Corn Belt Energy Electric Vehicle (EV) Project
Which model is right for me?
So you've decided you're ready to own an electric vehicle (EV). Now you're faced with the more difficult decision of which one to buy. With the continuing advancements in EV technology, there are many great options out there to choose from, and more and more being introduced as time goes on. Considering your personal lifestyle, here are the factors you may wish to consider in your decision-making process:
-Budget: There's no way around it, electric vehicles are more costly up front than internal combustion vehicles. However, the savings of electric vs. gas in the long run will (most times) justify the upfront cost. Here is a link to a great cost calculator to help you crunch the numbers: https://www.powermoves.com/electric-vehicles/
-Commute: Sizing the range of an EV is like selecting the right home, vehicle, clothing, etc. We need to purchase what is best for us and our personal needs. Do you necessarily need a vehicle with a range of 300+ miles when your commute is 64? Consider whether this is worth the increased cost.
-BEV? EREV? PHEV? What's the difference and which is best for me: A BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) does not accept gasoline as a fuel source at all. It must be plugged in. These vehicles will have the most limited driving range. An EREV (Extended Range Electric Vehicle) accepts gasoline as a backup fuel source, meaning it will only utilize gasoline when the battery gets low. The gasoline doesn't directly fuel the movement of the vehicle though, it simply fuels a generator to recharge the electric battery and keep the car moving. A PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) does actually utilize a gasoline combustion engine, in addition to an electric motor. This option offers the longest driving range, but the majority of that driving range would be gasoline, not electric.
-Vehicle appearance: The earlier EV's introduced by manufacturers had a specific look, which many people still associate with them today. The absence of the combustion engine prompted manufacturers to produce an overall smaller vehicle. Thankfully, manufacturers are now catching on and producing some very sleek looking EV's. Tesla has been a great leader in this area, producing vehicles that catch your attention, without looking out of place next to a gasoline powered sedan or sports car. Thankfully most EV manufacturers are following their lead and producing EV's that fit right in with other vehicles on the road, and optional features are available to appeal to various price ranges.
-Charging: Since Corn Belt Energy purchased our Chevy Bolt in summer of 2018, the #1 topic we get asked about is charging. How long does it take to charge? How many miles does it go on a charge? What do you do if you need to go farther than the range will allow? Basically, it's very important you do your homework and know exactly how long it will take your vehicle to charge, and how far you will be able to drive the vehicle on that charge. The network of public electric vehicle chargers is growing nationwide, however, you will not always be able to rely on one being available on the route you are travelling.
Below our energy advisor, Jeremy Myers, breaks down the pros and cons of four popular EV models:
Pros- No gas motor, sufficient range, impressive incentives (including one specifically for Corn Belt Energy members!), lots of used options availablein the marketplace if your budget does not allow for brand new.
Cons- Most people don't care for the look and feel of the Leaf, and complaints are common about how the vehicle handles.
Pros- Awesome range, great power, roomy interior.
Cons- The look and feel still leans toward the earlier EV look that most people don't care for, confusing display and controls, costly, few available incentives.
Tesla Model 3:
Pros- Beautiful vehicle, head-turner, user-friendly display and controls, many unique features and options, including all wheel drive.
Cons- Very pricey, few available incentives.
Pros- Several used options, sleeker look, reasonably priced.
Cons- Gasoline backup, unimpressive (electric) driving range, discontinued after 2019.
For more information about Electric Vehicles, please visit our website:
or contact our energy advisor Jeremy Myers at
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