If you have done any kind of EV research to date, you will know that there are many websites, YouTube channels, and social media pages available to assist your search. Sometimes, the amount of information can be overwhelming – particularly when you are just trying to learn some of the basics – so I’ve assembled some of my favorite U.S.-focused resources to get you started.
What EVs are available for me to buy? Some great websites to find your best options include PlugStar, FuelEconomy.gov, and PlugInCars.com. You may also want to check out your local electric utility website. As a note, not all of these EVs are available in every state, but you can usually get it if you order online and pay additional shipping fees. Once you have figured out which EV model you are interested in, all of the traditional car search sites will help you locate available new and used EV models in your area.
What charger should I buy for my home? Many EVs already come with a charging cordset or give you the option to buy a charger directly from the auto dealer or website. Some of these charger cordsets will fit into your existing 110-volt outlet and if you don’t have a car with a lot of range (e.g., 100 miles or less), that should be sufficient for most of your needs. If you have a car with more than 100 miles of range, I would recommend upgrading to a faster charger, also known as a Level 2 charger. You can shop and compare residential EV chargers at PlugStar or through online stores like Amazon.
How do I get a charger installed at my home? Most electricians are able to install the necessary 240-volt outlet (dryer outlet) to plug in the charger in your garage or hardwire the charger if it will be outside. However, I would recommend first starting with an installation services company, like Qmerit or Amazon EV charger installation service, which will get bids from qualified installers on your behalf.
What are my charging options if I live in a rental unit or I don’t have a dedicated parking space? Admittedly, these are big challenges for the EV industry. I’ve seen my fair share of pictures with extension cords running out of people’s second floor condo units to the street (not advisable). If you don’t have a dedicated parking space, you may need to rely on public or workplace charging (see below). If you live in a rental unit, you’ll likely need to coordinate first with your landlord to see what options you may have to access a charger. Some electric utilities provide rebates to landlords to help defray some of the cost. You can find a complete list of these programs through the U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center.
How do I figure out how much of a tax credit or other incentive I will be eligible for? The best place to find a complete list of EV and EV charger incentives by state and through the federal government is the U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center. Alternatively, most online EV search tools, including the auto manufacturer websites, will include EV incentive information if you include your zip code or state.
How can I find chargers away from my house? There are many great online websites that can help you locate and pay for away-from-home chargers. Tesla has all of their chargers included in the car’s wayfinding dashboard and the phone app. You can also find other online search tools and phone apps through sites like PlugShare, PlugInAmerica, and the U.S. Department of Energy Charging Station Locator. You will be surprised to find that in many locations, EV chargers are just as common as gas stations. My favorite charging spots are those that provide FREE charging 🙂
What are some good places to get news and updates about EVs? In addition to signing up for my email list, I would also suggest checking out Electrek, ChargedEVs, Electric Auto Association, and Fully Charged.
For any other questions you may have that I missed, I highly recommend checking out this FAQ page from PlugInAmerica.