Is it the right time to buy an electric car?
New Jersey, for example, will waive its 6.625% sales tax on the purchase of an electric vehicle, which would be $2,650 off a $40,000 electric vehicle. You should also look into incentives for installing EV charging equipment, often offered by your local utility. In California, if you live in Anaheim, you can save $3,000 on the cost of a faster Tier 2 installation at your home. But if you live in Oklahoma, the best utility incentives amount to $200 for installing EV charging equipment.
More generally, electric vehicles may qualify for federal tax credits, but this may vary by brand. The law that established the credits gave a fixed allowance to each automaker, and GM and Tesla have exhausted theirs (though their vehicles may qualify for some state rebates). But for other brands, federal credits can significantly lower the sticker price. Also note: to qualify for the full $7,500 tax credit, you must actually owe at least that amount of tax in a year. A person who dips into their retirement savings and Social Security can have a relatively low tax bill and not meet that threshold, says Jay Halpern, a CPA in Kingston, New York.
How much do electric vehicles cost to operate?
We’ve already mentioned the difference in “fuel” costs, but EVs also have fewer moving parts than their gas-powered relatives, no pumping pistons, no complicated gearboxes, no fuel injectors, no radiators, no crankshafts , etc. And that means less maintenance and fewer repairs. The Department of Energy has a good calculator to compare the costs of what you currently drive versus an electric vehicle. As far as operating costs go, a gas-powered front-wheel-drive Honda CR-V, which gets decent fuel mileage at 28 mph city/highway 34, will cost about $2,988 per year on gas if it goes 15 000 miles in California, while the Department of Energy says an all-electric Audi Q4 traveling the same distance will cost about $1,250 a year on electricity. In Michigan, the cost of gas drops to $2,362 – but kilowatts are only $954 – again, less than half the money.
What about range?
“Ten years ago when the first generation of electric cars came out, you had Teslas, which had a range of 200 miles. But the mass-priced electric cars had a range of about 75 miles. And most people just won’t buy a car with a range of 75 miles,” says Voelcker, an electric vehicle industry consultant. But times have changed. “Today the new normal is fast approaching 250 or 300 miles. .”
But given that you can charge your EV at home every night, that range can be far more than you’ll need (except on a long road trip). Voelcker advises spending a month resetting your gas-powered car’s odometer every Sunday morning and writing down the distances you’ve actually driven in a week. “People are always very shocked to find out how far they haven’t gone.”
Where to recharge an EV?
Nearly 90% of electric vehicle owners say they always or mostly charge at home, according to a February 2021 survey by JD Power. This is due to both convenience and cost. At home, you don’t pay extra to a third-party provider. Yet public charging of electric vehicles is often cheaper than refueling with gasoline. And if you hunt carefully, you’ll find more and more free charging stations, offered by both governments and retailers like grocery stores that want your loyalty. Phone apps can help you locate them. If you’re charging away from home, find something to do while you wait. Even high-speed chargers need half an hour or more to “recharge” you.