Is now a good time to buy an electric car?

Is now a good time to buy an electric car?

New Jersey, for example, will waive the 6.625 percent sales tax on the purchase of an electric vehicle, which amounts to $2,650 off a $40,000 EV. You should also look into incentives for installing EV charging equipment, often offered by your local utility company. In California, if you live in Anaheim, you can save $3.00 on the cost of installing faster, Level 2 charging in your home. But if you live in Oklahoma, the best utility incentives are $200 for installing EV charging equipment.

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More often, EVs may qualify for federal tax credits, but that can vary by brand. The law establishing the credits gave a fixed allocation to each manufacturer, and both GM and Tesla have exhausted theirs (although their vehicles may qualify for some state discounts). But for other brands, federal credits can cut the sticker price significantly. Also note that to qualify for the full $7,500 tax credit, you must owe at least that amount of taxes in one year. A person who uses pension 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 EVs cost to run?

We mentioned the difference in fuel costs, but EVs also have fewer moving parts than their gas-powered relatives, with no pump pistons, no complicated gearboxes, no fuel injectors, no radiators, no crankshafts and so on. And that means less maintenance and fewer repairs. The Department of Energy has a good calculator to compare the cost for what you drive now versus an EV. In terms of running costs, a front-wheel drive Honda CR-V, which gets decent fuel economy at 28 mph city/34 highway, will run about $2,988 a year on gas if it does 15,000 miles in California, while the Department of Energy says a all-electric Audi Q4 driving the same distance costs about $1,250 a year in electricity. In Michigan, gas costs drop to $2,362 — but the kilowatt costs just $954 — again, less than half the money.

What about the range?

“Ten years ago, when the first generation of electric cars came on the market, you had Teslas with a range of 200 miles. But mass-priced electric cars had a range of about 75 miles. And most people just don’t buy a car with a range of 120 kilometers,” says EV industry consultant Voelcker. But times have changed. “Today the new normal is fast approaching 250 or 300 miles.”

But since you can charge your EV every night at home, that range can be much more than you need (except on a long car ride). Feelcker recommends spending a month every Sunday morning resetting your petrol car’s odometer and writing down the distances you’ve driven in a week. “People are always really shocked when they find out how far they haven’t gone.”

Where to charge an EV?

According to a February 2021 survey by JD Power, nearly 90 percent of EV owners say they charge at home all the time or most of the time. This is due to both convenience and cost. At home you do not pay a surcharge to a third party. Yet public charging of electric vehicles is often cheaper than refueling with petrol. And if you hunt carefully, you can increasingly find free charging stations offered by both governments and retailers such as supermarkets that want your loyalty. Phone apps can help you locate them. If you’re charging outdoors, find something to do while you wait. Even fast chargers take half an hour or more to “charge” you.