If you commute through central Arizona, chances are you see electric vehicles (EVs) on the road just about every day. In fact, there are about 20,000 in our state, according to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). However, this still represents only 1.8% of new car sales in Arizona.
When I talk to friends and neighbors about my electric car, I hear some common EV myths. Two of these myths are easily debunked when you consider that there are currently about 28 EV models available for sale in Arizona, with more being announced all the time. Let’s look at two of these common myths.
Myth No. 1: “EVs are too expensive. I can’t afford one.”
With all the Teslas on the road, it’s no surprise people assume an electric car is expensive. However, as more models are released, options have become available across most price points. Plus, there is still a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 available on most new EVs.
While a Tesla Model S, Jaguar I-PACE or Audi e-tron will set you back $70,000 or more, options from Chevy, Nissan and Smart are much more affordable. In fact, SRP customers can get a brand-new all-electric Nissan LEAF for under $20,000 when they pair the $7,500 federal tax credit with an additional $3,500 offer exclusive to our customers.
Another option is to buy used. While tax credits aren’t available on used EVs in our state, many electric cars are purchased on lease. This means that there is typically a great inventory of 3-year-old EVs with low miles and great warranties. For example, I purchased my 2015 BMW i-3 as a certified pre-owned vehicle for just about $20,000.
It’s also important to consider total cost of ownership when comparing the cost of an EV to a traditional gasoline vehicle. While the upfront cost may still be higher in many cases, the total cost of ownership is typically much less in the following ways:
- In Arizona, fully battery-powered vehicles enjoy lower registration fees and do not need emissions tests.
- The cost of electricity for charging is significantly lower than the cost of gasoline. Before I switched to an EV, for example, I paid about $350 per month in gas! In contrast, I spend about $30–$40 per month to charge my car at home.
- EVs also require less maintenance. Fewer moving parts mean fewer breakdowns, repairs and parts replacements. And if your car is fully electric, no more oil changes!
Use the EV savings calculator to compare the cost of a plug-in vehicle to a conventional one.
Myth No. 2: “Electric cars have such limited range. I will run out of charge.”
In a 2018 AAA survey, 58% of consumers said they wouldn’t go electric because they fear they would run out of charge while driving. In reality, most new battery electric vehicles can drive 120 to 250 miles on a charge. Some can travel even farther.
Additionally, the network of charging stations continues to expand throughout Arizona and beyond. While most EV drivers charge with a level 1 or level 2 charger at home, there is always the option to charge publicly when necessary. (Some of these public chargers are even free!) Find them through PlugShare or Alternative Fuels Data Center.
Some Valley employers also offer workplace charging. If yours doesn’t, be sure to share information about SRP’s workplace EV charging station rebates.
According to a recent EPRI analysis, the average range of all-electric vehicles will increase from 196 to 264 miles by 2022, and there will be over 100 models to choose from. Battery technology improves each year while costs continue to decline. If you’re interested in buying or leasing an electric car, browse the U.S. Consumer’s Guide to Electric Vehicles to discover the newest models, including the EPA estimated driving range and charge time.
Looking for more information about electric cars? See our blog post about how EV batteries are made, reused, repurposed and recycled.