Last Updated on July 20, 2023
One of the biggest questions people have is whether or not it’s worth buying an electric car if you only drive short distances. Maybe its because you live in an apartment with only side street parking with no charging stations. Should a low mileage driver buy an electric car?
Whatever your concerns might be, the short answer is yes, an electric car might be right up your alley even for short distance drivers.
Consider today’s electric cars have a range of no less than 250 miles on a single charge. That means if you drive less than 39 miles round trip a day, a single charge will last over a week and a half.
What’s even more encouraging is the availability of charging stations is growing fast–with well over 5,627 fast-charging sites in the nation right now. This should put your mind at ease if charging an EV at home is not an option. Chances are if a charging station isn’t available yet locally, it may soon be.
Let’s break down few commonly asked questions short distance drivers have when considering an electric car.
Do Electric Cars Lose Charge When Parked?
When you leave your electric car unused for too long, the charge will dwindle. The energy drain can be minimal or even non-existent depending on how much you drive and what features your vehicle has. Green Car Reports an electric car battery pack can drain by as little as a few percent of total battery capacity per month.
Also take into consideration a variety of environmental factors that can effect the charge of the battery. Cold temperatures can reduce an unplugged EV’s range by as much as 20 percent.
Can I Own an EV Without a Home Charger?
Live in a condo or apartment and are wondering if a electric car is a viable option for you? The answer is yes! You can still own an EV without a home charger. Sites such as PlugShare provide tools to locate the nearest charging station.
Another option is joining a charging network to find public stations that are open and free. Chargepoint, EVGo and Blink all have online registration systems where you can opt into one of their many plans depending on how much charge time is needed.
Can I Charge an Electric Car Using a Home Plug Socket?
Yes, a normal home plug socket will work but it’s not recommended. It may take days to reach a full charge with only a home plug. The ideal outlet for charging an EV is a 240-volt outlet.
The average costs for an electrician to install a 240-volt outlet is approximately $300. This of course depends on the location you want the charger to be installed.
Does Your Employer Offer Workplace Charging?
Employers are now starting to offer free charging stations as a perk to help support EV ownership. Even if you are unable to charge at home, charging while at work is a great option. With a typical workday of eight hours, this is more than enough time for an EV to fully recharge.
If your employer does not offer EV charging, ask if they would be willing to consider it. There are a lot of great resources available to help educate employers on the benefits that come with adding EV charging stations.
How Long Do Electric Car Batteries Last?
Electric car batteries on average will last at least 8 years or 100,000 miles before needing a replacement. In fact the large majority of auto makers warranty EV car batteries for 100,000 miles. Their are even some estimates electric car batteries could last up to 20 years before needing a replacement.
There have been some safety concerns over EV battery fires, but electric vehicles are actually less flammable than gas cars.
Final Thoughts: Should a Low Mileage Driver Buy an Electric Car?
So if you are asking the question–should a low mileage driver buy an electric car? Yes it’s a great option. As detailed above, many of the most common concerns around EV ownership are being answered. What’s your main concern with EV car ownership? Tell us in the comments below.