Again, I misunderstood.

If no gas cars are available then there will be more electric vehicles that are made by different companies other than the asshole’s company so I will have more choice.

I understand. But the incentives and the price don’t make up for the fact that my car now works fine.

I’m not in the market for a car now. I’m saying that my next car, once my current car dies in a few years, will be electric, and it will not be a Tesla because Elon Musk is an asshole. I thought I made that abundantly clear.

gorillapaws's avatar

@janbb “I may have questions again at that point.”

Cool. If you think of something between now and then feel free to post it here or message me.

Caravanfan's avatar

@crazyguy I accept your apology.

RocketGuy's avatar

I see @Caravanfan ‘s point – his gas vehicle doesn’t cost very much per year, so no incentive to cough up $40K+ for a new electric car. And why not get the most use out of something he paid good money on.

Caravanfan's avatar

^^Got it in one. I do not need, nor do I want a car right now. My point is that the NEXT car I get, in 2–4 years will be an electric car. They will be more plentiful, I will have more choice, and I don’t need to give more money to the fuckwit who runs Tesla. And I don’t “hate” him, by the way. I don’t hate anybody. I just choose not to give him my money because he’s a turd.

janbb's avatar

I think we’ve beaten that horse to death now.

zenvelo's avatar

@janbb you and the other horseless carriage advocates! After years of faithful service, off to the glue factory!

Caravanfan's avatar

@zenvelo Personally, I prefer coconuts to horses.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

One of my vehicles has 206,000 miles and is 16 years old’; the other is 11 years old and has 171,000 miles.

The vehicle I traded in for the 11 year old car had 316,000 miles and was 18 years old. No hurry to buy a new car whether gas, electric or hydrogen powered !

Caravanfan's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Well hydrogen powered is not an option for me. I think in my area there is only one place I can get it filled. I know only one guy who has one.

janbb's avatar

I don’t know. My next car might be powered by hot air the way things are going!

@zenvelo Don’t knock my pony power til you’ve tried it!

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther