Are you considering buying an electric car? Please, read this before you buy an electric car in 2023. Even if it’s not as difficult as it formerly was, leasing or purchasing a new or used electric automobile is a major step. This is due to the abundance of new electric vehicle (EV) alternatives being offered by both established and emerging automakers. Soon, practically any motorist will be able to choose an electric vehicle that meets their demands and their budget.
Picking the ideal EV differs slightly from choosing a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle or a gas-electric hybrid. You must understand the language of electric automobiles and worry about range and charging more than you would with a gas-powered vehicle.
Purchasing an EV differs from purchasing a typical automobile. Choose a dealer that is knowledgeable about electric vehicles (EVs) and the incentives associated with them, or go with an automaker that only sells online and via dealers.
We’ll go through the variables you should think about if you’re seeking to buy or lease a new electric car in more detail in the sections that follow.
How Can You Choose the Best Electric Vehicle?
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Your requirements, finances, and lifestyle should come first when choosing an electric vehicle, as with any automotive purchase or lease. You should give careful thought to how you use your car, where you want to charge it, and which incentives are offered.
Examining your needs for a car in-depth is the first step.
Where Do You Drive, What Do You Carry?
Although the electric vehicles of today perform excellently, there are some tasks they aren’t yet ready for. Wait a few years until there are better choices if you frequently drive long distances in locations with few EV chargers or don’t have a dependable spot to charge your EV.
Nowadays, it’s simple to locate EVs that hold five passengers, but there are very few that hold up to seven. Want more chairs? There are just a few possibilities, and they are expensive, but more may become available in the upcoming years, and costs may finally stabilize.
With those exclusions, the market today likely has an EV that’s ideal for you. Offerings range from reasonably priced little hatchbacks with good mileage and spirited performance to electric vehicles, crossovers, SUVs, and even pickup trucks with jaw-dropping performance and prices to match.
Where Will You Charge?
Imagine that you live in a house with a designated area for an electric car charging station, or that your business offers employee charging at the office. In that situation, choosing to purchase an electric vehicle is simple. You’ll charge at home or at work, just like the majority of EV drivers, and your car will be ready to go when you get out of bed or from work.
The choice to purchase an electric car, however, becomes more challenging if you park on the street or in a garage without charges. Purchasing an EV without a trustworthy charging plan is a formula for failure. This is particularly true if there aren’t many trustworthy public charging options nearby.
Even while the majority of modern EVs can use public DC fast-charging stations to recharge, doing so can be fairly pricey. In addition to certain DC fast chargers costing almost as much as filling up a tank of gas, overusing them might shorten the life of the battery pack in your EV.
There are several free Level 2 charging stations available around the nation if you must rely on public outlets. Comparable to using a 240-volt plug at home, charging at a Level 2 charging station in public (we explain the various charging levels in more detail later). Yet, you’ll need to confirm in advance that such a station is close by, trustworthy, and accessible. You’ll also need to block out some time in your schedule so that you can utilize it frequently.
Do You Qualify for Electric Vehicle Incentives?
Consider whether you are eligible for any federal, state, municipal, or utility incentives for using an electric vehicle before you start buying.
The significant one is the updated Federal Electric Vehicle Tax Credit, which is included in the Act to Reduce Inflation. If you buy a new EV, it may provide a tax credit of up to $7,500; if you buy a used EV from a dealer, it may offer a tax credit of up to $4,000. Make careful to complete your research and consult an expert before pursuing these credits because they have extremely precise guidelines and restrictions.
Depending on where you reside, state, municipal, and utility incentives might differ significantly. Some need you to wait until you submit your taxes, while some give you a break at the time of purchase. Some relate to the purchase of used EVs, while others are available on leased electric vehicles.
You can determine the correct budget for a car purchase by being aware of the incentives for which you are eligible.
It’s time to start shopping once you’ve determined that an electric car is the best option for you and you’ve established your demands and spending limit.
The range of the EV should be in the top of your list of factors, if not at the top. It’s critical to take into account how long you can feasibly travel between charges when evaluating EV range. Furthermore, you can’t only depend on the EPA’s predictions because a variety of circumstances, like as cold weather, can shorten an EV’s range. You’ll experience ongoing range anxiety from underestimating the needed range and worrying about when you’ll need to find a charger.
Investing too much money on an automobile might be expensive. A battery pack has the same weight whether it is full or empty, unlike a gas tank, which gets lighter as it fills up. If you don’t need a high-capacity battery, why carry around the extra weight?
The driving range of electric cars currently varies greatly. A few vehicles and SUVs with ranges of only a little over 100 miles are available at the lower end. It should be plenty for the majority of everyday journeys, but if you frequently drive long distances or become anxious when your fuel indicator dips below half, you’ll need something with a greater range between charging sessions.
A few models with larger ranges can drive more than 350 miles on a single charge, but those cars are expensive.
The majority of EVs now on the road have a range of about 250 miles per charge. You can find everything in that category, from high-performance sedans and crossovers to tiny SUVs, on a single charge.
Before a car can be sold, the EPA must certify the official range of electric vehicles. The majority of EV manufacturers, nevertheless, will state an approximate range goal when the car is unveiled. Be aware that manufacturer estimates may differ significantly from actual EPA data. On the basis of the European testing cycle, a carmaker will occasionally offer an expected range. Due to significant variations in how the vehicles are tested, the measurement does not correspond to the estimated EPA range of a car.
An EV may be charged in three major methods.
Basically, level 1 charging involves connecting your electric car into an ordinary household socket. The charging process will be completed, albeit very slowly. You can get away with Level 1 charging if you only plan to drive your EV a few kilometers each day. But if you use your car much more frequently than that, you’ll need to charge it more quickly.
A 240-volt connector is used for Level 2 electric car charging, which charges batteries much more quickly than a Level 1 outlet. You may install Level 2 charging stations in your house, office, or public spaces. A typical EV may be recharged at a Level 2 charging station overnight or throughout the daytime. But, since different EVs charge at differing rates, it’s important to match the capabilities of any charging station you purchase with your electric vehicle.
Rapid DC Charging
Your electric vehicle should be able to charge from DC fast chargers if you intend to use it for any long-distance trips. DC fast chargers, which are available at public charging stations, may extend your EV’s range by dozens or even hundreds of miles in just 30 minutes.
Several DC fast charging speeds are available, however not all vehicles can benefit from the quickest charging rates. The charging station and the automobile work together to achieve the fastest charging speed possible when you connect your vehicle to it.
In the United States, there are now three DC rapid charging standards. Only one EV is sold now that has CHAdeMO, an early standard. However if you buy an old car, it can come with a CHAdeMO connection. The great majority of new automobiles use SAE Combo connectors, which are the most widely used form of DC fast-charging plug and are straightforward to attach. The Tesla Supercharger Network is the last accepted standard; however, Tesla is in the process of making its network accessible to all EVs. It is exclusively compatible with Tesla automobiles.
Price, Incentives and Cost of Ownership
The cost of the car should be among your top priorities, just like with any other car purchase or lease. Prices for electric vehicles range from about $26,000 to well over $100,000.
Yet that doesn’t tell the entire tale. Federal, state, municipal, and utility subsidies can lower most EV prices. The Federal Electric Vehicle Tax Credit can give buyers of electric vehicles a refund of up to $7,500. Depending on where you reside, state incentives and tax credits differ greatly.
Driving an electric car may result in fines or more expensive registration fees in some areas. In certain cases, automobiles that run on gasoline are not given access to additional ancillary benefits like carpool lanes.
For purchasers of environmentally friendly automobiles, including electric cars, certain lenders, particularly credit unions, provide special auto loan rates.
The fact that EVs often cost less to own than gas-powered automobiles is arguably the most significant. The price of electricity will be considerably less if you charge at home than the price of gas. Also, compared to their gas-powered relatives, electric automobiles don’t need to undergo nearly as much routine maintenance and have less fluids that need to be changed.
Electricity-powered vehicles operate differently from gasoline-powered vehicles.
While they accelerate differently due to their electric motors, they handle like traditional vehicles. Electric motors attain their full power the instant you depress the accelerator pedal, in contrast to gasoline-powered cars, which require some time to develop to their maximum power and torque. This results in electric automobiles having sprightly acceleration from a stop; some versions can reach 60 mph in less than three seconds.
Extreme performance, of course, comes at a cost, and the fastest-accelerating EV models are also the priciest ones available. However, even the most affordable EVs offer sufficient performance for city errands.
Would a Traditional Hybrid or Plug-In Hybrid Be a Better Option?
By acquiring a plug-in hybrid or conventional hybrid car, many of the drawbacks of the current electric vehicle offerings may be overcome. Both offer significantly better fuel efficiency than cars powered only by gas by combining electric motors and internal combustion engines.
A plug-in hybrid vehicle (also known as a PHEV) and a conventional hybrid differ in that a PHEV can charge its battery from an external source of electricity, such as a Level 2 charging station, while a conventional hybrid uses its gasoline engine to do so. A PHEV can typically go 20 to 40 miles on electricity alone before automatically switching to its gas engine and operating like a conventional hybrid.
There is less range anxiety with a hybrid or PHEV because they can run on gasoline alone, and long trips don’t require you to schedule charging stops. Simply fill up at any gas station. However, just like gas cars, hybrids and PHEVs produce harmful tailpipe emissions. Only fully electric cars produce no emissions.
Getting an electric vehicle
A new electric car can be purchased or leased from a dealership, as well as as a used automobile from a new car dealer, used car dealer, or individual. New EVs are also increasingly available for purchase from the carmaker directly or totally online with home delivery.
But it’s not often the case, buying an electric automobile from a dealership should be similar to buying a gas-powered car. The level of EV sales skill and knowledge of an EV’s benefits and drawbacks differs widely amongst dealers.
Examining online owner discussion boards for the cars you’re interested in is a great way to find out which dealers are the best to purchase an EV from. Customers may speak out about which merchants are knowledgeable about EVs and which are not.
Like conventional automobiles, electric vehicles may be insured and financed, and some lenders provide preferential rates to purchasers of alternative-fuel or “green” vehicles.
Several manufacturers of electric vehicles don’t have regular dealerships. Instead, they might have showrooms where you can browse the inventory and take test drives but not actually buy anything. Instead, you finish the leasing or buying procedure online.
Several jurisdictions have strong dealer franchise restrictions, making it more challenging to buy a car without a dealership network.
Another strategy being used by several manufacturers is to handle much of the buying process through their own website, leaving local dealerships to handle the last few stages.
Should You Buy or Lease an Electric Car?
When purchasing an electric vehicle (EV), one of the most important choices you’ll have to make is whether to buy the vehicle outright or lease it. The leasing vs. buying decision is one that every prospective car buyer must make, but it is slightly more difficult for electric vehicles.
Nevertheless, if you lease an electric vehicle, you might not be eligible for some tax breaks and other purchasing incentives. The leasing company receives the credits in place of you, so that it can assess whether and how much the incentive benefits the lessee.