4 Reasons You Should Not Buy an Electric Car in 2023

Electric car at the charging station stock photo
U. J. Alexander / iStock.com

If you’re considering switching from your current gas guzzler to an electric car but you’re not sure exactly when to take the leap, don’t worry. At some point, the decision will make itself.

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“You’re going to go EV eventually,” said Trevor Curwin, director of partnerships for in-car payment tech provider Sheeva.AI. “Most big automakers are sunsetting combustion engines by 2035-40.” 

Although you might have no choice but to buy an EV in 20 years or so, the decision is still yours in 2023 — so what should you decide

It’s clear that electric cars are phasing out the internal combustion engine and paving the way for cleaner, safer, emission-free roads. But the industry still has some growing to do, and it might pay to wait another year or two before you convert.

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Range Anxiety Won’t Be a Thing Much Past 2023

In-home fast chargers have made electric cars the perfect choice for commuters and other drivers who mostly stay close to home. But even some EV diehards feel that America’s charging infrastructure is still a few years away from being ideal for distance travelers.

“Not all places have charging ports,” said Gianluca Boncompagni, an Audi E-Tron owner and co-founder of Off Road Tents, which sells vehicle-based camping shelters for EVs and ICE vehicles. “So outside certain cities, it can be a bit of a headache to charge the vehicle and keep going.” 

That won’t be the case for long.

According to Curwin, today’s charging process is still measured against the three minutes it takes to fill a gas tank while standing at a fuel pump. But those who put off going electric for just a few more years won’t have to rely on finding dedicated and often isolated charging stations — they’ll have opportunities to top off their batteries in the course of their daily lives.

“EV charging infrastructure will most likely be found at retail locations, restaurants and so on as we build it out, and not at a special ‘energy store’ like a gas station,” Curwin said. “The benefit there is that you can do many other things while your EV is fueling up, so it helps make everyday errands more efficient.”

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The Gap in Upfront Costs Is Shrinking Fast

The price of the average EV increased in 2022, but only because several high-end luxury models flooded the market and inflated the segment’s mean. In reality, the gap between the higher upfront cost of EVs and that of their comparable gas counterparts is shrinking.

“We are still not at price parity with ICE vehicles,” said Richard Reina, product training director at CARiD.com. “Although the gap is narrowing, comparing similarly sized and equipped ICE vehicles and EVs shows that EVs are around $5,000 to $10,000 more expensive at the time of purchase.”

That means you might still be jumping the gun by buying in 2023. 

“As the industry works toward price parity and continues to introduce new, more affordable EVs,” Reina said, “one might find a better deal by waiting a year or two.”

Manufacturers Are Still Catching Up to the New Credit System

The federal government has long offered a dollar-for-dollar tax credit worth up to $7,500 for the purchase of an EV. But President Biden’s 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) changed the eligibility requirements, and manufacturers couldn’t scramble quickly enough to satisfy the new production guidelines in time for 2023.

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Vehicles now qualify for half the credit ($3,750) if their battery components are manufactured or assembled in North America. To qualify for the other half, the critical minerals in the car’s battery must be extracted, processed or recycled in the U.S. or in a free trade agreement partner country. Lastly, final assembly must take place in the United States for all eligible cars.

Biden signed the IRA in August, and manufacturers simply couldn’t make their 2023 models conform to those strict new requirements in time. Many of those models, therefore, won’t be eligible for the full $7,500 credit — at least not this coming year.

“The IRA primarily benefits EVs and/or EV batteries manufactured in North America,” Reina said. “This means that some EVs previously eligible for tax credits lose those credits in 2023.”

Many automakers are shooting for 2024-25. For example, GM’s CEO has said its EVs won’t qualify for the full credit for two to three years.

A Hybrid Can Offer an Excellent Compromise Until You’re Ready

Lindsey Danis, who blogs about outdoor travel at Queer Adventurers, went from an ICE car to a Kia Soul EV before finding the happy medium of a plug-in hybrid. 

“The hybrid offers a best-of-both-worlds approach for a single-car family,” Danis said. “The battery range is sufficient for running errands around town, so most of our drives will be emissions free. The Kia Soul had a modest range, which went down by about one-third in the winter months, so it required more frequent charging.

“We want to be able to visit our parents two to three hours’ drive away without stopping to charge up. With the Kia, we might have been able to make it to my in-laws’ house on a single charge in the summer with no traffic — or not. We definitely wouldn’t have been able to travel from the Hudson Valley to Boston, where my mother lives, on a single charge.” 

Those kinds of real-world considerations are compelling many EV-curious drivers to use hybrids as a bridge between the present and their fully electric futures.

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About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street's investment community in New York City.
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