You may have heard that electric vehicles (EVs) are the wave of the future. And it’s true – EV sales are rising, with several major automakers planning to release new EV models in the coming years.
But what about older drivers? Are EVs a good option for them, or are there barriers that make driving electric a less attractive option? Let’s take a look.
High upfront costs
As electric vehicles become more popular, many seniors are eager to join the trend. After all, EVs offer several advantages over traditional gas-powered cars, including lower maintenance costs and reduced emissions. However, the high upfront cost is one of the biggest barriers to ownership.
While the long-term savings can be significant, many drivers simply can’t afford to make the initial investment. In addition, EV technology is still relatively new, which can add to the sense of uncertainty about making such a major purchase.
As a result, it’s important for manufacturers to continue working to reduce the cost of EVs so that more seniors can enjoy the benefits of this clean and efficient transportation option.
The learning curve
Another potential barrier for older drivers is the learning curve associated with operating an EV. Even if you’re comfortable with new technology, getting used to how an electric car drives and handles can still take some time. If you have any questions or concerns, your best bet is to talk to someone who already owns an EV. They can give you first-hand advice on what it’s like to drive electric.
You might also want to consider visiting a nearby EV dealership or test-driving an EV before making the decision to switch from a gasoline-powered car. That way, you can get a feel for how an electric car would fit into your daily life.
Once you’ve made the switch, plenty of online resources – including YouTube videos and user forums – can help you master the ins and outs of driving electric.
Another potential barrier for older drivers is ‘range anxiety’ – the worry that you won’t be able to find a place to charge your car when you need to. While this was once a valid concern, today, there’s a growing number of public charging stations worldwide.
Publicly available EV charging points were up by nearly 40% in 2021. In most cases, it’s easy to find a charger when you need one, and much newer EVs have built-in navigation systems that can guide you to the nearest charging station.
If you’re worried about being able to charge your car at home, there are plenty of options. You can install a charger in your garage or driveway or talk to your building manager about installing chargers if you live in an apartment or community living complex (a common independent living opportunity for older individuals).
While there may be some barriers – such as the learning curve and range anxiety – these can be overcome with a little bit of research and education. And once you’ve made the switch, you may find that driving electric is simpler and more enjoyable than you ever thought possible.