If you still rely on controlled explosions encased in 350 pounds of metal and moving parts to get from here to there, consider this: The internal combustion engine was born in 1863; and, while it will survive its 160th birthday, it will take a big step toward extinction in 2023 as electric vehicles gobble up even more of its market share.
The new year will bring an exciting lineup of impressive new electric vehicles, new tax credits, greater affordability and, of course, renewed interest in cleaner, greener energy.
If you’re in the market for a vehicle, you can either invest in the future of ground travel or dump money into a technology that did to horses in the 20th century what EVs are doing to gas cars today.
The Purchase of an ICE Vehicle Is an Investment in the Past
The trend away from gas cars became a trend for good reasons — EVs are cleaner, more efficient, more advanced, cheaper to buy with each passing year and still less expensive to own.
“The first point where the electric car does much better is the cost of ownership, especially for drivers with a private driveway or parking lot for charging,” said Matas Buzelis, president of the Association of Automotive Intelligence and head of communications at carVertical. “Besides, it is not about the charging alone because the maintenance costs for an EV are considerably lower when compared with a car powered by an internal combustion engine.”
Also, EVs are more likely to have advanced features and technology than comparable ICE cars.
“You can make your own calculations about EV cost-payback depending on your use, but here’s something buyers aren’t thinking about,” said Trevor Curwin, director of partnerships for in-car payment tech provider Sheeva.AI. “The redesigning needed to make EVs is an opportunity for car makers to reimagine how you use your car. They’re connected all the time, so EVs tend to be a car that does a lot more things for you — things you’d normally get from your smartphone or laptop. You get a big tech upgrade with an EV over the SUV in your driveway now.”
It’s not just a more spaceship-py cockpit; EVs offer sophisticated performance features that are lost on all but the priciest ICE vehicles.
“Most of the tasks require less effort for an EV,” Buzelis said. “It usually feels like a next-generation car, in general, because of the way it delivers power and, most of the time, stays completely silent.”
EVs Are Finally a Something-for-Everyone Segment
Buyers now have the option of everything from affordable short-range commuter EVs to ultra-luxury touring vehicles with 500-mile battery ranges and six-figure price tags.
“More mainstream manufacturers have recently added entries in the EV segment,” said Richard Reina, product training director at CARiD.com. “Legacy car makers such as Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and VW have one or more EVs for sale, typically priced significantly lower than the EVs from luxury brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.”
According to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), 2023 will see the arrival of 16 all-new models. Visual Capitalist projects that 134 EV models will be in production by 2024, up from 125 in 2023 and 100 in 2022.
Also, the electric segment will be more accessible than ever in 2023 despite the effects of inflation. According to Edmunds, the coming-year Chevy Bolt EV, Nissan Leaf, Mini Cooper SE and Chevy Bolt EUV all start under $30,000 — and that’s without federal incentives.
Legislation From 2022 Improved EV Tax Credits for 2023
President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) made significant investments in green energy, much of which is earmarked for drivers who go electric in the coming year.
“The Federal Electric Vehicle Tax Credit was just revamped as part of the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Rodney Yo, auto expert and owner of Best Online Traffic School in Pasadena, California. “It offers huge financial incentives — up to $7,500 in federal tax credits — for people who purchase electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in 2023.”
Under previous law, valuable tax credits began phasing out once a manufacturer sold 200,000 units. The inevitable result was that the most popular vehicles became ineligible for the $7,500 credit first — namely, those from Tesla and GM.
The IRA removed those sales caps, but only for vehicles sold after Dec. 31, 2022. That means all of the hottest models will be eligible for up to $7,500 again in 2023, although the qualifying criteria for both vehicle and driver are now stricter.
Finally, the IRA extended the EV charger credit, formally known as the alternative fuel refueling station credit, which is worth up to $1,000 or 30% of the equipment’s value toward the installation of a home charging station.
You Can Get Thousands Back for Buying a Used Electric Car
Perhaps most important: The IRA introduced the first-ever credit for the purchase of used EVs. Buyers can now get up to 30% of a qualifying used car’s value or $4,000 back as a credit. Industry watchers believe that the unprecedented incentive to buy previously owned EVs will open the floodgates for the electric segment.
“The introduction of a tax credit for used electric cars will make 2023 a turning point for adoption,” said Liz Najman, a climate scientist and communications and research manager at EV research and analytics firm Recurrent Auto. “Our initial research suggests that around 20% of popular EV models will benefit from used electric car incentives as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, and that this opens the market to a whole new demographic.”
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