Charging an EV Bringing You Down? Try One Of These Alternatives

So you want to join the alternative energy age, but charging an electric vehicle isn’t quite working for you. Don’t fret; there are solutions that could get you back to commuting without an inconvenient fully electric car. Here are some alternatives to driving an EV or a gas-powered vehicle, like buying a PHEV, electric motorcycle, or even a solar car!

Try a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) instead of charging your EV every day

If your situation doesn’t permit you to drive an EV, or you’re just not ready, a PHEV could be a solid purchase. First, many plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) can run on electric power only for short distances. As a result, owners can perform short commutes and errands with zero-tailpipe emissions after charging them like any other EV. 

PHEVs, like electric motorcycles, constitute a solid alternative to buying and frequently charging an EV
PHEVs | Joby Sessions, T3 Magazine, Future via Getty Images

Next, PHEVs pack modest gas-powered engines to run on gasoline for longer trips. While that might not be anywhere near zero emissions, PHEVs are typically far more efficient than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. 

If you can manage, electric bicycles have come a long way

Let’s say you live inner-city, but you don’t want to commute with a traditional bike. An electric bicycle like the Aventon Soltera could serve you well. E-bikes can help you commute with ease and with zero emissions. Plus, you can use it similarly to a conventional bicycle, meaning you can still get a workout out of your electrically-assisted commute. 

Also, lightweight examples can fit in your living space, and charging them is as easy as plugging in your phone. Finally, if the traditional aesthetic of a bicycle doesn’t move you, plenty of companies make E-bikes that look like old-school beach cruisers and lean cafe racers. 

Want an affordable, fast EV? Try an electric motorcycle

Motorcycles have long been an efficient, quick, and fun way to get around. Better yet, electric motorcycles are gaining popularity, and even marques like Harley-Davidson are in on it. Also, there are EV motorcycles to match just about any budget. From the wallet-friendly Zero FXS to the thrilling LiveWire One

A Zero electric motorcycle is an EV, but its lightweight, fun, and efficient.
A Zero motorcycle’s charging port | Scott Olson, Getty Images

If you’re not convinced, how does 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds sound? That, or a city range of nearly 150 miles? I thought so; check out a LiveWire One or another high-performance electric motorcycle.  

Why not consider a solar-charging car, like the Lightyear 0?

If traditional EVs seem like too much, why not consider a different way to charge altogether? The new Lightyear 0 is a Dutch automaker’s answer to the conventional EV paradigm. It uses solar panels to charge and add range to its 60.0 kWh battery pack. Additionally, the Lightyear 0 solar car utilizes more efficient and aerodynamic construction to increase effectiveness.

A Lightyear 0 solar car is an alternative to charging a traditional EV frequently.
A Lightyear 0 solar car | Cesar Manso, AFP via Getty Images

However, Car and Driver reports that the Lightyear 0 is “proof of concept” rather than a market-saturating option. The Dutch automaker plans to produce under 1,000 examples of its first solar car for $265,000 each. Still, Lightyear suggests that the future Lightyear 2 will sell for around $31,700 and use some of the same revolutionary specifications. 

What should you buy instead of charging your traditional EV?

Depending on your living situation, any one of these options could help you reduce your carbon footprint during your daily travels. However, you should consider the practicality of each option. For instance, an E-bike might be impractical if you live in a rural region. Furthermore, with improvements in electric vehicle technology, upcoming examples like the Chevrolet Bolt EV promise over 200 miles of EV range and cheaper price tags. Still, if you want to add a bit of fun to your zero-emission drives, consider riding an electric motorcycle. 

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