A big thanks is due to the Sierra Club, as it has just launched a new ‘pick-a-plug-in’ internet tool to help you pick the best electric car for your driving habits and needs.
A lot of people aren’t even aware of a single electric car on the market, and certainly don’t know all of the electric cars on the market. Being an electric car expert, I was very curious to see how the tool performed for me, so I gave it some imaginary parameters (I don’t need a car at all, so I had to adjust reality a bit to make one make sense). The list of cars I got pitched seemed fine, but I’m not so sure about the ranking (if, indeed, they were ranked — that wasn’t entirely clear).
Overall, though, for a typical person, I think this is super useful. They can find new cars they weren’t previously aware of, then they can learn more about them and go on test drives to narrow it down.
In case you haven’t clicked over yet and want to learn more before doing so, the questions the Sierra Club tool asks include:
- How many miles total do you drive in a typical day?
- For long trips, would you consider using another car in household, renting, car-sharing, carpooling, or taking bus/train/plane?
- Do you have access to an electrical outlet in a garage or driveway at home or at work?
- Minimum number of seats needed?
- What’s your maximum budget for a vehicle?
- For plug-in hybrids, how important to you is fuel economy when it’s in hybrid mode?
Good questions, and the Sierra Club provides good answer options as well.
Of course, as I’ve written before, there are a lot of reasons to switch to an electric car. I think they will quickly replace gasmobiles once people learn about them. The biggest barrier to their wider adoption today is simply awareness.
“There are a lot of compelling reasons why more than a quarter million Americans have already bought EVs since they first came on the mass market a few years ago,” noted Gina Coplon-Newfield, director of the Sierra Club’s Future Fleet & Electric Vehicles Initiative. “They are cool high-tech wonders, there is little or no need to ever visit a gas station, they are much cheaper to fuel — the equivalent of about $1 a gallon, and they are much better for the environment — even when considering the emissions from the electricity to charge them up.”
Also, if you weren’t aware, it’s worth noting that there’s a federal electric vehicle incentive on the table right now — a tax credit up to $7,500 in value. Some states also offer big incentives. For example, California offers a $2,500 rebate, access to carpool lanes, and other incentives.
For more info, you can also check out Sierra Club’s online EV Guide, which provides info on EV incentives based on zip code!
Check out these two great electric car tools today!