Electric Cars Are No Longer Taking A Back Seat

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The Current State Of Electric Cars

Electric cars. They were once the accessories of high-tech entrepreneurs, the adornments of environmentally conscious celebrities. They were the cars that allowed drivers to reach for loftier goals, but for many, the cars came with a price tag that remained stubbornly out of reach.

Which is why this may come as a shock to you: More than 1.3 million EVs, including plug-in hybrids, were on the road in the U.S. as of September 2019, according to the Edison Electric Institute. That same month saw new-car sales of EVs hit 2.6%, an all-time high for 2019.

All-electric vehicles provide smooth and noiseless driving, quick acceleration, low maintenance, and a certain distinctive, premium feel. Little wonder, then, that the Tesla, Nissan Leaf, and Chevrolet Bolt have become faves in the all-electric vehicle market. Adding to the pulse of electric excitement: Ford announced it will introduce the Mustang Mach-E all-electric SUV, only the fifth pure EV SUV on the market.

All-electric vehicles are still more expensive to buy or lease than gas-powered cars. The good news: Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids purchased in 2010 or later may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500; unfortunately for consumers, the credit starts phasing when a manufacturer has sold 200,000 EVS. Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Tesla have already reached their quota. But if the thought of owning an EV gets you charged up, search online for states that offer incentives for buying one. Some utility companies offer rebates and other perks for EV buyers as well.

Powerful Reasons To Own An Electric Vehicle

EVs are most practical for drivers who have the convenience of recharging their cars in their home garage as opposed to relying on public charging stations. According to Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle evaluation at car-information site Edmunds.com, owning an electric vehicle is easier than you might think. “People plug in their smartphones more often during the day than they’d have to plug in their car.”

Where and how far you drive also impacts whether an electric-only car is the right choice for you. EVs work best for owners who, on average, drive reasonably short distances or have another car for longer distances. Some EVs offer more than 200 miles of driving range; pricier models can get close to 400 miles. But keep in mind that you won’t find as many charging stations as gas stations in the U.S., so you’ll need to plan your driving trips accordingly. What’s more, it can take several hours to fully charge a vehicle, so you might have to rethink your usual ‘jump in the car and go’ mentality or you just might charge off and find yourself stuck in your car down the road.

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Sandra Murphy

Holds a master's degree in professional writing and has more than 15 years of experience writing for national and international entities.

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