Buying an Electric Car: What to Know Beforehand

Apr 6, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

From horse-drawn carriages to fully-electric, high-performance automobiles in just over a century. How’s that for progress?

Not since the dawn of the automobile has the automotive industry gone through such a seismic shift as it’s going through at this moment in time. More and more Floridians are considering moving away from gasoline-powered vehicles and buying an electric car instead. After all, the best electric cars offer a combination of performance, reliability and range that makes them compelling alternatives to conventional, gas-powered vehicles. 

If you’re considering buying an electric car in the near future, the team at Gulfstar Electric wants to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make an informed decision. 

Ready? Let’s get into it. 

What’s The Best Electric Car?

There are so many variables that it’s nearly impossible to determine a universally-accepted answer to this burning question. However, there are some simple guidelines you can use to land the right electric car for you and your family. 

Type of Vehicle Electric vehicles are available in everything from compact hatchbacks such as the Nissan Leaf to luxurious SUVs such as the Rivian R1S and high-performance rides like the Tesla Model S. Depending on your budget, family size, etc., there are plenty of options for everyone from families to thrill seekers. 

Total Range Total range is a big deal in the world of electric cars, and one of the biggest hang-ups for people switching to an electric car is “range anxiety” because you can’t just fill up your EV at the gas station. Some models like the Audi E-Tron Sportback only have 180 miles or so of range while models like the Lucid Air Grand Touring can crank out over 500 miles on a single charge. If you plan to drive longer distances, consider a vehicle with a longer range. 

Charging Speed To further reduce range anxiety, some of the newest electric cars utilize advanced battery technology that works with the latest electric car charger platforms to deliver rapid charging times. Hyundai’s all-new Ioniq 6, for example, utilizes an 800-volt battery architecture that allows it to charge from 10% to 80% in only 18 minutes at DC Fast Charging stations such as Electrify America, EV Go, etc. This capability was first seen in the fully electric Porsche Taycan and then the Lucid, followed by Kia and Hyundai electric cars. Granted, you do need a compatible public electric car charger to experience this “Multi Ultra-Fast Charging.” 800 volt public charging stations are still a rarity, but the option is there and will likely expand.

Charging Stations As a nation, we are still a long way off from achieving the convenience that gas stations provide. However, there are public and private charging stations throughout Florida that allow EV owners to hook up for a fee and charge up their vehicles on the run. For example, Tesla is one of the most popular EVs because it only takes about 15 minutes for a Tesla to achieve up to 200 miles of charge at one of their proprietary Supercharger stations that are conveniently located throughout metropolitan areas and travel corridors. In fact, Tesla has over 45,000 stations, with more growing being added to the portfolio every year. 

Keep in mind, the software found in EVs is designed to constantly search for public charging stations and will often plan navigation routes based on the need to fill up the battery. 

How Do I Charge At Home?

Unlike a gasoline-powered car, EV charging stations are not just in public, but also right inside our garages. Once you return home with an EV, most owners choose to plug in their vehicle to ensure that they have maximum range when they head back out to work, pick up their kids, or just enjoy a night on the town.

Is it completely necessary to have an electric car charger at home? Here’s the rundown:

Level 1 Charger

Every electric vehicle comes with an electric car charger that attaches from the vehicle to a standard 110-volt outlet wall plug. This is known as a Level 1 charger and it usually delivers around 5 miles of range per hour charged, which is extremely slow. 

Level 2 Charger

To help remedy long charge times, companies like Tesla offer Level 2 EV chargers that are professionally installed by qualified electrical contractors like Gulfstar Electric. Level 2 chargers offer up to 40+ miles of range per hour. This means that after a full day of use, a Level 2 charger can fill your EV battery overnight, even on long-range models such as those offered by Lucid, Tesla, and Rivian. 

As you move through the process of buying an electric car, we strongly recommend having an electric car charger installed prior to bringing home your new vehicle. Gulfstar will be happy to walk you through the best electric car charging options for your home, office or condominium!

Tampa Bay Electric Vehicle Experts 

If you’re in the Tampa Bay area and are looking to join the electric vehicle revolution, Gulfstar Electric should be your first call. Our expertise in electric vehicle charger installation is extensive, with thousands of installations across Pasco, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Pinellas Counties and plenty of reviews from our customers that make us proud. 

Our team of professionals are certified installers or preferred partners for some of the best brands in the EV industry:

  • Tesla
  • Rivian
  • Enphase (formerly Clipper Creek)
  • Chargepoint
  • JuiceBox
  • Wallbox
  • Porsche
  • Audi
  • BMW

If you’re considering buying an electric car, call Gulfstar Electric or submit a work request for a free assessment of your electrician system first!