4 questions to ask before going electric

(BPT) - The 'electric vehicle (EV) boom' is upon us. Americans purchased nearly 300,000 EVs in the second quarter of this year, over 48% more than in 2022. To drive the trend even further, new data from Hankook Tire's Gauge Index survey suggests that more than 1 in 3 drivers (34%) plan to own or lease a hybrid or EV in the future.

But purchasing an EV is an entirely different ballgame compared to purchasing a traditional gas-powered or internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. The unique characteristics of EV ownership mean that first-time buyers should ask specific questions of their car dealers and of themselves before making the switch.

If you are thinking about purchasing an EV for the first time, here are some questions to consider to make a smart purchasing decision:

1. What is the long-term cost?

The initial price on the sticker doesn't cover everything for any vehicle, and the same is true for EVs. Drivers must consider the cost of maintenance, insurance and, of course, fueling up. However, the cost difference to charge an EV is an incentive for many car shoppers. Hankook found that 24% of drivers are most likely to switch to an EV for a lower cost to charge rather than pumping gas.

2. What type of maintenance will my EV need?

The general consensus among drivers is that EVs require less maintenance than their ICE counterparts, but understanding what is needed to keep the vehicle running at peak performance is still key. While there's no oil to change in your EV, brakes, fluids and various air filters will still need to be maintained over the course of your vehicle's life. As a new EV owner, it is important to be aware of the maintenance needs.

3. What tires come on my EV?

Did you know that there are tires specifically made for EVs? EV tires are created with the change in road noise and increased weight of the vehicle in mind. If the tires on your vehicle are not EV-specific, consider purchasing new ones through rebates and other tire sale opportunities. And don't forget to consider tire qualities that are important to both yourself and your driving habits. The Gauge identified performance (14%), safety (14%) and longevity (14%) as the top considerations for EV drivers when purchasing a new set of tires.

4. What does my local charging infrastructure look like?

Charging stations continue to pop up across the U.S., but is there a charging station convenient to your daily life? Hankook found that 30% of drivers are more likely to consider driving an EV if there were more charging stations near where they work or live. Knowing where the most convenient stations are will make the transition to charging even easier.

There are many questions that new EV buyers should ask before making the shift, but thinking strategically and asking questions about factors that may impact you in the long run will set you up well for an electrified future.

November 13, 2023