The Beginner’s Guide to Electric Vehicle Ownership

Beginners Guide to EV Ownership | SparkCharge

If you’re considering becoming the owner of a brand new electric vehicle (EV), then you probably have some questions about what you need to know to be prepared. In this guide, we’re going to cover all of the basics, starting with the social impact of electric vehicles, and finishing with terms you should know.

By the end, you’ll know everything there is to know about this sustainable, clean, and reliable form of transportation.

Ready to get started?

Social EV Impact

For anything to be considered an EV, it needs to use some kind of battery that holds electricity, expending it and turning it into motion as a means of transportation. Since a battery holding electricity is used, there are no emissions or byproducts that are released from the vehicle into the atmosphere.

As a result, EVs are the most environmentally-friendly transportation option to ever be produced today. In fact, they are a reliable solution to the climate change that is wreaking havoc on our planet today.

Operating a vehicle that does not rely on oil also means independence from foreign oil prices that fluctuate artificially, harming/degrading an economy in just hours.

Benefits of EV Ownership

Beyond helping the environment and leaving a greener, cleaner world for our kids and grandkids, what are some of the other benefits of EV ownership?

1. Low to No Maintenance Costs:
Internal combustion gasoline engines require frequent check-ups, fixes, and repairs. With an EV, which is propelled by electricity and electric motors, the simpler propulsion method requires no extensive or complicated cooling, exhaust, pumps, oil filtering, or air filtering.

Without all of these parts, less can go wrong, which means there are less repair charges/anticipated costs down the line. One of the only things you’ll have to worry about is regular tire rotations – that’s about it!

2. At-Home Charging:
Since you can power up and charge your EV right at home, your daily commute just got that much easier. You can go straight to work without pulling off at a gas station and spending extra money you don’t want to spend. Plus, if you ever run out of charge, SparkCharge can easily help you rev up your EV engine anytime, anywhere.

Consider this: the average daily commute for Americans is 30-miles roundtrip. Charging with a regular outlet in a garage can charge up to 5-miles per hour for $0.05 per mile, or $1.50 per gallon.

3. Low Cost:
As we just covered, an EV costs a fraction of regular, gas-filled cars that suck up $40-$60 to fill the tank every single time.

4. Quiet Engines:
If you’re tired of the noise pollution and loud engines of regular cars, EVs are silent.

5. Powerful Acceleration:
Contrary to popular belief, EVs come with incredible acceleration that make it safer to merge and get in/out of traffic. Electric motors do not require pistons to rev up for acceleration, so you can achieve fast speeds much more quickly than with oil-based cars.

What About Range?

There are a few factors to consider in your available EV range:

  • Battery size: Generally speaking, the bigger the battery, the more range. There are exceptions, of course, which is why you will want to talk with the manufacturer.
  • Terrain: A road with many hills will use up more energy than a flat road.
  • Weather: Warmer weather allows for more range than colder weather.
  • Battery life: The more a battery is used, the less charge it will eventually be able to hold.
  • Aerodynamics: The size and shape of the car will impact how much wind is traveling across the car versus at the car. Aerodynamic cars will enable you to get more mileage per charge.

What EV Makes & Models Are Available?

More and more carmakers are considering the value and impact of EVs today. If you’re wondering which EV is right for you, check out this table of EVs that are available on the market today:

 

Make Model Price ($) Range (mi) Top Speed (mph) Power (kWh) Model Year
Audi e-tron $74,800 204 124 95 2019
BMW i8 $147,500 370 155 11.7 2019
BMW i3 $44,450 200 93 42.2 2019
BMW 745e Sedan $95,550 16 155 12 2020
Chevrolet Bolt EV $36,620 259 91 75 2020
Fiat 500e $33,460 84 88 83 2019
Ford Mustang Mach-E $43,895 300 130 75.7 2021
Ford Focus $18,298 115 84 33.5 2018
Honda Clarity $36,620 89 111 25.5 2019
Hyundai NEXO $58,735 380 130 40 2020
Hyundai KONA Electric $36,990 258 104 64 2020
Hyundai IONIQ Electric $30,315 124 115 38.3 2019
Jaguar i-Pace $69,850 234 124 90 2020
KIA Niro EV $38,500 239 104 64 2019
KIA Soul EV $33,950 111 91 30 2019
Mahindra e-Verito (India) $20,698 112 53 14 2017
Mahindra e2o plus (India) $9,111 87 51 16 2016
Mercedes EQC $67,900 220 112 31 2019
Mini Hardtop 2 Door $29,900 110 146 33 2020
Nissan Leaf $29,990 226 93 62 2019
Renault Kangoo Z.E. 33 $45,990 146 81 18.8 2019
Renault ZOE $42,470 130 84 22 2019
Renault TWIZY $7,760 62 50 6.1 2019
Tesla Model X $84,990 328 130 85 2020
Tesla Model S $79,990 373 155 85 2020
Tesla Model 3 $48,490 322 130 50 2019
Tesla Model Y $43,700 300 150 74 2021
VW e-Golf $31,895 125 93 23.7 2018

Electric Vehicle Rebates and Incentives

Costs of electric cars vary, although they typically clock in at the “higher end” of the spectrum due to the finesse and technology that goes into building them. Of course, there are rebates available, with a Federal EV Rebate up to $7,500 and a State EV Rebate up to $3,000. There are also County Rebates up to $3,000.

To find the rebates and incentives offered specifically in your state, check out this tool from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Incentives for Electric Vehicles

EV Charging

Battery Electric Vehicles come with different levels of electrical vehicle charging you should be aware of. These can be broken down into levels 1, 2, and 3.

Level 3, also known as DCFC or DC Fast Charge, is the quickest way to juice up your EV. Look for the CHAdeMo connector, the SAE connector, and the Tesla connector to consider this kind of charging.

Typically, the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-Miev, and other Asian cars will be able to do this kind of charging, as well as the Chevrolet Bolt, the Chevrolet Spark, BMW i3, Mercedes, Volskwagen, and Tesla Model S and Model X.

Charging Connectors/Cables

Each level of charging can be associated with a set of connectors designed for low or high power use. While there are multiple different charging cables, the ones you’ll commonly see are: Type 1, Type 2, CHAdeMo, and CCS. 

Type 1/SAE J1772: SAE chargers are primarily used for home charging up to 240 volts AC. This is considered Level 2 charging. It is common on PHEVs.

Type 2: A Type 2 connector, also known as mennekes, is commonly used in Europe. It is circular in shape with a flattened top and can charge between 3-50kW. 

CHAdeMO: CHAdeMo is another charging standard used exclusively for fast-charging. Some car manufacturers that are CHAdeMo compatible include: Tesla, Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Kia, etc. 

Combined Charging System (CCS): This type of connector combines two DC pins arranged below the Type 2 AC connector and uses 3 of the Type 2s pins. 

Electric Vehicle Growth

Electric vehicle sales are rapidly increasing around the world. In the U.S. alone, EV’s are projected to account for 7.6% of the market in 2026, compared to 1.2% in 2018. In 2019, the number of electric vehicles on the road reached over 1 million. With steady market growth and more manufacturers committing to electrification, more consumers are making the switch to EVs. 

The table below breaks down EV growth by state, year over year, which steadily remains around 15-20%.

 

State # of EVs in State Projected EV Growth 2020 EV Growth YoY 2018-2019
Alabama 2,487 2,981 20%
Alaska 534 621 16%
Arizona 18,129 22,327 23%
Arkansas 1,194 1,470 23%
California 506,608 581,082 15%
Colorado 19,738 24,555 24%
Connecticut 10,916 13,049 20%
Delaware 1,895 2,225 17%
District of Columbia 2,321 2,767 19%
Florida 40,548 47,781 18%
Georgia 33,947 36,936 9%
Hawaii 9,539 10,499 10%
Idaho 1,459 1,778 22%
Illinois 22,475 27,538 23%
Indiana 6,047 7,378 22%
Iowa 2,799 3,339 19%
Kansas 2,621 3,203 22%
Kentucky 2,186 2,633 20%
Louisiana 1,803 2,207 22%
Maine 2,456 2,893 18%
Maryland 17,900 21,773 22%
Massachusetts 22,824 29,169 28%
Michigan 18,434 20,080 9%
Minnesota 8,845 10,656 20%
Mississippi 649 792 22%
Missouri 6,676 7,982 20%
Montana 1,033 1,194 16%
Nebraska 1,816 2,174 20%
Nevada 6,296 7,753 23%
New Hampshire 3,375 4,106 22%
New Jersey 25,945 31,918 23%
New Mexico 2,100 2,523 20%
New York 46,397 55,943 21%
North Carolina 13,054 15,954 22%
North Dakota 291 348 20%
Ohio 12,820 15,514 21%
Oklahoma 4,918 7,843 59%
Oregon 21,433 24,800 16%
Pennsylvania 18,248 22,182 22%
Rhode Island 1,966 2,347 19%
South Carolina 3,447 4,048 17%
South Dakota 424 506 19%
Tennessee 6,684 7,810 17%
Texas 34,239 40,711 19%
Utah 6,767 8,365 24%
Vermont 3,307 3,727 13%
Virginia 16,505 20,724 26%
Washington 41,459 48,395 17%
West Virginia 746 852 14%
Wisconsin 8,271 9,454 14%
Wyoming 269 319 19%

Electric Vehicle Glossary

There are plenty of terms that an EV owner or potential EV owner should be aware of. Here are some of the most common terms you’ll come across:

Electric Vehicle (EV): A blanket term for BEVs and PHEVs but often used to refer to purely electric vehicles (BEVs).

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV): A battery electric vehicle runs purely on electric power. This car will have an on-board battery that needs to be recharged as the car runs out of range. (Ex: Tesla, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt, etc.)

Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV): A PHEV combines a traditional internal combustion engine with a rechargeable battery. This allows the car to run on purely electric power or extend its range using the gas engine and electric motor. 

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV): A hybrid car is 100% fossil fueled. A small battery within the car is charged through regenerative braking which generates some electric power. This works in tandem with a combustion engine. The most common type of hybrid is the Toyota Prius. 

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV): A fuel cell is a device that converts chemical potential energy (energy stored in molecular bonds) into electrical energy. Fuel Cell EVs use a hydrogen fuel cell to power its electric motor. The fuel cell creates the electricity to power the car. 

Kilowatt (kW): A kilowatt is a measure of 1,000 watts of electrical power. 

Kilowatt Hour (kWh): A kilowatt hour is a unit of energy pertaining to the amount of energy transferred in one hour by 1,000 watts of power. Electric car batteries are measured in kWh. For reference, 1 kWh is typically 3-4 miles of range. 

Watt Hours per Mile (Wh/mi): Watt hour per mile is used to measure electric car energy economy. It measures how many watt hours of electricity a car consumes to travel a distance of one mile. 

Miles per Gallon Gasoline Equivalent (MPGe): MPGe represents how many miles an electric vehicle is estimated to be capable of traveling compared to the amount of energy contained in a gallon of gas.

Off-Peak Charging: Charging during off-peak hours means charging at a time where less EV owners are charging their cars. These times are less popular for charging and can often save you money as electricity rates will be lower. 

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE): An internal combustion engine generates power by burning gasoline, oil, or other fuel with air inside the engine. Traditional, gas powered cars use internal combustion engines while electric vehicles have an electric motor. 

Regenerative Braking: Regenerative braking uses an EV’s motor as a generator to convert the kinetic energy lost when decelerating back into stored energy in the vehicle’s battery. Therefore, when the car accelerates, it uses the stored energy from regenerative braking instead of tapping into other energy sources. 

Range Anxiety: Range anxiety is a common concern for many EV owners. It is the fear of your EV running out of charge while you are driving. This fear is often brought on by lack of or accessibility to charging stations.

How SparkCharge is Improving the Current EV Charging Infrastructure

Even with widespread EV adoption and steady market growth, the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is severely lacking. That’s why we created a portable electric vehicle charging unit so EV owners could have their cars charged anytime, anywhere! By making EV charging more accessible, we’re empowering EV owners and giving them the confidence to travel long distances without running out of range.

Our partnerships with OEMs, roadside assistance providers, on-demand car care companies, fleets, and many more will help create a mobile, on-demand charging infrastructure. In other words, with the push of a button, you can have more range delivered to you on the spot. 

Our lightweight, ultra-fast, and modular charger will help eliminate range anxiety once and for all. With portable charging, EV owners no longer need to worry about where their next charge will come from. Help us #LeadTheCharge and partner with us today!