A grey 2022 Lucid Air GT is shown from the front.

Am I Cut Out to Be an EV Driver?

It’s fairly obvious that the automotive industry is shifting in one direction with the emergence of EV after EV. From luxury brands like Cadillac and Lexus to American favorites like Chevy and Ford, it seems as though electric vehicles will be the only options available in the next few years. So, what does that mean for people like me, who is a total Type A, needs to be in control of every situation kind of person? I mean, when I see my phone’s battery below 50%, I panic…how am I ever going to trust that my EV won’t leave me stranded because its battery drained too quickly for some unknown reason? What about all those times my electronics had a momentary breakdown and needed a good restart to set things right…is this going to happen to me on the interstate when I have an electric vehicle at the helm of my journey?

It just begs the question, “Is an electric vehicle right for me?” I have trusted in my tried-and-true gas-powered Toyota Corolla to get me where I needed to go reliably and safely for years now. It even survived being crushed under a tree after a hurricane. How can I expect these new electric vehicles to be able to keep up with the standards I have set for my travels? If you’re like me—apprehensive about this whole EV thing—you’re not alone. The only advice I can give you is to do your research and don’t just jump on the EV bandwagon just because it seems like everyone else is doing it…because they’re not.

Market Shifts

In the next few years, you can expect to see a lot more electric vehicles on the road. It’s already happening in various markets around the country. I’m sure you’ve seen all of the EV commercials from various brands, like Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, and others, touting ultra-contemporary designs, cutting-edge tech features, and impeccable performance. The commercials seem to all be the same—mood music, beautiful people, and stunning angles of the vehicles, cast in an ethereal glow that makes them seem mesmerizing. Of course, these advertisements are going to capture your attention; it’s what the marketing department gets paid for, right?

There seems to be an immense amount of pressure placed on automakers to design more sustainable vehicles that have a more positive impact on the environment. Although industry giants, like GM, have seemed to roll with the punches pretty quickly with the acclaimed Ultium platform, others haven’t been as eager, it seems, to dive right into the electric vehicle movement. Toyota, for one, hasn’t made too many big moves yet with EVs, and it makes you wonder…are they playing it safe because they have a feeling EVs aren’t going to take off as planned? Maybe, and if you’re playing it safe, hanging onto your gas-powered vehicle until the EV industry becomes more stable, you may be making the right move.

A red 2020 Tesla Model S is shown from the side while driving.

Pros of Electric Vehicles

It may sound like I’m completely against EVs but hear me out. I’m just being cautious and doing my research first, just like anybody should when it comes to a big purchase like a vehicle. It’s true that there are benefits associated with driving an EV, but I have to question whether or not these benefits override the limitations for me personally. For one, EVs obviously don’t depend on fuel, and if you have a home charging station set up in your home, all you need to do is plug in your vehicle after you get home from work, and by the next morning, it’s ready to roll. I do that with my laptop, my iPhone, my Apple Watch, and pretty much everything else, so really, plugging in my car shouldn’t be a big deal, either.

We all know that EVs are touted as being better for the environment, producing zero tailpipe emissions, so that’s another win for the electric vehicle industry. They also require less maintenance due to the fact that you’re not dealing with a grimy engine with all those parts shoved under the hood, which, again, is an appealing feature for a lot of people. You’ll also get to take advantage of tax credits and incentives when you drive an EV, which helps you save money in the long run. Plus, there are a lot of options out there that are pretty neat, with ultra-stylish designs, loads of tech, and more desirable features. The ranges aren’t too bad either, with the average range of an electric car being over 200 miles on a single charge for many models available.

Cons of Electric Vehicles

There are a lot of Teslas where I live in Southwest Florida, and I have to say, these cars are pretty cool. They always beat my Corolla off the line at a red light (but let’s be honest, what car doesn’t blast past me…the Corolla wasn’t exactly built for speed), and that screen inside is pretty neat. But why are so many abandoned on the side of the interstate? Are these cars failing us, or are we failing them? Is this a result of poor planning regarding how long we’ve let them charge,, or are they just not performing how we expect them to perform?

On this same note, why are these drivers so distracted? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been hit by a Tesla because the driver was too busy staring at the laptop-sized screen inside. I don’t think it’s Tesla’s fault, but it does make me think that maybe a lot of us aren’t ready for this type of technology.

Tesla and many other brands include state-of-the-art tech, like large touchscreens, which means that drivers need to resist the urge to become distracted by the information displayed on these prominent screens. Also, when you own an EV, you have to plan ahead and make sure that it’s ready to go for the journey, and if you fail to do this, you may end up stranded on the side of the road. At least with gas-powered vehicles, there seems to be a gas station on every corner. EV charging stations…not so much.

Another thing that may be a deterrent is battery replacement. The average lifespan of an electric vehicle battery is 10-20 years, so having a plan for replacing the battery, which can cost well into the thousands, is important. Of course, who keeps their cars for that long anyway? By the time a new battery is needed, you may have already moved on to a better vehicle.

A silver 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is shown from the front at an angle.

The Verdict

So, ask yourself, “Can I do this?” before jumping headfirst into a shiny new EV. I’m just using Tesla as an example (don’t come for me, Elon); it’s just what I see the most where I live. The same goes for a number of electric vehicles on the market with appealing features. I’m more on the cautious end of the spectrum, but this is me. I’m a Type A person who needs to be in control, and the last thing I want to worry about is being stuck on the side of the road because the battery I thought I charged the night before somehow didn’t charge. This happened to my watch the other day, but thankfully, all I had to do was put it back on the little charger on my nightstand and get on with my day…it’s a little different when you’re rolling down the highway.

I’m certainly not knocking EVs. They’ve come a long way in the past couple of years, but if you’re a little skeptical about them, you’re not alone. The commercials you see may have you thinking that everyone is driving EVs, but that’s not the case, and as long as you do your research, I’m confident you’ll make the right decision when you’re ready to buy your next car. Just remember that as technology advances, we need to be able to keep up, especially when it comes to our vehicles. For now, I’m sticking with what I’ve got, but never say never…I may hop on board the EV train in the future if I feel that it suits my driving needs.

Don’t let the commercials fool you. This is a call you’ll need to make for yourself.