On Your Side: Considering going electric? You aren’t alone. Here’s what you need to know before buying

Electric cars rise in popularity: What you need to know
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 10:09 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2022 at 10:34 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Even though gas prices are going down, more Americans are considering going electric. We’re On Your Side looking into how much electric vehicles cost, where you can charge and other things you need to know before you guy.

Are you in the market for an electric vehicle? A recent Consumer Reports survey found more than a third of people said they would strongly consider buying an electric car.

“It isn’t just small cars and it isn’t just Tesla’s anymore,” Keith Barry, an automotive writer with Consumer Reports said. “There’s everything from more affordable vehicles up to pickup trucks and SUV’s.”

Mainstream automakers are introducing lower prices models like the Hyundai Kona, Nissan Leaf, and Chevy Bolt which starts at just over $26,000 and has about a 260-mile range.

For the truck lovers out there, Ford has the F-150 Lightning that comes with two electric motors and all-wheel drive. According to reports, Ford is increasing its starting price to around $47,000 which is $6,000 to $8,000 more due to “significant material cost increases and other factors”. Ford says due to high demand, the current model year is no longer available for retail order.

Barry tells us the truck also has a lot of utility.

“These things have such big batteries, you can plug into them and power a job site. You can tailgate with them when you’re at the game. These things are quite powerful. You can power stuff in your house with these vehicles,” Barry said.

Some people have reservations about EVs.

“With traveling, getting to where I have to go and back without having to charge up my car. I just don’t think I’m ready for it yet,” a driver told us.

In the Consumer Reports survey, Americans cited purchase price and cost of repairs as the top cost-related barriers holding them back from getting an EV. However, Barry says compared to the typical lifespan of a gas-powered car, EV’s usually cost less to operate and saves drivers about $4,600 over the lifetime of the car.

“It makes sense. You’re not paying for oil changes. You’re not paying for tune-ups and sparkplugs and all those things that a gas powered car needs and an electric motor is really simple,” Barry said.

But what about EV charging stations? A plan is in the works to install electric car charging stations along major highways in Alabama. It’s an expansion by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to prepare for the future with electric cars. The plan according to ADECA is to direct future state and federal funds to build new chargers.

Last year, Governor Ivey awarded over $4 million to help build charging stations all along I-20 from the Alabama-Georgia border to Tuscaloosa with at least 10 charging stations being built in Jefferson County which has the highest number of electric vehicles in the state.

Charging stations are now up and running at the outlet shops at Grand River in Leeds. Four charge point stations were installed over the summer.

Groups like the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition have been calling for more charging stations in the state saying Alabama is in position to be the leader in manufacturing electric cars and batteries.

“As the demand for electric vehicles is growing in Alabama and across the country, these additions to our existing infrastructure will expand charging options for Alabama’s citizens and travelers from other states,” Michael Staley, President of the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition told us in 2021.

Most EV’s average 200 to 300 miles on a single charge with some models getting over 500 miles but the longer-range vehicles cost a pretty penny. Some EVs are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit too, which can effectively reduce the cost to go electric.

You can read more about the recent electric vehicle survey here.


Subscribe to our WBRC newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email.

Copyright 2022 WBRC. All rights reserved.