Electric vehicles aren’t just for environmentally conscious celebrities and high-tech entrepreneurs anymore. More than 1.3 million EVs, including plug-in hybrids, were on the road in the U.S. as of September, according to the Edison Electric Institute. That same month, the EV share of new-car sales hit 2.6%, a high for 2019. Ford recently made a splash with its upcoming Mustang Mach-E all-electric SUV, the fifth pure EV SUV on the market.
To fans, all-electric vehicles such as the Tesla models, Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf provide smooth and noiseless driving, low maintenance, quick acceleration and a premium feel. But there are hurdles to going electric. These cars are more expensive to buy or lease than their gas-powered counterparts. Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids (which have a gas engine as well as a battery) purchased in 2010 or later may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500, but this credit starts phasing out once a manufacturer has sold 200,000 EVs—which is the case for Cadillac, Chevrolet and Tesla.
Some states offer their own incentives, which you can find by searching online. Ask your local utility company about any rebates or other perks it offers. Or consider buying a used car, if you live in a state such as California where off-lease EVs are plentiful in the used car market. “You won’t get the latest tech or longest ranges, but you can pick up certain models for less than $10,000,” says Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle evaluation at car-information site Edmunds.com (opens in new tab).
Even if the price is right, EVs are most practical for drivers who can recharge their cars in their home garage rather than rely on public charging stations. Edmunds, whose family is on their third EV, says owning an electric vehicle is easier than many people think. “People plug in their smartphones more often during the day than they’d have to plug in their car.”
Electric-only cars also work best for owners who drive reasonably short distances around town or have another car for long distances. A number of EVs offer more than 200 miles of driving range, with pricier models inching toward 400 miles. But charging stations are still not as convenient as gas stations, and it may take several hours to charge the vehicle.
State "Stimulus Checks" Are a Thing in 2022 – Will You Get One?
To help counter high inflation, pandemic woes and other financial hardships, some states are sending tax rebate "stimulus" checks or other payments to residents.
By Rocky Mengle • Published
How Young People Can Own Their Financial Future Authentically
It starts with trusting the process. The good news is Gen Zers and younger Millennials are on their way, a new study says.
By Margaret Franklin, CFA • Published
Watch Out for Flood-Damaged Cars from Hurricane Ian
Buying & Leasing a Car In the wake of Hurricane Ian, more flood-damaged cars may hit the market. Car prices may rise further because of increased demand as well.
By Bob Niedt • Published
What You Need to Know About Life Insurance Settlements
life insurance If your life insurance payments don’t seem worth it anymore, consider these options for keeping the value.
By David Rodeck • Published
The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards
credit cards Business road warriors and leisure travelers alike can use a travel reward card to turn miles logged into other things – including more travel.
By Lisa Gerstner • Published
What Is an APR?
credit & debt Even for those who pay off their credit card balances every month, knowing your APR is part of keeping good credit habits.
By Rivan V. Stinson • Published
How Big Will the Fed Rate Hike Be? Wall Street's Top Minds Weigh In
interest rates The Fed rate hike announcement is due out Wednesday afternoon, and markets are anticipating another monster increase.
By Dan Burrows • Published
Amazon Early Prime Access Sale Is a Prime Day Redux
Amazon Prime Prime Day: So nice they had to try it twice. A fall event will follow the model of blowout sales over two days. But it will come with a different name.
By Bob Niedt • Last updated
The Best Cash-Back Credit Cards
Smart Buying Not interested in miles, points or other perks from your credit card? For those who want money back with a minimum of games, these cash-back cards are the way to go.
By Lisa Gerstner • Published
Car Buyers: The 3-Day Grace Period Is Just a Myth!
Buying & Leasing a Car Many car buyers think they have three days after making a purchase to return a car. Here’s where they’re going wrong, and what they should do instead to get a decent used car.
By H. Dennis Beaver, Esq. • Published