Speaker 1: Thinking of making the switch to an electric car or maybe adding an EV to your driveway as a second vehicle. Maybe you’re just trying to figure out if the tech is right for you. That’s why I’m here to help. And I’m joined today by my trusty speeded for the last nine months. C, that’s long-term Kia EV six wind all-wheel drive. And today we’re going to take a look at some of the factors you should consider when looking for an electric car. Starting with some of the things that I take into account when evaluating electric vehicles
Speaker 1: [00:00:30] For better or worse range, is the metric that most people look to first when comparing EVs to combustion vehicles or other electric cars. It kind of makes sense. The first generation of EVs to hit the road were extremely limited in range. We’re talking 180 miles in some cases, which led to that range anxiety that you’ve probably heard so much about, but that was 10 years ago. And with each new generation, EVs have grown their range by leaps and bounds. Today you can roll out in a Tesla [00:01:00] model S with 405 miles or a lucid air with over 500. However, the 200 to 300 mile ballpark that most mass market and affordable EVs roll out with is probably more than enough for the average American’s. Normal driving habits,
Speaker 1: It’s not the cheapest EV you can buy today, but starting at around $33,000. The Hyundai Kona Electric is one of the best affordable EVs you can buy today with usable range. Now that the Chevy bolts [00:01:30] on hiatus with around 258 miles of range, that’s more than enough range to get you around town for a couple of days before you need to plug in this peppy urban runabout with great city performance. Now it’s due to get a little bit bigger next generation and a little bit more upscale. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t get more expensive along the way. So you’ve got range, but there’s also efficiency to consider. Think about the battery as your gas tank and its efficiency in terms of miles per gallon or in this case miles per kilowatt [00:02:00] hour. If one of your goals for going electric is to save money or save the environment personally, I think efficiency is the number you should be paying attention to
Speaker 1: At 4.17 miles per kilowatt hour. The Hyundai Iion six long range rear wheel drive is the most efficient EV you can buy today. Technically it ties with the lucid air for the efficiency title, but the air is also at least double the price anyway. That’s the equivalent of like 140 miles per gallon for a gasoline car, [00:02:30] which can translate to big savings in the long run. Now, electricity is generally less expensive than gasoline, but it’s usually not free. You’ll feel that cost in your energy bill at home. And when plugging into a commercial station on the road, a more efficient EV costs less to operate per mile driven, which keeps money in your pocket over the long term. When designing a more efficient ev, engineers can often also get away with a smaller battery for a given amount of range, which means less weight, which means better driving dynamics and can lead to reduced maintenance for consumables [00:03:00] like tires and brakes.
Speaker 1: And then there’s charging speed. Now, generally it’s more convenient and cost effective to slow charge your EV at home overnight. But if you go on a lot of road trips or you live in a place where you can’t charge every evening, say in an apartment in a city, well then the maximum DC fast charging speed could have a big impact on which EV is right for you. Now DC fast charging technically starts at 50 to 75 kilowatts, but at speeds like that for your bolts [00:03:30] and Kona, EVs can take over 40 minutes to charge from 10 to 80% at a DC station. That could be pretty obnoxious for road trip use, but maybe not so bad for a short commuter or suburban runabout that you’re only charging once or twice a week.
Speaker 1: Meanwhile, the fastest, like the Kia EV six here are talking even faster, charging like 18 minutes to an 80% charge. That’s if you can find a DC fast charging station that’s got enough power to max out it’s 233 [00:04:00] kilowatt maximum charging rate, but that’s a whole different conversation. Pair that with around 230 to 310 miles of range depending on the spec chosen excellent performance across the entire range, and a fairly affordable starting price of around 42,600 bucks or more like 50 2006 for our EV six wind all-wheel drive tech package sweet spot here. And it’s no wonder that this is my personal favorite EV that you can buy today. Other members of the 200 plus kilowatt fast [00:04:30] charging club include Hyundai’s numbered ionic models in the Genesis GV 60, both of which are underpinned by the same platform as the EV six, as well as Audi’s e-Tron, GT and Porsche’s Tycon.
Speaker 1: Now, within the same class, EVs are generally more expensive than their combustion powered counterparts, which you should keep in mind when shopping. But you should also keep in mind any incentives both federal and state, that your EV may qualify, which could help even the playing field and make a big impact on the bottom line. For [00:05:00] example, the KIA here doesn’t qualify for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, but something like the Volkswagen ID four does, and that could make a big impact on which decision you end up making. This can be a bit of a moving target as models gain and then lose and regain qualification for incentives with changing legislation and supply chains. And we keep an updated list of all the cars that qualify over on cnet.com,
Speaker 1: And at the top of that list are the 800 pound gorillas of the current EV landscape, [00:05:30] Tesla’s model three and Model Y, their unmatched balance of range and performance, the seemingly constant controversy about their cutting edge full self-driving technology and the, let’s call ’em colorful character at the company’s helm. Keep these vehicles at the top of almost every conversation about electric cars. However, aggressive price cuts and recent requalification for the inflation reduction Act. Federal tax incentives make the model three particular a surprisingly affordable EV [00:06:00] costing less than some combustion cars once the rebates settle, roll in native access to the best supercharger charging network. And this is a solid option that doesn’t break the bank at the end of the day. And the electric car is more than just a battery, a charger, and a range number. It’s also a car, which means that it should probably be a good car that meets the rest of your needs, much like a combustion powered ride. You’ll want to make sure that things like the technology, the people in cargo [00:06:30] volume, the performance and the style meet the rest of your needs. If you’re partial to pickups, for example, consider Ford’s F one 50 Lightning. Now, I love vehicles like the rivian quirky adventure vehicle features, but Ford’s Battery Electric F one 50 is simply put a better traditional truck for traditional truck folks, whether you use for work or for play.
Speaker 1: Now, looking [00:07:00] forward, the EV that I’m most anticipating is Volvo’s EX 30, this compact electric SS U V promises, big range and Scandinavian style at a $36,000 starting price. That feels almost too good to be true. Now, the EX 30 will also be the brand’s smallest SS U V and its quickest vehicle yet with a claim zero to 60 time of just 3.4 seconds, though almost certainly not at that starting price. If Volvo can deliver on its big claims, the EX 30 will be the one to watch in [00:07:30] 2024. So there you have it, a crash course in what to look for when picking your electric car, as well as some of my favorite picks. But there’s more that you might need to know before you rock down to Electric Avenue. Things like charging your EV and home EV charging installation, maintaining your EV for years to come and maximizing your range once you hit the road. For all of that and more, as well as the updated best list, you’ll want to head over to cnet.com.