Electric Vehicles 2023: 7 Things You Need To Know Before Buying an EV

Close up of an electric car charging at the electric vehicle charging station stock photo
Constantinis / iStock.com

If you’re thinking about making the transition from a gas-powered or hybrid car to an electric vehicle (EV), it’s essential to know what you’re getting into. Let’s consider some of the biggest insights you should know ahead of the big switch.

The Touch Screen Can Be Confusing, At First

You may long for the convenience and amenities of the touch screen that EVs tout, but prepare for a learning curve for this savvy gadget.

“Navigating all the features on the touch screen was the No. 1 thing that required some time of adjustment,” Robert from New Jersey told ConsumerReports.

Prepare to sit down and get very comfortable with a vehicle’s manual once you buy, and, before that, ask salespeople for comprehensive demos so you’ll get a good idea of how the touch screen operates.

Road Trips Require More Careful Planning

Are you a spontaneous adventurer who loves going on wild road trips at the last minute? You might want to slow your roll if you’re getting an EV. You can juice up your car at home, but you’ll need to get to an EV station while on the road. Make sure to pull up a map of charging stations along your route. Note that while most public charging stations are Level 2, but some offer DC fast charging, can get you up and running much faster.

Make Your Money Work for You

Consider the Cost of Electricity

Yes, EVs do not use gas. So you will save immensely on that expense, but they obviously use electricity. According to U.S. News & World Report, as of January 2023, the average price of electricity in the nation was 16.32 cents per kilowatt-hour. Note that charging at home is cheaper because you’ll likely be using it overnight, when electricity usage is lower. Also, some public charging stations charge added fees.

Cold Weather Makes the Battery Conk Out Faster

Electric vehicles are on the sensitive side when it comes to cold weather. According to tests by ConsumerReports, the range of an EV model can drop by 25 percent in cold weather when you’re going 70 mph. Additionally, Consumer Reports has found that short excursions in the cold with frequent stops and reheating of the EV’s cabin can reduce that range by as much as 50%.

You’ll Need to Replace Tires More Frequently

You probably already know that you need to replace your tires regularly. Did you know you’ll likely need to do it more often with an EV than a gas-powered car? According to Hyundai, “the tires of electric vehicles wear 20% faster than those of internal combustion engines, which is due to the acceleration of electric vehicles that generate strong instantaneous power.”

It’s Unclear Exactly How Long EVs Last

We know that gas-powered cars can last up to 300 miles (if the vehicle is regularly maintained and in good condition). But it’s not entirely clear how long EVs last. There is some research out there that suggests that EV cars do not last as alternatives.

Make Your Money Work for You

You May Qualify for a Tax Credit

According to the IRS, you may qualify for a credit of up to $7,500 under IRS 30D if you buy a new, qualified plug-in EV or fuel cell electric vehicle (FCV). 

To qualify for the tax credit, you must:

  • Buy the EV for your use, not for resale.
  • Use it primarily in the U.S.
  • Make less than $150,000 if filing alone, or $300,000 if filing jointly.

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