When electric cars first came to the mass market, customers were often blown away by the cost of buying them. The “expensive” label has stuck, although prices have significantly decreased as more options have been released, and the technology has been rapidly progressing. Here’s the interesting thing with this “new technology”, these vehicles have actually been available in some form since the 1830’s!
Range per charge, long term maintenance and affordability as some of the main reasons people hesitate to invest in this technology. As vehicles have become more available, three options need to be highlighted. A hatchback, sedan and crossover, budget friendly for the cost conscious consumer.
Maintenance costs over all on electric vehicles have trended downward to be lower than traditional fuel powered vehicles. Since some regular maintenance like oil changes are no longer necessary it eliminates some of the most frequent maintenance costs.
Miles per change vary greatly on the vehicle you are planning on purchasing. Some cars like the Nissan Leaf are available with different mileage lengths depending on the sub model you choose to purchase. Overall, electric cars might not yet be the vehicle of choice for long distance drivers, it suits most Americans driving habits just fine.
While many questions are answered by experts, here we will cover what regular electric car owners think of their investment.
Nissan Leaf and Leaf Plus
Starting at $29,990 MSRP
Leaf Plus starting at $36,550 MSRP
Nissan makes an affordable and widely available electric vehicle called the Leaf. With the introduction of the Nissan Leaf Plus in 2019, this little hatchback is better then ever and perfect for a budget conscious buyer. One Leaf owner had this to say this about their purchasing decision, “(it) was the most cost effective EV at the time”
Janet owes a 2017 Nissan Leaf SL. “I love the zero maintenance and zero gas. I love that the weight of the vehicle is spread evenly thru car, so handles incredibly well in the winter. I love the handling, instant heat, the fact I can leave car ‘running’ in the hot and cold seasons, love the zero emissions.”
While the standard Nissan Leaf has a range per charge of 150 miles, and the Plus allows you to go even further. With a range of 226 miles on one charge, it has the ability to go as far as a vehicle with a small gas tank.
Shauna MacDonald bought her Nissan Leaf because of her concern for the environment and a love of technology. Shauna raves about the comfortable seat, upscale interior and good price point.
As for downsides? Shauna says, “None yet. Although I anticipate a loss of range this winter; it will still be more than I need in a day, so I won’t have range anxiety.” And Janet? She says this, “Battery degradation of the Leaf. I will still own it for (likely) 6-8 years before the battery no longer suits my needs.”
Hyundai Ioniq EV
Starting at $31,235 MSRP
The Hyundai Ioniq EV is a sleek sedan available for sales in a select number of states. The car came out in the USA in 2017 and it’s owners have nothing but the most glowing recommendations.
Rachael A Eldred is a Canadian Ioniq owner of a 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Ultimate. Her thoughts about the sedan make it pretty clear that she’s a huge fan. “I love how easy this car is to own and drive. I’ve had it for 5 months now and have never once regretted buying it. It’s quiet, quick, convenient, user-friendly, and pretty good looking if I might say so. Being the most efficient EV helped in the decision, along with government rebates that came into effect here in May.”
Hyundai offers the best electric battery warranty on the market at this time, what they call a “standard Lifetime Hybrid/Electric Battery Warranty.” Consumer Reports clearly doesn’t mince words when it comes to some of the vehicles downsides: handling and battery life in the cold and snow.
Rachael told us about some of the downsides to the Ioniq. “I wish it was a bit roomier (especially since we came from a huge 7-passenger car), but for four adults it’s more than adequate. And the trunk is spacious. The paint quality isn’t fabulous but that’s down to Hyundai, nothing to do with the EV.” Guy, another Ioniq owner has only one downside to offer, he says “you have to plan for long road trips”.
On the bright side, charging the car might have some upside. Nathan Russell-Meharry shares this insight: “I enjoy taking the car on longer road trips (300km+), I found stopping to charge makes the trips more enjoyable. You get use to the 20min rest stops and visit areas you might not traditionally, because of the charging station.”
Hyundai Kona EV
Starting at $36,950 MSRP
Consumer Reports raves about this budget friendly SUV, “The Kona Electric is one of the best electric vehicles (EV) under $50,000 that we’ve tested.” This SUV was well loved as a fuel powered SUV but the electric version is even better.
While so many electric cars are made small or compact, this crossover stands above the rest not just in price point but also by the space and agility. The Kona has an impressive 258 mile range on a charge and it boasts an impressive 45.8 cu. ft. of cargo space.
Benoit LeBlanc owns a 2019 Kona Electric Ultimate and had this to share: “I like that it’s quiet and it doesn’t smell gas! I charge from home 99% of the time. Acceleration on EVs is just fantastic compared to ICE [Internal Combustion Engine] vehicles. Heated and ventilated seats, great sounds system, as well as the Heads Up Display, make it for a very comfortable ride.” Benoit says that they bought the Kona for “desire to cut back on gas prices, environmental concern, love of technology.”
When asked about the Kona’s drawbacks, Benoit had a few concerns, one being the location of the charging port at the front of the vehicle. In case of an accident, Benoit worries about damage to the port.
Shelley Kowalchuk from Women Drive Electric, mentions that in Canada there aren’t many charging stations which can hamper the ease of long road trips. Shelley doesn’t normally do any long distance driving so this isn’t a concern to her specifically.
When Shelley was asked why she decided to buy an electric car, her answer is clear: “I’ve always felt that Big Oil manipulates prices and I love that we aren’t reliant on them anymore. To me, it’s a political statement, owning an electric car. With the increasing evidence of climate change, I’m glad we can do our bit to reduce our impact on it.”
Electric cars now go further and the options are vast. The Leaf, IonIQ and Kona are great budget friendly options in different styles to fit your lifestyle, not just your pocketbook. When you consider your next car purchase, test drive and research an electric car option. You may be surprised with the ease of ownership, features and fuel savings.