But for many, knowing where to start is almost as difficult as understanding how they work.
Recent data shows that interest in owning electric vehicles has surged 70% since January, putting buyers in a difficult position to find what they really want.
Add to that a 25% year-over-year price hike and many potential owners find themselves in an awkward position. Even cheaper, second-hand models like the Ford Focus that are a few years old are selling for close to the original selling price.
“Interest in electric vehicles and online shopping has certainly increased in the recent past due to higher gas prices,” said Lisa Wallen, automotive and mobility analyst at data intelligence firm Morning Consult.
“However, this demand has not translated into measurable increases in sales due to the reduced availability of electric vehicles as well as high sticker prices that prevent many consumers from buying despite the interest.”
Despite all of that, more consumers are driving their electric cars home than ever before. This choice has now introduced them to a world unknown to them as yet, such as where the local charging stations are located and whether they should contact an electrician or join a dealer network.
They also soon recognize “range anxiety,” the worry all electric vehicle drivers feel about running out of power before reaching the charging station, at home or otherwise.
How do you find the charging station?
Depending on where you live, finding the right charging station for your new electric vehicle can be simple or infuriating.
The simplest way to do this is to charge your car in the outlet that runs the electric dryer next to the washer.
This approach usually requires a nightly charge to fully restore the power, but for drivers who are not in a hurry to get somewhere, the easiest answer is often.
The next possibility is to search for charging stations throughout your city or sometimes even a county.
Many electric utility companies offer free charging on their premises, but most of the time the driver will need to search online or on their phone for the locations of the nearest charging port. The majority of these cost a small fee to recharge.
Go to follow
“While there are many free public charging stations, they are often scattered and not well placed for continuous charging access,” Wallen said.
“Many charging stations are charging. In the future, we see more gas stations shifting their business models to offer charging stations, and since they know the resulting retail transactions are their bread and butter, they will likely offer cheaper fees to lure customers into their stores.”
Here is where it can provoke outrage.
With the electric vehicle market still less than 5% of all cars sold in the United States, finding a nearby charging station that fits your car charger can be daunting.
Ford (F) – Get a Ford Motor Company report Chargers do not match Tesla (TSLA) – Get a Tesla Inc . reportThe same is true for many fully electric car models. This means that sometimes drivers use the last bit of power to get to a charging station, only to find that it doesn’t fit their vehicle.
“Having specialized chargers can help manufacturers differentiate their products from electric vehicles, but when chargers are not universal, this becomes another barrier to attracting sufficient consumer interest besides concern about range, price and lack of choice,” Wallen said.
Consider where you live
The main thing to think about when buying an electric car – other than its obvious environmental impact – is whether you live in an area that has the infrastructure to support an electric car.
Local governments make the decision to invest in and add charging stations based on local demographic data. So if you see electric vehicles out and about in your area, there’s a good chance there’s a network of charging stations to back them up.
“Using location data, governments can review total traffic in any census route they wish to see how busy a neighborhood is,” said Elena Soludo, Unacast Director of Content and Insights.
“They can also select any dedicated site they want to review the traffic,” she said. “If they are interested in installing a charging point in a neighborhood shopping mall, they can review the total traffic in the mall’s parking lot to predict the use of a charging point.”
Get active about using your EV to fetch more stations
It is also likely that local governments will add more charging stations and in more convenient locations as they know more about the area’s need for them.
“Location data was also able to elicit migration patterns that would tell the government entity how many people have moved to and from an area and the income associated with them,” Solodo said.
“Although data is not available on how many of these individuals will be electric vehicle owners, understanding the income stream to a neighborhood is important to building a neighborhood profile and how likely these newcomers are to purchase and use electric vehicle charging points,” she said.
“Public registry data for an area’s electric vehicle registration can be combined with total neighborhood activity to make those predictions as well as the potential future need for an electric vehicle.”