Believe it or not, the first electric car prototypes came out as early as the late 19th century. However it wasn’t until the early 2000s that electric cars started becoming more prevalent in everyday society. Now that the infrastructure for electric cars (like in-home charging stations and refueling stations in parking lots) is more commonplace, more people are looking to make the switch. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the benefits of buying an electric car and when it might make sense for you.
Comparing electric car vs gas car or hybrids
First, let’s start off with a few definitions:
- Standard gas vehicle — a vehicle that has an internal combustion engine that runs on gasoline. These are the cars that have been popular for over 100 years.
- Electric car — An all-electric car runs only on electricity. Most electric cars do not produce any sort of tailpipe emissions, and usually have a smaller range than a comparable gas-powered vehicle.
- Hybrid car — As the name suggests, a hybrid car is a combination of both an electric car and a gas-powered one. Hybrid cars typically run primarily on electricity, but have a gas tank that can give it increased range.
Cost benefits of buying an electric car
The biggest cost benefit of buying an electric car is that you don’t have to buy gasoline. Eliminating your gas purchases can have a big impact on your overall financial picture. Electric cars also generally require less maintenance, since they don’t need things like oil changes and have fewer moving parts.
Keep in mind that buying an electric car doesn’t mean that you can run it for free. You’re still paying for the electricity that charges your car’s battery. Still, this will be cheaper than buying gas. One study showed that the average electric car owner will save between $800 and $1000 per year. That can add up to savings of thousands of dollars over the life of an electric car.
Tax benefits of buying an electric car
Electric cars usually come with a higher initial sticker price than comparable gas-powered vehicles. However, there are also tax incentives that can help lower the upfront cost. In 2022, there is a federal refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for the purchase of a qualifying electric vehicle. Keep in mind that only certain electric vehicles qualify for this tax credit — General Motors and Tesla vehicles do not, for example. In addition, some states (like California) offer tax credits for the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Other reasons to buy an electric car
Besides the savings in fuel costs, lower maintenance costs, and tax credits, there are several other benefits to buying an electric car. If you are environmentally-conscious, buying an electric car can be a show of your commitment to reduce dependencies on fossil fuels. You can even install solar panels at your home to further save money and increase your renewable energy generation.
Because of the differences between the engine of an electric car and an internal combustion engine, electric cars also have faster acceleration than gas-powered vehicles. Many owners of electric vehicles also enjoy driving silently (no traditional engine “hum”) and lack of idling while waiting. And if you were concerned about the driving range and charging options, public charging stations are becoming much more prevalent.
Where to buy an electric car
If you’ve decided you’re ready to buy an electric car, you have a couple of options, depending on whether you’re buying used or new. If you’re looking to get a car loan, it’s best to arrange your financing upfront. That way you can walk into the purchase transaction as a “cash buyer”. This can simplify the negotiation process and possibly save you some serious cash. One place you can check for loan rates is the Mint Auto Loans Marketplace. In the marketplace, you can compare different lenders and options to find the right choice for you.
The Bottom Line
With these benefits of buying an electric car, it’s no wonder that electric cars are becoming much more profitable. Aside from tax credits and fuel savings, there are other reasons to consider an electric car. You’ll pay less in maintenance, have no tailpipe emissions, and have a faster acceleration. But the primary reason for most people remains the cost savings. The more that gas prices go up, the more buying an electric car might make sense for you.
Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a site that helps families to travel for free / cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and 6 kids.