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8 Considerations Before Buying an Electric Car

The new year brought a few new things with it. Among them, a new president who appears to be determined to make good on his campaign promise to move towards greener energy options. For some, this may be the push needed to abandon a gas-powered vehicle in favour of an electric model. Despite the proverbial writing on the wall, it’s important to look carefully at a few different considerations to determine whether or not buying an electric car is the best move for you.

Upfront Costs

The average electric car costs $55,000 upfront. That’s a pretty significant increase over the $35,000 average cost for a gas-powered four door sedan. To be fair, a part of why the average cost for an electric car is higher is because of the popularity of higher end models, since there are less expensive models available as well. The price of the car itself isn’t the only cost factor to consider. The nature of electric vehicles requires them to be charged regularly. To do this effectively, it’s best to have a way to charge your car at home, which may mean you’ll need to have a charging system installed if this is your first electric car.

Maintenance Demands

If you’ve done much of anything at all with a car, you’ve probably heard about how important regular maintenance is to keeping a vehicle operating smoothly. That isn’t untrue of electric cars, but it’s different from gas-powered vehicles. Because you don’t have a combustion engine in a purely electric vehicle, there are a variety of components that are no longer necessary. You don’t have to worry about getting the oil changed or the air filters replaced. Don’t make the mistake of thinking electric cars don’t need any maintenance though. The battery degrades over time and you may find it needing to be replaced. Replacing the car battery can be pretty expensive, so make sure you bank that money you aren’t spending on car maintenance to buy a new battery once the warranty expires.

Tax Credits

There’s no need to let the higher upfront price of an electric car scare you off of buying one right away. There are tax credits you can take advantage of at the moment for buying an electric car. There are some states that offer tax credits in addition to the ones available from the federal government. The federal government will give you a credit up to $7,500 for purchasing an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. How much you get will depend on the size of your car. It’s important to note that this credit is limited to the first 200,000 vehicles sold by each manufacturer, so it’s not a credit that’s going to last. In fact, there isn’t any tax credit left available for Tesla models, so make sure you fully understand your options before buying and counting on that credit.

Road Trips

What if you love taking road trips? Can you buy an electric car and still take a road trip with it? The short answer is yes, if you’re thoughtful about it. The more detailed answer is that in order for a road trip to be feasible, it’s important to take into account the range of your car. That will determine how far you can go before you need to charge it up. While your car’s range is finite, there are things you can do to help improve it. Driving conservatively helps, as does using less of your car’s systems. window tinting can help extend your Tesla’s battery life for a longer range trip. It helps keep your car’s interior temperature cooler so you need to run the AC less to stay comfortable.

The Cost of Electricity

Just because you don’t have to buy gas anymore doesn’t preclude you from having to pay to operate your vehicle. You’ll still need to pay for the power you use to charge your car. This is the case regardless of whether you charge your car at home or take advantage of a public charging station. Whether or not the cost of electricity balances out the cost of gas will depend on where you live. It’s a factor of the cost of the two utilities in the state you live in. For people in most states, though, the cost of electricity is less than the cost of gas, which means that most people will see the amount of money they spend on their electric car on an annual basis drop in comparison.

Charging Options

Your electric car needs to be charged, so what are your options? The most convenient option is to have a charging station installed in your home so you can charge your car overnight. The average cost is around $6,000, but can be more or less depending on how high end your station is and how quickly it charges your car. If you plan to primarily charge your car overnight, you may not need to be concerned about taking longer to charge up your car. When it comes to public charging stations, there are different levels of chargers. The biggest differences are in how quickly they charge your car and their level of compatibility with your car. Lower level chargers charge more slowly, but if your electric car isn’t equipped to be compatible with faster charging stations, you’ll be limited by how long it takes your car to charge. It takes longer to charge up a car than it does to just fill it with gas. Make sure you take that into account when deciding whether or not an electric vehicle fits into your lifestyle. You may find it necessary to plan ahead more carefully or rearrange your schedule to accommodate charging times if you go that route.

Buying a new car, or even just a new-to-you car can take a lot of time and effort. Purchasing an electric vehicle is no different. There are a lot of considerations to take into account when buying an electric car, arguably more so than a traditional gas model, and most especially when first making that transition. Carefully weigh all the different factors and information at your disposal to make sure you make the right decision for you.

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