Thinking about buying an electric car? Electric vehicles come with a lot of benefits you won’t get with a gas guzzler, starting when you purchase them. But there are some important things to know before you make the switch. Here are five things to do before you buy an electric vehicle.
#1 Check for Government Incentives
Depending on where you live, your vehicle purchase could be eligible for government incentives. They will help take the final sticker price down if you’re looking to buy a new, full-priced EV.
However, you don’t have to buy a brand new, purely electric vehicle to be eligible. In some places, used EVs or plug-in hybrids can also get incentives. Click here to see what’s available in your area.
#2 Contact Your Utility
Check with your utility to see if they have any promotional plans or incentives for EV charging. This might include rebates for the charging station itself, or for the installation costs.
Some utilities might have pilot projects on smart charging where you get incentives to charge your vehicle.
Another bonus is that many utilities have time of use rates. This means if you charge during off peak hours, they’ll charge you less.
#3 Consider Used
In the earlier days of EVs, used electric cars didn’t have much value because drivers were afraid the older batteries wouldn’t hold their range. But as batteries were improved and range didn’t deplete as much as projected, we’re actually seeing used EVs increase in value. [i]
#4 Get Ready to Charge at Home
As an EV driver, you’ll do the majority of your charging at home (close to 90%). There are two options to charge at home.
Level 1, which gives 120 volts, is a normal three-prong plug that you can put into a standard wall outlet. Most manufacturers include this standard with every vehicle. It will give you 6-10 km of range per hour. This means it’ll take around 22 hours to get a full battery.[ii]
A Level 1 charging station might work if you only drive very short distances each day. Keep in mind that in cold climates, it might not deliver enough charge for daily use.
The other home option is Level 2 charger, which delivers 240 volts, the same as a dryer. Level 2 offers added safety benefits and a quicker charge, around 36 km of range per hour.
Level 2 installation costs vary. Click here to find a certified technician near you.
FLO Home X5 is a Level 2 charging station with added smart benefits. Track your usage data, adjust your power output and charge on a schedule in the FLO mobile app. You’ll also get real-time technical support and automatic software updates.
FLO Home X5 is priced at $1,295 and can be purchased at flo.ca.
#5 Join a Community of EV Drivers
You’ll be hard pressed to find a group of more friendly, knowledgeable people out there. EV drivers are quick to share helpful information on their vehicles, and you can connect with them in a multitude of places.