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It may be difficult to avoid driving an electric car in 2022

Electric automobile loading, plugged into charging station.
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The electric vehicle (EV) market experienced explosive growth in 2021, and that growth is projected to continue into 2022. In January, Tesla reported $5.5 billion in 2021 profits, more than six times higher than its 2020 earnings. And while demand for EVs continues to grow, auto manufacturers like Tesla worry that ongoing shortages and supply chain issues could limit production.

Is 2022 the time to dip your toe into the EV market? If you’re hoping to snap up an electric car in 2022, you’ll have more options than just the popular Tesla Models 3 and Y. Car manufacturers from Toyota to General Motors are nipping at Elon Musk’s heels with their own EV models, with Ford rolling out an electric F-150 to be released in the spring of 2022. And BMW, Nissan, Toyota and GM have already bought up ad space during Super Bowl LVI to market their new vehicles.

Electric car statistics

The electric vehicle industry continues to set records.

Recent growth:

Current usage:

  • Of the 200 most populous metro areas, the 10 cities with the highest uptake in EVs had a 10% EV share and 935 public charges per million people, on average.
  • 59 EV models were available in the U.S. in 2020. Each of those models had at least one sale, and 12 of those models had more than 4,000 sales. In 2020, EV model availability in Europe and China was between three and five times higher than in the U.S., since Europe and China have stronger incentives promoting EVs.
  • The U.S. has around 46,000 public EV charging stations as of 2021.
  • There are around 120,000 EV charging ports in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy. Most of those ports are Level 2 chargers. Note that charging stations can have multiple charging ports.
  • EV charging startups have received more than $2 billion from investors, according to Pitchbook. Most of that investment occurred in the last five years.
  • California, alone, accounts for around the same amount of EV charging stations as the 39 states with the lowest count combined.
  • The 50 most populous metro areas in the U.S. account for about 55% of the population, but about 77% of EV sales.

Predicted growth:

Environmental effects: 

Frequently asked questions about electric vehicles

Why 2022 is the year to buy an electric car

If you’re considering purchasing an electric vehicle — whether to reduce emissions or save on gas — the following factors may affect your choice.

As the EV sector progresses, EV trends seem to center around hands-free technology and AI. As electric cars progress in 2022, we may see self-driving capabilities become more common as consumers gain trust in automatic piloting technology. Tesla rolled out its first version of Autopilot software all the way back in 2015, but other manufacturers are just beginning to release their own versions. Volvo recently announced its own autonomous vehicle technology, Ride Pilot, which will allow drivers to travel on highways without supervising the vehicle, which means you’ll be able to eat or watch a movie while driving.

While battery-powered electric vehicles are the most popular type right now, German automakers, including Audi and BMW, are developing hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles alongside battery cars. These vehicles convert hydrogen into electricity inside the vehicle without releasing harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Hydrogen fuel cells have a greater energy storage capacity than lithium-ion batteries, so they may become more common in 2022. However, critics contend that the battery electric vehicle market is more viable than hydrogen vehicles could be. Elon Musk, “Technoking of Tesla,” commented that, “It’s just very difficult…to make hydrogen and store it and use it in a car.”

Most anticipated EVs for 2022

While Tesla leads the electric car industry in sales, several other automakers are drumming up interest for their 2022 releases. Buyers expectantly await the following vehicle releases this year:

  • Tesla Cybertruck: The all-electric Tesla Cybertruck is expected to launch later in 2022, longer than pre-ordering customers expected to wait. However, most customers interviewed by Business Insider reported that they were prepared to wait for the six-passenger truck, which boasts four motors and four-wheel steering, which allows the vehicle to complete extremely tight turns.
  • BMW iX: The all-electric BMW iX has appeared on lists featuring the best electric vehicles and best electric SUVs from publications like Car and Driver, Car Magazine and Edmunds. The car features a large trunk, luxury interior and spacious seating.
  • Chevy Equinox EV: GM is releasing an electric version of the popular Chevy Equinox in 2023. With a starting price of around $30,000, EV shoppers may be motivated to wait a year for the SUV’s release before making an EV purchase.
  • Nissan ARIYA: The Nissan ARIYA, coming in fall 2022, has an extended range of up to 300 miles on one charge, a dual motor, built-in Alexa and intelligent blind spot intervention.
  • Toyota bZ4X: Toyota’s new all-electric SUV comes with home charging capabilities, a driving range of up to 250 miles, Apple CarPlay and enhanced safety features.

Average cost of an electric vehicle

Electric vehicles are more expensive than gas-burning vehicles upfront. The average cost of an EV is $56,437, around $5,000 more than the average price of an entry-level, luxury, gas-burning vehicle, according to Kelley Blue Book. However, the savings on gas may make up for that sticker price difference. EV drivers spend around 60% less on fuel than gas-burning vehicle drivers, according to a Consumer Reports Study. Over the average 200,000 mile lifespan of their vehicle, the total cost of a gas-powered car would be $94,540, while a similar EV would cost $90,160, according to CNBC.

In addition, the sticker price of EVs is getting lower thanks to federal tax credits that can knock as much as $7,500 off the price of your vehicle. Additionally, EVs are expected to get even cheaper in the coming years thanks to battery and technology improvements.

Average cost of car insurance for EVs?

The average cost of car insurance across all vehicle types in the U.S. is $1,674 for full coverage. Meanwhile, the cost of car insurance for electric vehicles varies. High-end EVs cost more to insure. For instance, full coverage for a Tesla Model S costs $3,802 on average, while full coverage for a Fiat 500c costs $1,463 on average. However, rates will vary based on your individual characteristics, the make and model of your vehicle and what company you choose. You may want to look into companies that cater specifically to EV insurance.

In general, electric vehicles cost more to insure than conventional automobiles. Why? Electric vehicles are typically more expensive and have higher repair costs. Anticipating these higher repair costs, insurance companies may charge EV owners more for their car insurance.

Owning and driving an electric car

Are you considering purchasing an EV this year? Here are some facts about electric vehicles  that you may want to consider before buying.

Benefits of owning an EV

EVs come with certain benefits that you won’t find with an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

  • Tax credit: Depending on the make and model you drive, a federal tax credit could lower the price of your EV by up to $7,500. Certain states, including California, Massachusetts and Maryland, also offer state-based subsidies in addition to the federal tax credit.
  • Positive impact on environment: If you’re concerned about eco-friendly driving, an EV may be the right choice for you. EVs are much more climate-friendly than gas-burning vehicles, as they produce far less emissions. However, EVs can still affect the environment depending on how they are manufactured and charged.

Pros of driving an electric car over regular car

Many of the vehicles in the EV industry today come with state-of-the-art features including:

  • AI: Many EVs today come equipped with AI such as Alexa, including the Audi e-tron, BMW iX and more. Teslas come with a full self-driving chip and “Tesla Bot,” a humanoid robot designed to help the driver perform tasks.
  • Advanced anti-theft: Hyundai EVs are compatible with the company’s Blue Link anti-theft system. This anti-theft system shares the vehicle’s location with selected family and friends and can even share the car’s location on the owner’s Facebook page. The tech can also set up a geo-fence that notifies the owner or parents if the vehicle leaves a predetermined area. Teslas come with a state-of-the-art anti-theft system that uses cameras to surveil anyone who stands too close to your vehicle for too long.
  • Bioweapon defense: Tesla equips its vehicles with a HEPA filter to ensure drivers and passengers are protected from air pollution while inside the cab.
  • Self-driving capabilities: Teslas currently come with the only full Autopilot technology on the market, but other car manufacturers like Volvo are soon to roll out their own versions. Other EVs like the Nissan Leaf have certain driver assistance capabilities that include automatic braking and electronic stability control. However, these features will not fully pilot the vehicle for you.

Charging an electric car

Since electric vehicles don’t use gasoline, you’ll have to charge them periodically. Most cars on the electric vehicle market travel between 200 and 350 miles on a single charge.

Electric vehicle charging stations

How many charging stations are there in the U.S.? Fewer than 46,000 EV charging stations are located in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy. However, this number is expected to increase as demand for electric cars increases in the next few decades and electric vehicle production increases.

Maps like the one provided by PlugShare can point you to the nearest charging station or help you plan your trip. This service allows you to filter by the type of plug your vehicle uses, which locations require payment, the charging network you’re looking for and more. Filtering by a charging network allows you to see the largest EV charging networks in the U.S., which may be helpful.

Electric car charging technology

Three types of charging stations are available for EVs in the U.S.: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. A Level 1 charger provides 5 miles per hour of charge and may work well for hybrids such as the Kia Niro. A Level 2 charger works well with battery EVs such as the Tesla Model 3 and provides between 13 and 25 miles per hour of charge. Level 3 chargers work well with most battery EVs and only need about 10 to 30 minutes to reach a full charge.

Affordability of owning your own station

Many modern EVs can charge via a standard wall outlet. However, some EV drivers choose to purchase a full at-home charging station to get a quicker charge. While installing a Level 3 charging station can cost around $50,000, Level 1 and 2 stations are generally more affordable. A Level 2 charging station may cost between $300 and $700, while a Level 1 may cost between $180 and $300.

Written by
Lizzie Nealon
Insurance Writer
Lizzie Nealon is a former insurance writer for Bankrate. Her favorite part of the job is making home, auto and life insurance digestible for readers so they can prepare for the future.
Edited by
Insurance Editor