It’s hard not to notice the sky-high gas prices around town and that might have you wondering if it’s time to switch to an electric vehicle.
“Historically, whenever we’ve had a spike in gas prices people have looked at more fuel-efficient vehicles,” started Sam Abuelsamid, Principal Analyst of e-mobility research at Guidehouse Insights.
Tesla is still tops, but there are many brands now vying for your attention – and even more to come.
There’s no doubt you’ll save on gas.
“You’re looking at least 2 to 3 thousand dollars a year difference in operating cost just for fuel in California so it does add up very quickly,” explained Abuelsamid.
But there is a catch: you’re probably going to pay more for the EV itself. That’s where incentives kick in.
Right now, only Tesla and GM have phased out of the biggest credits. EV’s from most other automakers still qualify for rebates and credits that could add up to $10,000.
“For a lot of consumers now it is still cheaper to buy an internal combustion vehicle but it’s not going to stay that way forever,” said Abuelsamid.
Other hurdles include charging and range anxiety. Tesla has fast chargers everywhere, while Electrify America, EV-Go and ChargePoint continue to build out their networks of charging stations.
As a bonus, there are still many places where you can charge up for free.
So, what about the environmental impact?
“As long as you’re not using coal to generate the electricity any other source, whether it’s natural gas, solar, wind, it all works out to a net positive for EV’s Abuelsamid.
Even batteries can be recycled or repurposed.
“The big scale of it coming back and being recycled of course it’s an infrastructure logistic question that has to be solved but I’m not worried that we will solve that,” said Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar, an EV car company partly owned by Volvo.
Even if you’re convinced an EV is right for you, supply chain issues might be your biggest obstacle right now.
“Right now if you have a vehicle that is working for you… and you don’t need to get a new vehicle, right now is probably not the best time to make a change,” said Abuelsamid.
On the one hand, you might get a lot more than you thought for your used car, but tight supply means incentives and deals aren’t as plentiful as before.
Plus, new car prices are still up about $5,000 over last year according to data from Cox Automotive.
The best part about having an EV is waking up to that fresh charge every morning at home, but on the flip side, road trips do require a bit more planning.