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Electric vehicles have become increasingly accessible. Though they aren’t quite mainstream, they’re expected to grow in popularity as more charging stations appear across the US.
With that in mind, buying an EV may seem like a no-brainer. This is especially true if you consider yourself an environmentally friendly consumer. Using an EV cuts back on your carbon footprint and how much you spend at the pump. Still, it’s important to be mindful and just a little bit cautious.
Here are some of the most common mistakes new EV owners make.
1. Failing to Choose the Right Home Charger
There are many EV chargers on the market that owners can buy and install in their houses. Most EV charging takes place at home, according to a JD Power study in 2021. EVs have different charging capabilities, and no one-size-fits-all charging solution works for every type. There are a few factors to consider when choosing the right EV charger, including:
- Cable length
- Smart charging capabilities
- Plug-in or hardwired
- Power delivery
- Safety-certified with a warranty
It’s common for EV owners to purchase the most powerful charger, which is not always necessary. A less expensive, low-powered option should work fine for anyone charging their EV at home. There are many chargers online for affordable prices — consider looking for one that suits your needs.
2. Not Preserving the EV’s Battery
EVs run on battery power, so owners must care for their batteries properly. An EV battery could degrade rapidly or experience electrical issues without proper maintenance.
There are a few ways to preserve your EV’s battery. For example, park in dry, moderate areas and avoid exposing your vehicle to extreme temperatures. Avoid charging your battery to 100%, and let the car rest before charging it.
3. Improperly Storing the EV
EV owners must determine how they’d like to store their car when they aren’t driving it. For example, some people will install an insulated garage door, which can help maintain the EV’s battery life and protect it from the elements.
If you do not have a dedicated garage or storage space, consider buying a waterproof cover to protect your EV when sitting outside. Do what you can to preserve its life span and maintain its appearance.
4. Overthinking Range
Most EV owners believe range is the most important factor. However, don’t spend too much time worrying about how far your EV will take you on a single charge.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated in 2020 that the average EV range was more than 250 miles, with some efficient vehicles reaching 400 miles. Avoid making the mistake of overpaying for range because it’s probably unnecessary. The last thing you should want as a sustainable driver is to be wasteful.
5. Misunderstanding Local Charging Infrastructure
Charging stations are not as ubiquitous as gas stations, but that doesn’t mean EV owners are limited to charging at home. They need to learn about their local charging infrastructure and locate the stations closest to their home, work or school.
Also, it’s a good idea for EV owners to understand the differences between the levels of charging stations, including levels 1, 2 and 3. Each one offers different speeds at various prices. Drivers should learn which stations work best for their specific needs.
6. Ignoring Charging Etiquette
New EV owners may not know basic charging etiquette when using a public station. For example, when done, move out of the way so another driver can begin charging their vehicle. Other tips include:
- Never unplug someone else’s EV.
- Stop charging around 90%, not 100%.
- Sign up for EV charger accounts, such as Electrify America or EVGo, before arriving at the charging station.
- You cannot charge your EV in a Tesla charging station unless you own a Tesla.
Most of the time, EV charging is simple and efficient. However, it’s important to be mindful of other drivers and respectful of their time. This makes for a stronger community of like-minded people.
Avoid the Common Mistakes New EV Owners Make
EVs are expected to become the standard vehicle for many drivers across the country. They can help consumers live more sustainably and save money without compromising performance. Because EVs are still relatively new, new owners may make some mistakes during the first few months. Avoid them to get the most out of your EV and fully enjoy the experience.