Should you start plugging in or continue filling up with gasoline? That’s the question more and more drivers are considering these days, as more electric vehicles hit the streets, with generous tax credits continuing into 2024 and automakers cutting prices on some EVs.
EVs have come a long way since William Morrison debuted his six-passenger electric wagon in Des Moines back in 1891.
It’s been more than a century since then, and plug-in vehicles are now making a big comeback, competing with gas cars in looks, performance and, finally, affordability.
Billy Johnson is among the recent converts to EVs.
We found him charging his Tesla at a charging station outside a Target store and doing a bit of shopping while he waited for it to finish. With no need to pay for gasoline or oil changes, Johnson says, “it saved me a ton of money.”
Keith Barry is the senior auto reporter at Consumer Reports. He says EVs are becoming a good option because they’re cheaper to fuel and maintain, coupled with recent price cuts at Tesla and some other companies.
Plus, with EVs piling up on some dealership lots, dealers are offering price cuts for the first time.
“There are savings to be found,” Barry said. “It really depends upon the vehicle you choose.”
“In addition,” he said, “they have fewer moving parts, fewer things to go wrong, and they are better for the environment.”
Many buyers remain hesitant
According to Pew Research Center, 38% of Americans are considering an EV for their next vehicle purchase. Still, many remain hesitant.
Michael Berube is the deputy assistant secretary for Sustainable Transportation and Fuels at the U.S. Department of Energy. He understands the hesitation.
“It’s different than what you might be used to,” Berube said. “And that’s scary at first.”
He says the charging network is growing, with plenty of electricity to fuel the switch.
“It’s not mission impossible. The bread and butter of what we do is to make sure that the electric grid of the country is there and working for all people,” he said.
Tax incentives make deals even better
As for the price, you will find more incentives than ever. You can get a $7,500 tax incentive for buying or leasing a new EV. You can also qualify for a $4,000 credit if you buy used.
Courtney Wells loves her Tesla and suggests other buyers seriously consider EVs.
“I highly recommend it,” she said. “Do it. It will be your best decision. It will save you money.”