Choosing between a hybrid, plug-in or battery powered vehicle is sometimes very confusing. Below are some guidelines that will hopefully help you find the type of vehicle that’s right for you.
Battery Powered Electric Vehicles (BEVs)
- Moderately priced battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV) with a usable range of at least 200 miles are now available to the general public.
- With target prices of $30,000 after rebates, they are priced comparably to the average cost of a gasoline passenger car in California.
- The Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 are examples of the class of electric cars that are now on the road.
- Many other manufacturers are targeting deliveries of similar autos by 2020.
- Electric vehicles feature very low maintenance costs. They have no oil to change, many fewer moving parts than a gasoline engine, longer lasting brakes, and auto updating software.
- BEVs are fun to drive – very peppy with quick response and very low noise.
- A feature of the BEV that is particularly attractive to the buyers of these moderately priced, long-range electric cars is the ability to charge the car at home while it’s parked overnight.
In addition to BEVs there are other partially electric powered cars that are of interest to many residents due to their superior gas mileage and/or extended range. These cars are known as hybrid and Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars.
- A hybrid car uses a smaller gasoline engine which is assisted by an electric motor. The electric motor provides the only power to the car in stop-and-go traffic and boosts power while passing.
- The batteries for the electric motor are charged by the gasoline engine and regenerative braking.
- There is no external way to recharge the batteries and the battery pack is small, typically providing only 7 to 15 miles of range on electric only driving.
- While these cars are engineering marvels, they are still mainly internal combustion engines (ICE) and are more complicated than a standard ICE car.
Plug-in hybrid cars (PHEVs)
- Similar to hybrid cars except they have much larger battery packs and are capable of a greater all electric driving range.
- PHEVs are meant to be plugged into a charging station daily.
- The Chevrolet Volt is currently rated as the highest all-electric range at 53 of miles. Many drivers of the Volt who report driving less than 60 miles per day also report using less than 12 gallons of gasoline a month.
- PHEVs use considerably less fossil fuel for limited driving, but they are still a combination of a gasoline engine as well as an electric motor and a battery pack. Therefore, they are more complicated to build and are still using fossil fuels.
Charging Electric Vehicles
Charging an electric vehicle at your Mutual in Rossmoor is a challenge. Our electric grid is dated, seriously underpowered and very expensive to correct. While these issues are being addressed there are options that will help bridge the gap until we begin to upgrade our electric service in some of the Mutuals.
- GRF has received a PG&E grant to install 30 charging stations. There will be ten locations at the Event Center, ten at Tice Creek Fitness center and ten at Gateway. See more about Rossmoor’s Charging Stations here
- Further, the new Rossmoor Town Center will host high speed DC charging stations when they open this Fall.
- Finally, Sustainable Rossmoor has a committee that promotes the installation of EV charging stations within the Mutuals. They will also assist any mutual that is interested in applying for a PG&E grant to install charging stations.
Which Type is Right for You?
Selecting the appropriate electric car depends on a number of factors. The following flow chart will guide you on weighting the importance of each factor and determining the best electric vehicle suited for you.
To begin, review the selection criteria and then consult the flow chart below
- Do you want to use 100% sustainable energy to operate your car?
- Do you want to use at least some sustainable energy, but require a long range car?
- Do you rarely travel more than 60 miles a day?
- Do you wish not use an electric vehicle charger?Do you want to minimize expense, but want an electric vehicle of some sort?
For example, if you want to use an EV Charger, want to use 100% green power, take short trips that average less than 60 miles per day and want to minimize your expense, the flow chart would suggest that you buy a used Nissan Leaf with low mileage.
Once you have decided the type of EV that meets your requirements, you can follow the link below to research all of the PHEV, and BEV cars being sold in the US this year. (Use the filter to choose between All Electric or Hybrid/Plug-In
So far there are only 4 BEV cars with more than a 200 mile range and 6 with more a than a 100 mile range. More cars are expected before the end of the year and this link will be updated as they arrive. Also, be sure to research reliable sources such as Consumer Report before making a purchase. The quality of these cars vary.
Sustainable Rossmoor’s Electric Vehicle Committee would be happy to answer any lingering questions. Choosing between an electric, plug-in or battery powered car can be very daunting. For questions, please email Dave Verekke at email@example.com.