Are you considering buying an electric vehicle for the first time? Before buying an electric vehicle (EV), ask yourself these questions to help determine if switching to electric is right for you and to find an EV suited to your preferences.
Why Do I Want an Electric Vehicle?
The first thing that EV buyers should consider is their reasons for wanting an EV in the first place. Do you want an EV for practical, cost-saving reasons because you’re sick of rising gas prices, or is it for personal reasons like reducing carbon emissions and helping the environment?
Or perhaps you think EVs are cool and the industry’s the future, so why not get used to driving them now? Maybe it’s a combination of these reasons or none—either way, it’s worthwhile to thoughtfully consider why you want an EV to find a model suitable for your wants and needs.
Are There Charging Stations Nearby?
One of the first questions you should ask yourself before buying an electric vehicle is how close you are to public EV charging stations. Local charging infrastructure is a critical thing to consider before buying an electric car, as it’ll determine how convenient and safe it is to own an EV in your area.
While EV infrastructure has grown considerably in many regions in recent years, some places still lack convenient charging stations for EV owners. Consider the range of the EV you’re looking at and how many charging stations are within that range. If you commute every day or take frequent trips to visit friends and family, consider the EV charging infrastructure along those routes as well.
How Expensive Is Electricity?
One of the prime benefits of switching to electricity is that electricity is much less expensive than filling up a gas tank over the year. Still, the difference may not be as significant as you expect or hope.
Electricity rises and falls in price like gasoline, and in some parts of the country, it can be twice as expensive per kilowatt-hour as others. It’s still more affordable than gasoline, but consider the electricity prices in your area to help you determine how much you’d stand to save with an EV vs. a gasoline vehicle.
Can I Get a Tax Credit or Rebate?
For years, EV shoppers could get a $7,500 tax credit from the federal government when buying a new EV, but the program changed in 2023 due to the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. Many EV buyers can still qualify for the credit, but it may be a point-of-sale rebate instead.
The tax credit/rebate qualifications have also changed, considering criteria like the buyer’s adjusted gross income, the vehicle price, and where the EV is manufactured. But the scope of the credit was expanded to include plug-in hybrids and EVs. See if you’d qualify for a federal tax credit/rebate and if your state also offers incentives for EV buyers.