The all-electric iX is spacious, comfortable, surprisingly efficient and ridiculously agile for its size. If… you can get past its slightly polarizing design, you may just fall in love with this electric BMW.
Gas-powered SUVs are comforting in their familiarity. With gas stations easily accessible across the country, they provide unparalleled freedom and, in some cases, a dramatic exhaust note to boot. Sadly, they also produce a lot of air pollution. Electric SUVs are an environmentally friendlier alternative and a great match for many drivers' day-to-day needs.
Electric SUVs drive differently but not necessarily in a bad way. They provide instant torque, making them feel zippy around town. And with regenerative braking, drivers can practice "one-pedal driving," in which simply lifting off the throttle pedal results in significant deceleration. Electric-SUV ownership means adopting new habits as a driver and owner. Luckily, one of those habits is never having to visit a gas station. If you can install a charging station at home or have access to one where you work, there's a strong chance an electric SUV would make a good commuter for you.
Hybrids use an electric motor to assist a gasoline engine, improving fuel efficiency while maintaining the freedom of a gas-powered vehicle. They're more mechanically complex, but owning (and driving) a hybrid really isn't much different from owning a traditional gas-powered vehicle, which is definitely part of the appeal.
Plug-in hybrid SUVs can be charged up like an electric SUV and driven for a short distance on full electric power before switching over to normal hybrid operation. Most plug-in hybrids won't go more than 30 miles or so on electricity, though. If you really want to rack up those all-electric miles, an electric SUV is an easy choice.
If you can access a charging station at your home or office, you can likely rely on an electric SUV to replace your gas-powered vehicle for everything but road trips. All you have to do is plug it in at either location, and it'll charge up while you're doing other things. Electricity is also cheaper than gas, meaning you'll save money on energy over the life of the vehicle. For more details, check out our "The True Cost of Powering an Electric Car."
Electric SUVs also have fewer moving parts that can break. Most maintenance will likely involve wear on items such as tires, brakes and windshield wipers. You'll never have to pay for a belt job with an electric SUV. And there are big tax incentives available, which can help cushion the upfront cost of an electric SUV. If you lease, you'll see those incentives taken out of your payments right away, saving you some paperwork.
For many households, an electric SUV makes a lot of sense as a second vehicle. Electric SUVs provide a clean commuting alternative, requiring less maintenance and zero trips to the gas station. The trick will be to figure out where and when you can charge and how many miles you need to be able to drive between charges.
Make sure to check out our "9 Steps to Easier Plug-In Car Shopping" to help you take the first steps on your electric SUV journey. You may be surprised to find out that an electric SUV could fit your lifestyle.