It is auto show season, and we just got home from the 2022 New York Auto Show, nicknamed NYAIS for short. While we were there seeing what’s new, next and fabulous, we ran into fellow MAMA member, the fun and witty Jenni Newman, Editor-in-Chief at Cars.com. This year’s show was full of electrified vehicles heading to market and refreshed versions of those already there. So, it is no surprise that we took the chance to chat about the trends in EV, ideas for the EV Curious and how to make the most of an auto show experience.
Scroll through to snag a bit of the fun.
What trends do you see in the EV space?
Consumers’ interest in EVs has skyrocketed so far this year, with EV searches on Cars.com growing by 43% from January to February and by 57% from February to March. The increased interest has been fueled by spiking gas prices — in addition to already high overall inflation — as well as new model announcements such as the Ford F-150 Lightning and the GMC Hummer EV that garnered a lot of buzz.
Automakers first grabbed consumers’ attention during Super Bowl LVI in February when six of the eight car commercials featured during the big game were for electric vehicles. During the Super Bowl, Cars.com saw an 80% lift in pageviews for electric vehicles.
What’s also interesting around this increased interest in EVs is automakers are now offering their EVs in versions that appeal to shoppers. They’re targeting the popular SUV and pickup truck categories, making it a little easier for shoppers to make the switch to EV because they don’t feel like they’re sacrificing legroom or cargo space.
What advice would you give the EV Curious?
There’s a lot to consider before buying an EV. The first is whether you’ll be able to charge your new EV at home, and the EV curious should note that having a 120-volt standard outlet in your garage won’t cut it when it comes to charging today’s EVs. The 120-volt, or Level 1, charging only adds 3-5 miles of range per hour. That means an empty EV with a 250-mile range would take 50 hours to charge.
When it comes to at-home charging, Cars.com recommends 240-volt Level 2 charging. This will allow you to add 5.5-60 miles of range per hour depending on the EV, charger and home charging circuit.
Cars.com installed Level 2 charging at the homes of six Editorial employees, and the costs varied from about $1,700 to nearly $7,000. The process can be expensive and at times, tricky, so it’s important to figure out your home-charging situation before you buy an EV.
Relying on at-home charging is a lot more convenient and affordable than using public-charging stations, which may not be conveniently located or may be offline for some reason.
Range is another consideration when shopping for an EV. You need to look at your daily driving habits — how long is your commute, are you on the highway or city streets, and what are the weather conditions in your area — when thinking about how much you’ll need.
Cold temperatures will impact your EV’s range. If you live in a cold-weather state, your EV can lose up to 40% of its total range when the temps drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This is due to battery capacity lost at colder temperatures and the need to heat the EV’s cabin, which impacts the range.
In addition to cold temps, long-term battery capacity can degrade 5-10% over a span of five years. What this means is an EV’s 250-mile range might only get you 125 miles of actual range in cold weather after five years of ownership.
Once you’ve figured out your at-home charging capabilities and your range needs, you’re ready to start EV shopping, which then becomes much more like shopping for a traditional gas-powered vehicle.
Do you have a recommendation for a favorite family EV vehicle?
Cars.com’s editors recently named the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 our Top Pick for Family EV.
The Ioniq 5 is a compact SUV with a surprisingly roomy interior that gives families the backseat legroom to easily handle bulky car seats or growing tweens and teens. The backseat slides forward and back — allowing owners to give more space to their rear passengers or if the backseat is empty, to the cargo area.
In the top trim, the Ioniq 5 Limited, families are pampered with build-in sunshades for the rear windows, a retractable sunshade for the panoramic moonroof, and 120-volt outlets in the backseat and an adaptor in the charge port will power a large TV, a slow cooker, a laptop … you name it.
With up to 300 miles of range, the Ioniq 5’s composed ride on the highway stands out among its competitors — many EVs have quirky ride quality — but this Hyundai EV is comparable to that of a gas-powered EV.
And from the NY Auto Show, for consumers what are some tips to get the most out of your auto show experience?
Because of the new-car inventory shortage, auto shows are a great way for car shoppers to take a long list of cars they’re interested in and over the course of walking the show floor, narrow their list of a few serious contenders.
At the auto show, you’ll be able to sit in the car, check out the cargo area, and get a sense of whether the vehicle will fit your life and your family. You’ll likely have a chance to see more than one trim of the cars you’re considering. That’s not easy to do these days with limited inventory at dealerships.
The auto show booths are staffed with knowledgeable product specialists who can answer all your questions in a no-pressure environment.
Thank you to Jenni Newman for the time and sharing a bit of her wisdom with the DSMP audience.
To see more of Jenni’s work and to learn more about Cars.com, visit here.
Check back soon for more Car Conversations with some of our favorite people in automotive.