How to shop for an electric car
By CARROLL LACHNIT
Wednesday, September 26
Even though electric vehicles account for just a fraction of overall car sales, they are slowly gaining favor with buyers, particularly as second cars for daily commuting.
While you’re researching EVs, you’ll deal with the usual considerations, including price, comfort, cargo space and handling. Edmunds’ Best Electric Cars guide can streamline the research.
Shopping for an EV also means rethinking your approach to refueling and how far the car can travel between charges. And you’ll need to learn about charging, electric rate plans, and EV incentives and rebates. It’s manageable, though. You’ll find online resources from carmakers, utility companies, EV owner forums, government agencies and EV advocates such as Plug In America.
PLAN FOR CHARGING
Most EV owners charge at home. To power up faster, invest in 240-volt, Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).
Dealerships can set you up with both the EVSE and installation, or you can shop online and possibly get a better deal. An average cost for the system and professional installation is about $1,750, but it varies by region as well as the specific location of your electrical panel. This figure doesn’t include the cost of any permits or upgrades that your electric service might need. Get estimates of these costs before you finalize your car deal. A good source for home charger information is GoElectricDrive.org.
Visit your utility company’s website to see what charging plan will work best for you. Utilities in areas that are popular for EVs have plans that make charging affordable.
Conventional wisdom says that EVs are impractical if they don’t deliver the range of a conventional car. The figure that’s often cited is 300 miles.
But that’s gas-car logic, says Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing for Edmunds and an EV owner. Let’s assume this is your second car, as is most often the case. If you plug in overnight with a Level 2 home charger, all you need is a car capable of meeting your daily driving needs. More range requires bigger batteries, and they raise the price of the car significantly.
Here are some affordable EVs that deliver 100 miles or more on a charge (prices include destination fees): the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt (238 miles, $37,495); the 2018 Nissan Leaf (151 miles, $30,875); the 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric (124 miles, $30,385); and the 2018 Kia Soul EV (111 miles, $33,145).
EV-FOCUSED TEST DRIVES
When you have your short list of cars, make appointments at dealerships for back-to-back test drives. Here are some specific things to note:
— An EV is inherently quieter than a gasoline-powered car because its electric motor is dramatically quieter than an engine. But you should still observe how quiet the car is on the highway. Cut the conversation, keep the windows up, and turn off the radio.
— Take time to review the car displays that let you monitor the battery, charging and energy usage. They can help you maximize range. Also inquire about smartphone apps that let you check on your vehicle’s charging status.
— Get a feel for regenerative braking, which can slow the car significantly as soon as you lift off the accelerator pedal. Most EVs have driver-adjustable levels of regenerative braking, so it might be worth checking your test car to find out which mode it’s in.
CHECK OUT INCENTIVES AND TAX CREDITS
While there are lots of incentives and rebates for EV buyers, the federal EV tax credit of up to $7,500 gets the most attention.
This credit, however, begins to phase out after manufacturers sell 200,000 qualifying EVs. Tesla hit its 200,000 mark in July, so you would have to take delivery of a Tesla vehicle by December to be eligible for the full credit. GM is expected to sell its 200,000th qualifying car early next year, so Chevrolet Bolt buyers should be poised to act soon, too.
Remember that the federal credit is not a discount or rebate. You have to qualify for a car loan and make payments based on the full amount, then file for the credit on your return.
A way to avoid the tax-credit hassle is to lease the EV. When you do that, the dealer takes the tax credit and applies the savings to your deal.
Leasing also shields you from the tendency of electric vehicles to lose more value than conventional cars. Some of the factors depressing EV prices include heavy new-vehicle incentives, low demand and the rapid pace of technological advancements, making new models more attractive.
Edmunds says: EVs are steadily becoming more amenable to everyday use. But it’s still vital to study up before you buy or lease one.
This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds. Carroll Lachnit is a senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds. Twitter: clachnit.
— Electric Trio Video: The Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 Square Off https://bit.ly/2p5zt7i
— Compare popular EV models on Edmunds: https://edmu.in/2Mw8A60
— Edmunds’ Best Electric Cars for 2018: https://edmu.in/2Jk3cWV
— The True Cost of Powering an Electric Car: https://edmu.in/2vha1k5
— The Pros and Cons of Buying a Used EV: https://edmu.in/2QIZ0jB
Drivers Rely Too Heavily on New Vehicle Safety Technologies
Misunderstanding and misuse of driver assistance technologies could lead to crashes
COLUMBUS, Ohio (September 26, 2018) – Many drivers are unaware of the safety limitations of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which are rapidly being offered as standard on new vehicles, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Lack of understanding and confusion about these technologies can lead to misuse and overreliance on the systems, which could result in deadly crashes.
In 2016, 37,400 people died from traffic crashes on U.S. roads – a five percent increase from 2015. Ohio’s traffic fatalities are also on the rise. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol statistics, 1,179 people died in traffic crashes on Ohio’s roads in 2017 – a 16 percent increase from 2013.
The AAA Foundation found that if installed on all vehicles, ADAS technologies can potentially prevent more than 2.7 million crashes, 1.1 million injuries and nearly 9,500 deaths each year.
“When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems.”
Driver Interaction Study:
To better understand driver interaction with ADAS technologies, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey drivers who recently purchased a 2016 or 2017 model-year vehicle with ADAS technologies. Researchers evaluated drivers’ options, awareness and understanding of these technologies and found that most did not know or understand the limitations of the systems.
Blind spot monitoring: 80 percent of drivers did not know the technology’s limitations or incorrectly believed the systems could monitor the roadway behind the vehicle or reliably detect bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles passing at high speeds. In reality, the technology can only detect when a vehicle is traveling in a driver’s blind spot, and many don’t reliably detect pedestrians or cyclists.
Forward collision warning and automatic emergency breaking: Nearly 40 percent of drivers did not know the systems’ limitations, or confused the two technologies – incorrectly reporting that forward collision warning could apply the brakes in the event of an emergency, when the technology is only designed to deliver a warning signal.
False expectations for ADAS systems can easily lead to misuse of the technology or an increase in driver distraction. In the survey:
About 25 percent of drivers using blind spot monitoring or rear cross traffic alert systems report feeling comfortable relying solely on the systems, and not performing visual checks for oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
About 25 percent of drivers using forward collision warning or lane departure warning systems report feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving.
“New vehicle technology is designed to make driving safer, but it does not replace the important role each of us plays behind the wheel,” said Yang. “The prospect of self-driving cars is exciting, but we aren’t there yet.”
Despite the findings that show confusion about some ADAS technologies, at least 70 percent of vehicle owners report that they would recommend a given technology to other drivers.
These findings should prompt additional focus on the importance of educating new and used car buyers about how safety technologies work.
“Automakers have an ethical and important responsibility to accurately market and to carefully educate consumers about the technologies we purchase in the vehicles we drive off the lot,” said Yang.
Only about half of the drivers who report purchasing their vehicle from a car dealership recalled being offered a training on the ADAS technology. However, for those who were, nearly 90 percent took advantage of the opportunity.
“With ADAS technologies offering proven safety benefits when properly used, it is important that automakers and others play a greater role in educating motorists about the technology available in the vehicles they purchase,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “AAA also urges drivers to take charge of learning their vehicle technology’s functions and limitations in order to improve safety on the road.”
In order to reduce misuse and overreliance on the systems, AAA encourages drivers to:
See it in action: When shopping for a vehicle, insist on an in-vehicle demonstration and test drive to better understand how the systems will engage on the roadway.
Ask questions: Ask plenty of questions about the alerts, functions, capabilities and limitations of the vehicle’s safety technology before leaving the dealership.
Read up: Once you’ve purchased a car, read the owner’s manual to learn about the systems on your vehicle
For additional resources, visit AAA.com/DriverAssistanceSystem.
Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit AAAFoundation.org.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited online at AAA.com.
$148 Million Multistate Settlement with Uber
Over $1.2 Million to Be Distributed to Ohio Uber Drivers Affected by 2016 Data Breach
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today (Sept. 26) announced a nationwide settlement with Uber over its delay in notifying affected drivers about a 2016 data breach. The attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia are participating in the settlement.
Uber has agreed to pay $148 million to the states and to maintain a comprehensive data security program to protect the personal information of Uber riders and drivers.
“People deserve and need to know when their personal information is breached so that they can protect themselves,” Attorney General DeWine said. “This settlement will help protect Uber drivers’ and riders’ personal information, and it underscores the importance of companies providing prompt, appropriate notice about data breaches.”
As part of the settlement, Attorney General DeWine is setting aside more than $1.2 million to provide each eligible Ohio Uber driver with a $100 payment. Eligible Ohio drivers are those who drove or applied to drive for Uber prior to November 2016 and whose driver’s license numbers were accessed during the 2016 breach. (Some eligible drivers may no longer be driving for Uber.) An outside settlement administrator will be appointed to distribute the payments to eligible drivers in the coming months.
In November 2016, Uber learned that hackers had gained access to certain information, including the names and driver’s license numbers of about 600,000 Uber drivers nationwide, including more than 12,000 in Ohio. The breach triggered laws in Ohio and other states requiring the company to notify affected individuals, but Uber waited until November 2017 to report it.
Uber has agreed to strengthen its corporate governance and data security practices to help prevent a similar occurrence in the future. The settlement requires Uber to:
Take steps to protect any user data that Uber stores on third-party platforms;
Require strong password policies for Uber employees;
Develop and implement a strong overall data security policy for all data that Uber collects about its users; and
Hire a qualified outside party to assess Uber’s data security efforts on a regular basis and draft a report with any recommended security improvements.
As a co-lead state in the multistate investigation that led to the settlement, Ohio will receive $5,585,868 of the total settlement. Settlement funds will be used to provide payments to eligible Ohio Uber drivers and to fund consumer protection efforts.
In addition to enforcement actions, Attorney General DeWine has taken several other steps to promote cybersecurity and protect consumers’ personal information.
“We’re focused on taking innovative approaches to encouraging strong cybersecurity practices and protecting consumers,” Attorney General DeWine said.
Attorney General DeWine led the effort to urge Ohio lawmakers to pass the Data Protection Act, which encourages businesses to adopt proven cybersecurity measures. The legislation, which Governor John Kasich signed into law in August, takes effect on Nov. 2. It is based on recommendations from the Attorney General’s CyberOhio Advisory Board. Attorney General DeWine formed the CyberOhio initiative to foster a legal, technical, and collaborative cybersecurity environment to help Ohio’s businesses thrive and protect consumers’ personal information. In addition to its legislative work, CyberOhio organizes summits to encourage collaborative learning between technology, business, law, and government sectors and hosts workshops to encourage, develop, and inspire a new generation of cybersecurity leaders.
For consumers whose personal information has been used fraudulently, Attorney General DeWine’s office also provides an Identity Theft Unit, which was established in 2012 to help victims correct the effects of identity theft. The unit has helped clear millions of dollars in fraudulent charges.
For more information about cybersecurity or identity theft, individuals should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.