Is an EV Right for Me?

Jim Motavalli

Jim Motavalli | Aug 07, 2014

All cars may be electric someday, but right now they’re a niche market and not for everybody. Donald Trump is likely to buy something else, and so is the guy who tows a boat 100 miles each way to his lake house on the weekends.

The best candidates for owning or leasing an EV will have some combination of these characteristics:

It’s important for you to feel like you’re helping out the environment.

Translation: You can’t make the argument for an EV on economic grounds, alone. (Flickr/j0hncooke)You have decent disposable income.

Translation: There are plenty of cheaper cars you can buy, even when you factor in savings. You have a relatively short commute.

Translation: You don’t want to be walking. (Flickr/Corey Templeton)You like being an early adopter. 

Translation: Bragging rights outweigh the economic losses and hassles. (Flickr/tyler)You’re not a worrier.

Translation: You’re going to worry.You’re a resident of a state that has already installed public chargers, or your workplace offers free EV charging. 
Translation: If you’re running on empty, better hope those chargers are in service and not occupied by someone else. And do you really want to be walking around a strange neighborhood with a 100-foot extension cord? (Flickr/Oregon Department of Transportation)

Car Talk Answer Guide: 
  • Four or more "yes" answers: Go for it! Then come back in a few months and tell us what you think of your new ride.
  • One to three "yes" answers: A Prius would be a nice compromise.
  • No "yes" answers: Better get that 2015 Lincoln Navigator.
How'd you score? Let us know in the comments!

EV Area Home

Get the Car Talk Newsletter

Got a question about your car?

Ask Someone Who Owns One