Teenagers are awful drivers. Am I right? I mean, they’re not safe, they don’t pay attention to fuel economy, and they don’t care about maintenance. So, what’s the best first car to buy your teenager?
MotorBiscuit recommends avoiding a used car and going with a brand new electric vehicle. “The best thing about a new electric car is, of course, that it’s new,” they say. “There’s certainly the risk that your teen will crash it, but since they’re new, electric cars come with modern technology and safety features that you can’t always get in budget used cars.”
But safety isn’t the only upside of buying a new electric vehicle for your teen. MotorBiscuit points out a number of other advantages, like the fact that many EV’s are slower than other vehicles. The Kia Soul EV, for example, tops out at 90 miles per hour. Okay, 90 is still pretty fast, but at least it’s not 120 or even 160.
Other popular EV’s like the Nissan Leaf and the Volkswagen e-Golf max out at 93 mph.
“[EV’s are] are also far less efficient at highway speeds,” says MotorBiscuit. “[So] even if your teen has the patience to get a Nissan Leaf up to 90 miles per hour, they’re also going to have to watch their remaining range plummet.”
Additional advantages of buying an EV for your teen are 1) your kid won’t be able to travel very far on a single charge, so you probably won’t have to worry about them taking an unannounced trip to a party town, and 2) your teen will have to learn to do something teens rarely do – make sound decisions and plans. That’s because their travel arrangements will be based entirely on their car’s limited range.
But what about the disadvantages of buying your teenager an electric car?
NerdWallet points out the downsides of giving your teen an EV. First off, if your teen is a college student, they may find it difficult to locate a charging station close to their dorm. As NerdWallet puts it, your kid might need “a very, very long extension cord.”
Also, needless to say, there aren’t as many EV’s available as there are gas powered vehicles. So, your teen won’t have nearly as many choices when shopping for a car.
And if you’re going to get a used EV, you should be aware that older electric vehicles have less range and they might even have degraded batteries. “An EV’s battery recharging capacity gradually diminishes over time, providing less range,” says NerdWallet. “And they are expensive to replace.”