Car Buyers’ Guide

Is An EV Right For You?

Thinking of buying an electric vehicle? Here are some factors to consider.

By Nick Esquer November 3, 2015 Published in the November 2015 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Fiat 500e

Not surprisingly, some experts are predicting that the electric-vehicle trend will cool off the longer gas prices remain near $2 per gallon. Still, Navigant Research has predicted that by 2023, Texas will see 100,000 electric vehicles on its roads and highways, way up from the measly 5,000 it counted last year. If you’re thinking of getting in on the EV revolution, here are some factors to consider:

Charging Stations 

Throughout Houston, forward-thinking companies are providing these. NRG, for instance, has installed a network of 23 charging stations throughout greater Houston, including one at a Cracker Barrel in League City, which allow subscribers who pay the monthly fee to hook up their cars anytime they want. Elsewhere, businesses from Whole Foods to Ruggles Green have installed stations in their own parking lots that allow customers to fuel up for free. Retrofitting your home to include a charging station runs anywhere from $300 to $1,300.

Power Costs 

Imagine a gallon of gas costing $2.25 at dawn, being nearly free around lunchtime, and then spiking up to $7 in the middle of the night. The cost of charging an electric car can depend not only on utility rates, but on when and where you do it. And while fueling an electric vehicle costs, on average, a third of the typical gas price, there are other figures to factor in. For instance, replacing an EV’s battery—which can be required after a certain number of years or miles, or after an accident—can run between $2,000 and $20,000.


Historically, electric cars aren’t cheap, but they’re getting more accessible each year. The Fiat 500e comes in at just over $32,000, while this year the Mitsubishi i-MiEV made news as the cheapest electric car on the market, available for only $22,295. And don’t forget: EV owners also get the benefit of tax breaks—even in Texas, where they receive a $7,500 income tax credit per electric vehicle.

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