Logic dictates that anyone considering an electric vehicle (EV) should educate themselves before taking the leap. The following tips came from recent studies and surveys, meant to help you better understand how to make the right choices.

Range. As you might suspect, an EV’s range is a chief concern, particularly for those who drive a lot of miles. It’s also important to understand that heat and cold both impact range, based on how often the heater or air conditioner is used.

Cargo Space. While not the biggest challenge for most EV buyers, having cargo space can be important for professional drivers.

How to charge. Understanding how long different levels of charging can take and the availability of convenient, high-level charging stations is essential.

Available Rebates/Credits. Some of the rebates available for EVs don’t come from the dealership, they are tax credits when completing your yearly tax return. Find out which vehicles qualify for a tax credit, how much, and how long they last.

Tips for buying a used EV. Although the EV market is still in its infancy, used EVs are appearing for sale online and at dealerships. Although you can save money, be aware that used EVs come with risks and complications that may be foreign to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. There are things to consider beyond price and roadworthiness – like battery health, range degradation and warranties. Climate and topography should also play a role in the purchase decision.

Not all used EVs qualify for tax credits. Under the rules established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, used EVs now qualify for a federal tax credit of 30% of the retail sale price, capped at $4,000, as long as it fits certain criteria. It must cost less than $25,000, be at least two years old and have a battery capacity of at least seven kilowatt (kW) hours. Buyers also cannot claim another used vehicle credit within the past three years, the vehicle can’t be for resale, and it must be purchased from a dealer, not a private seller.

Batteries age and lose range. Years of use cause batteries to lose range. Experts say an EV battery generally degrades at about 2.3% per year – so a car with an initial 200-mile range may only go 178 miles after five years. EVs display their battery health in the instrument cluster or the central display menus. Buyers can cross-reference this information with the range at 100% battery charge and check the difference between them and the vehicle’s original specs to get a full picture.

Vehicle health reports can also be helpful to used car buyers, letting them know if the model has been in an accident, part of a flood insurance claim, had recalled parts repaired or had its battery replaced.

EV batteries come with a federally mandated minimum warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles, but only some transfer from buyer to buyer. Shoppers should investigate each manufacturer and they may want to see if the dealer is willing to offer the car with a certified pre-owned warranty. One used EV shopping website found that only 1.5% of batteries have been replaced outside of recalls over the past 10 years, and most were much older models.

Maintenance includes new parts and might require car tech assistance. Making sure an EV is in good working order requires a different checklist than an ICE vehicle. EVs have about 10% of the moving parts of ICE vehicles in their powertrains and regenerative braking allows brakes to last longer. EVs also don’t need oil, transmission fluid or any of the related filters. They use coolant, but the changes are less frequent and are usually performed by a dealership – along with most EV maintenance, due to the specialized equipment required. Although battery health is an important consideration, a used EV can actually be less risky than a used gasoline car because they have far fewer parts that can break down.

Leasing is often the cheapest option for new EV buyers. According to an article in Forbes from August, leasing an EV is now often the cheapest option for new car buyers across the United States – thousands of dollars less expensive per year than buying or leasing an ICE vehicle. This new dynamic is driven by several factors: Falling EV lease prices, new federal tax incentives, lower operating and maintenance costs (when compared to ICE vehicles), and rising interest rates.

New Energy Innovation research analyzed the costs of buying and leasing 14 EV and comparable ICE vehicle models in all 50 states. The research included financing and lease costs, state taxes and fees, state and federal rebates and tax credits, fuel costs, and maintenance and insurance costs. The study found that leasing an EV is the cheapest monthly option available to U.S. drivers… less than leasing a comparable ICE vehicle or buying an EV or comparable ICE vehicle.

Top ways to save money when charging your EV. Charging an EV is already significantly cheaper than buying gas. As of late-August, the average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline in Los Angeles County was over $5. In a sedan that gets 31 mpg, you would pay about $26 to go 150 miles. A Level 2 EV charger would cost $12 for the same range, after 7.5 hours of charging. An hour of DC fast charging gives you 150 miles for about $16, but here’s how you can pay even less:

  • Sign up for a subscription. EV charging subscriptions can offer additional savings. Some companies offer 20-25% off if you have a subscription. EV charging subscriptions can offer additional savings. Some companies offer 20-25% off if you have a subscription. Apps like PlugShare, ChargePoint, ChargeHub, and Volta Charging help locate charging stations. Many of those options are Level 2 stations, which add 14 to 35 miles of range per hour. DC charging can add up to 10 miles per minute, but it’s pricier.
  • Charge at home. Although this is not feasible for many New Yorkers, if you can charge your EV at home using the slowest charge, you will save money. There are rebates and tax incentives for installing a home charging station.


Sources: KABC, CBT News, Newsweek, Forbes

Article by Black Car News

Black Car News provides breaking news, editorial, and information to drivers, owners, and other key players in the New York City for-hire vehicle industry.

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