An Electric Vehicle for Everyone

An already wide selection of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to grow.

We all like choices. Check out the cereal aisle at your local grocer or the "coffee" menu at your favorite coffeehouse.

"One size does not fit all" when it comes to vehicles either. Drivers also range from the practical shopper to the sports car enthusiast. Some want a small car to squeeze into compact car-only spots while others want an SUV to haul their kids' hockey gear. Or, some drivers dream of a sporty sedan that goes zero-to-60 mph in less than four seconds.

What many buyers may not realize is the assortment of EV options at dealerships right here in Madison.
There are more than 40 EV models available in almost every vehicle class from the Chevy Bolt hatchback to the Chrysler Pacifica minivan.  And that number is expected to double in the next five years.

All electric or gasoline backup?

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata PHEV has battery-only range of 27 miles.

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata PHEV has battery-only range of 27 miles.

Like their gasoline counterparts, today's EVs offer many choices when it comes to trim, color and packages. And like gas-powered vehicles, which may take either regular or premium fuel, EVs also are "fueled" in different ways. For example, some vehicles are all-electric while others are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) or battery electric vehicles (BEV).

What's the difference?

BEVs, like the Chevy Bolt, Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model 3, run on electricity only. They have an electric motor. The battery recharges by plugging into an electrical outlet or charging station. On average, you can drive from 100 to 240 miles on a charge. Automakers are promising future models will travel 300 miles or more on a single charge.

PHEVs also have an electric motor and battery, with a gasoline engine for backup. You can drive from 10 to 50 miles on electricity before the gasoline engine kicks in. PHEVs can travel between 300 to 600 miles before you need to charge or fuel up. There are many models available, including the Chrysler Pacifica Minivan, Honda Clarity, Mitsubishi Outlander and BMW 330e.

PHEV or BEV?

That depends on your driving habits and lifestyle. If you live in DeForest and work in Madison, a BEV might be a good choice. As an example, the Chevy Bolt gives you more than 200 miles per charge. If you travel for your job or take your kids to soccer tournaments in Wausau and Green Bay, a PHEV may be the option for you since they typically allow for greater distance travel.

The future

If I look into my crystal ball (or just read the auto trade journals), it is clear automakers are committed to building and selling EVs for drivers with different needs, price points and features. That means there will continue to be more choices for drivers—and we're likely to see some of them sooner than later! In fact, it's predicted there will be more than 100 models on the road by 2022.

Check out EV Rider to learn more about EVs in 2018 and beyond.

published: Apr-23-2018

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