Four Items Every Electric Vehicle Owner Should Have

Home with solar panels

Owning an electric vehicle comes with challenges, and being prepared can make life easier. Over the years, I compiled a list of items I own that have improved my electric vehicle ownership experience. Here is my list of electric vehicle accessories every owner should consider.

Carry a Portable Tire Inflator

One of the items most electric vehicles do not come with is a spare tire. On top of that, the electric vehicle’s four tires are vital to maintaining good range efficiency. If one of your tires springs a leak, the ability to inflate your tire on the road can become a handy convenience. Consider purchasing a portable tire inflator. The portable tire inflator I carry uses my cigarette lighter and has a built-in tire pressure gauge. The mobile tire inflator can inflate your tires to your desired tire pressure and, in the past, has helped my wife keep one of her slow-leaking tires inflated till she could get it replaced at the dealership. Here is a link to the portable tie inflator I use (Amazon Affiliate Link). Any brand you research and are comfortable with will do. 

Get Roadside Assistance

While out and about, having access to roadside service is a huge help. Some EV manufacturers provide roadside service, so looking into coverage is a good idea. Roadside service, depending on your vendor, could include tire replacement, battery charge, or towing services. Each roadside service provider offers a different level of service. If you are looking for roadside services outside of what your EV manufacturer provides, AAA is another option. My preference is to work with your EV manufacturer since they may have some bespoke features and capabilities since they are familar with your EV. If you want to look into AAA roadside (affiliate Link) use our to learn more.

Signup for Plugshare

Your electric vehicle’s trip planner built into the infotainment can handle most of your routing to the appropriate chargers. However, in certain instances, your trip planner may not show any electric vehicle chargers when there are options. That’s when having a third-party app like Plugshare can help.

For example, my family recently went to Kern River to do river rafting. Our vehicle’s trip planner directed us to a charging station in Bakersfield, California, and from there, we drove to an area near Kernville. Looking at the return trip, we did not have a lot of wiggle room and wanted to see if we could charge somewhere around Kernville. Unfortunately, our vehicle trip planner showed no available chargers nearby. Using the Plugshare app, however, we found an EV charger at the US Forest Service station in Kernville and were able to use a level 2 charger to give us some breathing room. Plugshare is a great electric vehicle accessory that supplements your access to EV charging locations.

Buy and Install Level 2 EV Home Charger

Another useful electric vehicle accessory is a home charger. A fast level 2 electric vehicle charger at home will allow you to charge your vehicle overnight and start the next day with a full battery. Keep in mind a level 2 EV charger wil require an electrician to install and setup. The ChargePoint Home Flex or Enel X JuiceBox 40 (Amazon affiliate links) are all fine chargers. In addition, you can purchase a Tesla Wall Charger if you are a Tesla owner. Also, check out our incentives page to learn about any local incentives for EV home chargers.

Buy Solar Panels to Wean Yourself off the Utilities

The last item might have the largest price tag of all the items here but could generate no to low-cost electricity once paid off. Rooftop solar is a great way to develop clean electricity. The payback period of solar panels can be several years, but once paid off, you could eliminate or reduce your electricity bill (depending on how many solar panels you have). A solar installer can walk you through your situation and tell you what your break-even date and system cost look like. There are solar incentives for up to 30% of the price of your solar system provided by the government, which can help make a transition to solar more affordable. Many companies offer solar, but I ended up using Sunpower (Sunpower affiliate link). Sunpower is more expensive, but they make some of the highest quality solar panels. I suggest you research and decide what solar manufacturer you are comfortable with and what you are willing to pay. 

Owning an electric vehicle is a lot of fun and can save you time, money and reduce your carbon footprint. If you have suggestions for other accessories an EV owner would need let us know.  

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