Partial Electric or All-Electric?

I talk to many women who are reluctant to buy an electric vehicle (EV) because they think they will be tethered to their house and it won’t be able to do everything they need their car to do. 

When I ask why, they often list all of the problems they have with a battery electric vehicle (BEV), which only has an electric motor. When I ask them if they have considered a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), they usually think I’m talking about a conventional hybrid (HEV). While it is somewhat similar, a plug-in hybrid allows you to charge at home or away from home to provide a certain amount of miles all-electric, but then kicks in with the gas motor once your battery runs out of power. 

Most of us drive less than 40 miles a day making a plug-in hybrid a good economic choice if you want to extend the amount of time between gas fill-ups and save even more money than a hybrid. Plus, the plug-in hybrid gives you the assurance that you can take the once-a-year cross-country trip to see family and friends without having to worry about charging along the way. Another advantage is that plug-in hybrid models are less expensive than their all-electric counterparts because they have much smaller battery packs (which are the most expensive component of an EV). 

Compared to all-electric vehicles, there are more SUV options (and even a minivan option) and the cars still qualify for a partial federal tax credit and in some places a state tax credit, helping to reduce the price differential even more. Popular options include the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and the Prius Prime

Mitsubishi Outlander Image Credit: Mitsubishi

Unfortunately, the plug-in hybrid doesn’t have all of the same perks as the all-electric, which is why plug-in hybrids are quickly losing ground. People are realizing that they save even more money and have less maintenance hassle if they just purchased an all-electric car. As all-electric cars are coming down in price, the vehicle ranges are going up, and the amount of charging infrastructure is increasing, the downsides to all-electric are quickly diminishing. 

If you are still on the fence about the technology, perhaps look into getting a used plug-in hybrid electric or leasing a plug-in hybrid to keep the investment low risk. All you need is a regular outdoor or garage wall outlet to charge so no special upgrades for your home will be required. Electric vehicles usually also come with a charging cordset so you don’t need to buy anything extra either. 

In my household, we previously had an all-electric and a regular gas car. We primarily use the all-electric for our daily commuting needs (my hubby and I commute together) and for errands on the weekends. Eventually, we replaced our gas car with another all electric car when we became more comfortable with the technology and there was more charging infrastructure available. No regrets!!!

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