As a young EV activist, I am often asked why I don’t drive a plug-in vehicle myself. While EVs are an extremely popular topic among people in my age group, few of us drive them. It may seem hypocritical of us, but there are several reasons why EVs haven’t penetrated our market…yet.
The main reason, and perhaps the most obvious, is the price. Not all EVs are expensive. After incentives, the Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi i are fairly affordable compared to the average price of a new car, $29,217. However, people my age tend to purchase used cars and the only EVs available right now are new. Sure, there are some used legacy EVs, but those are practically collectors items and are priced as such. Luckily, this will soon change. In a few years, we will have something that hasn’t existed in a century: a market of used electric vehicles. These used EVs will be the most affordable EVs yet and will be extremely appealing to teens and young adults who don’t want to empty their wallets paying for additional expenses like smog checks, tune ups, and fluid changes that come along with a used gasoline fueled vehicle.
The second most common issue I encounter is the fact that most people my age live in apartments or condos. Charging at homes like these can be a complicated issue. Luckily, each day more and more public charging points are popping up, making owning an EV without a charging station more of a possibility. Additionally, as EVs become more popular landlords will see more value in providing charging for their tenants. If you are would like more information on the topic of charging at garageless housing, I recommend you check out the video of this lecture, moderated by Paul Scott.
The main reason I personally don’t currently drive an EV is that I am not in a position to purchase a new vehicle at this time (but trust me, I’m saving up!). Once I get out of school and have a steady job, I will finally be able to purchase my own plug-in vehicle. Everyone is always asking me what my next car will be and I honestly don’t know yet. I’m sure I can get by with a pure EV, so I won’t spend the extra money on a plug-in hybrid. Nissan and Mitsubishi have already brought the LEAF and ‘i’ to the US market, which I believe are perfectly sized and fairly priced vehicles. I would also consider the Ford Focus EV or the Honda Fit EV, depending on their official pricing. I particularly like the 2012 Nissan LEAF Nismo concept, which is a standard LEAF with a neat body kit. Nissan hasn’t yet announced if they will manufacture the LEAF Nismo, but if they do, I’ll buy one!