You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Stay Ahead of Any Looming Gas Shortages by Buying an Electric Car

Autoweek Logo By Mark Vaughn of Autoweek | Slide 1 of 7: Does the recent oil pipeline hack have you freaking out and filling plastic shopping bags with gasoline? Don’t do that! Instead, consider an electric car.“But I can’t afford the $100,000 Mercedes EQS,” you say.You don’t have to buy the S-Class of EVs. I have taken the liberty of researching a few very much entry-level EVs, and even sub-entry level EVs for you. Of course, they are all used, but there are plenty of them out there. There are caveats, as there are with any used car. The biggest gamble on these is battery life. You don’t really know what kind of shape your used EV’s battery will be in. Almost all the internet postings for used EVs—by either dealerships or by outfits like CarMax that are big businesses—list the range of the car when it was new. Hence all the 2011-2013 Nissan Leafs were listed at 73 miles range regardless of how many miles they had, and all of the Mitsubishi i-MiEVs were listed as having 62 miles range. Those figures applied when the vehicles were brand new.So if you’re going to take a test drive, try to start with a full charge, go 10 miles and then extrapolate from there to gauge the range remaining state of health (SOH) of the car’s battery pack. Or ask the seller how they came up with the range figure they are claiming. Even if you are looking at an EV with a depleted range, you may find that it’ll work just fine for the amount of driving you actually do. Try keeping track of your daily mileage throughout a typical week. Write it down. You will almost certainly find that you don’t need the 250-plus miles of range offered by fancy new electric cars. You may find you only need 35 miles a day. Or 20. Or 15. There are many advantages of going electric. The cost of electricity is still well below the cost of gasoline. The average price for electricity in the United States is still 13 cents per kWh. An EV can go about 4 or 5 miles on a kWh. The average cost of a gallon of gas in the U.S. is now $3.08, according to AAA. The average gasoline-powered vehicle gets 24.9 mpg, according to the EPA. So to go a mile in an EV costs less than three cents. To go a mile in a gas car costs 12 cents or more. Someone check my math, but you are saving money with an EV.And EVs are cleaner, no matter your source of electricity. Coal is only used for 19 percent of power generation in the U.S., according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. And even an EV charged on a coal-powered grid is more efficient than a straight-up gasoline car. Cleaner natural gas produces 40 percent of our power nationwide. Renewables make 20 percent, with the percentage of wind and solar climbing steeply. So EVs are cleaner.None of which helps you pick a used EV for under 10 grand. Let’s get started on that.

Does the recent oil pipeline hack have you freaking out and filling plastic shopping bags with gasoline? Don’t do that! Instead, consider an electric car.

“But I can’t afford the $100,000 Mercedes EQS,” you say.

You don’t have to buy the S-Class of EVs. I have taken the liberty of researching a few very much entry-level EVs, and even sub-entry level EVs for you. Of course, they are all used, but there are plenty of them out there.

There are caveats, as there are with any used car. The biggest gamble on these is battery life. You don’t really know what kind of shape your used EV’s battery will be in. Almost all the internet postings for used EVs—by either dealerships or by outfits like CarMax that are big businesses—list the range of the car when it was new. Hence all the 2011-2013 Nissan Leafs were listed at 73 miles range regardless of how many miles they had, and all of the Mitsubishi i-MiEVs were listed as having 62 miles range. Those figures applied when the vehicles were brand new.

So if you’re going to take a test drive, try to start with a full charge, go 10 miles and then extrapolate from there to gauge the range remaining state of health (SOH) of the car’s battery pack. Or ask the seller how they came up with the range figure they are claiming.

Even if you are looking at an EV with a depleted range, you may find that it’ll work just fine for the amount of driving you actually do. Try keeping track of your daily mileage throughout a typical week. Write it down. You will almost certainly find that you don’t need the 250-plus miles of range offered by fancy new electric cars. You may find you only need 35 miles a day. Or 20. Or 15.

There are many advantages of going electric. The cost of electricity is still well below the cost of gasoline. The average price for electricity in the United States is still 13 cents per kWh. An EV can go about 4 or 5 miles on a kWh. The average cost of a gallon of gas in the U.S. is now $3.08, according to AAA. The average gasoline-powered vehicle gets 24.9 mpg, according to the EPA. So to go a mile in an EV costs less than three cents. To go a mile in a gas car costs 12 cents or more. Someone check my math, but you are saving money with an EV.

And EVs are cleaner, no matter your source of electricity. Coal is only used for 19 percent of power generation in the U.S., according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. And even an EV charged on a coal-powered grid is more efficient than a straight-up gasoline car. Cleaner natural gas produces 40 percent of our power nationwide. Renewables make 20 percent, with the percentage of wind and solar climbing steeply. So EVs are cleaner.

None of which helps you pick a used EV for under 10 grand. Let’s get started on that.

© Nissan

More From Autoweek

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon