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
Most electric vehicles do not come with a spare tire, and the four tires of an electric vehicle are crucial to maintaining good range efficiency. In case of a tire leak, having the ability to inflate your tire on the road can be very useful. To address this, you may want to consider purchasing a portable tire inflator. I personally use a portable tire inflator that can be powered using my cigarette lighter and has a built-in tire pressure gauge. This mobile tire inflator can inflate your tires to your desired tire pressure and has helped my wife keep one of her slow-leaking tires inflated until she could get it replaced at the dealership. There are various brands available, and I have included a link to the portable tie inflator I use (Amazon Affiliate Link).
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. Depending on your vendor, roadside service could include tire replacement, battery charge, or towing services. Each roadside service provider offers a different level of service. AAA is another option if you are looking for roadside services outside of what your EV manufacturer provides. I prefer to work with your EV manufacturer since they may have some bespoke features and capabilities since they are familiar with your EV. If you want to look into AAA roadside, here is a link that can direct you to your local AAA.
Signup for Plugshare
The infotainment system of your electric vehicle has a trip planner that can guide you to the nearest charging stations. However, there may be situations where the trip planner fails to show all available options. This is where third-party apps like Plugshare come in handy. Recently, my family and I went to Kern River for a river rafting adventure, and our vehicle’s trip planner directed us to a charging station in Bakersfield, California. From there, we drove to an area close to Kernville.
While planning the return trip, we noticed that there were no chargers nearby, and we wanted to find a way to charge our vehicle before the journey back. Fortunately, we used the Plugshare app to find a level 2 charger at the US Forest Service station in Kernville. This helped us to recharge our vehicle and provided us with a seamless trip home. Plugshare is an excellent electric vehicle accessory that complements your access to EV charging locations.
Buy and Install Level 2 EV Home Charger
To keep your electric vehicle charged and ready, consider investing in a home charger. A level 2 electric vehicle charger can charge your vehicle overnight, ensuring a full battery for the next day. However, keep in mind that an electrician will need to install and set up the charger. The ChargePoint Home Flex and Enel X JuiceBox 40 chargers are excellent options, and Tesla owners can purchase a Tesla Wall Charger. Additionally, check out our incentives page to learn about local incentives for EV home chargers.
Buy Solar Panels to Wean Yourself off the Utilities
While the last item on your list may come with a hefty price tag, it has the potential to generate low-cost or even free electricity once paid off. Installing rooftop solar panels is a fantastic way to generate clean energy. Although it may take several years to see a return on your investment, once your solar panels are paid off, you can significantly reduce or even eliminate your electricity bill. To determine your break-even date and system cost, it’s best to consult with a solar installer who can walk you through your unique situation.
Fortunately, the government provides solar incentives for up to 30% of your solar system’s cost, which can make the transition to solar more affordable. There are many companies that offer solar panel installation services, but I recommend Sunpower (Sunpower affiliate link) due to their high-quality solar panels. Ultimately, it’s up to you to research and decide which solar manufacturer you feel comfortable with and what you’re willing to pay.
Another great way to save time and money while reducing your carbon footprint is by owning an electric vehicle. If you have any suggestions for other electric vehicle accessories, please let us know.