Are you thinking more seriously about buying an electric car now that gasoline prices are soaring? You and everyone else.
Especially now it’s hard to find an EV.. The war in Ukraine has not only caused gas prices to skyrocket. It also disrupts car production in Europe, which is sending exports to the United States. And US companies like Ford are “basically blinded by how many people want to buy their car,” and can’t make EVs fast enough, a senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports. Chrishard told me.
When my partner and I moved to Los Angeles last year, we knew we needed to buy a car.
After much research, we were able to test all the cars we wanted to see in a day and go home with a top pick that night.
This is what we have learned:
Please plan in advance.
The demand for electric vehicles is very high, and few dealers carry their cars for test drive. I had to drive for an hour to find one model. (Oh, and don’t forget to specify if you want all-electric, and you won’t be surprised by hybrids like us.)
I made a reservation the day before. On the day, I called in advance to confirm that the car was not sold. The cars listed on the dealer’s website do not guarantee that there are many of them.
Please wait or be prepared to pay an additional fee.
I saw a few cars, but decided to buy the first Kia Niro test drive.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E markup was a stunning $ 15,000. If we wanted a Volkswagen ID.4, the salesman said we had to wait up to six months. The Chevrolet Bolt hasn’t been in production for months and many other models haven’t been found anywhere.
But because he didn’t buy immediately after seeing Niro, the salesman didn’t want to beat the $ 5,000 increase above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. C’est la vie, we thought and moved forward anyway.
EV credits are confusing.
We were afraid to redeem up to $ 7,500 incentives that the federal government offered to EV buyers. It’s not an immediate rebate. You have to wait until the tax season.
We were ready to raise money for the purchase, but the dealer told us about leasing. This included a full government incentive as a rebate and a few additional rebates to cover the cost of managing the lease. Our contract allows you to buy a car for a fee of $ 300 in addition to the costs remaining at any point during the lease. Therefore, buy within a few months to avoid high leasing fees. I calculated that it might come out hundreds of dollars ahead, but the real value is that I got credit right away.
But that was a dangerous move. Chrishard, a senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports, told me that there may be many pitfalls. “You can never do that without scrutinizing all the paperwork,” he said.
The California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project is also confusing. First, a program that offers a rebate of over $ 2,000 if you buy an all-electric vehicle. teeth Despite the old message on that website, it is funded and there is no waiting list.
However, recently the income cap has changed. If you exceed $ 135,000 (or jointly declare over $ 200,000), you are not eligible. The dealer may not know or tell you. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price has also been changed to $ 45,000 or less for sedans and $ 60,000 or less for SUVs and trucks. In other words, newly purchased Tesla is not eligible. And those numbers are subject to change again.
There are other breaks, such as the $ 750 credits that California dealers apply at checkout and incentives from power companies.
Forget to buy second-hand goods.
We saw. There are very few used appliances unless you want to buy a lower range of older models.
The Hyundai Kona we tested was the cheapest late model used electricity we found and was listed for over $ 40,000, thousands of dollars higher than the original suggested retail price. Also, used cars are not eligible for federal tax credits.
Be realistic about your savings.
Gas isn’t cheap, but electricity isn’t.
At about 18 cents per kilowatt hour, it costs about $ 11.50 to fully charge our car’s 64kWh battery. This is much better than the $ 70 it costs to fill a Subaru Forester to get about the same distance. However, especially with markup, you may not be able to save more money than a traditional car, taking into account the cost of the car.
That’s not the only reason to buy electricity. I remembered last week’s particularly smoky day. And expect to save on maintenance. There are no oil changes or spark plugs.
Compare prices per mile when using gas and electricity. The Ministry of Energy also has a great calculator that displays the lifetime costs of various cars.
Alternative: Hybrids are in much less demand than full electrics. They are also much cheaper. You can save from $ 10,000 to $ 15,000 at the dealership. Depending on your driving habits, you may still save a lot of gas.
After all, I’m glad I was able to do it all in just one day. And when we drove a new car to the neighborhood, we were further substantiated: the price of horn gas rose another 10 cents.
Where we are traveling
Today’s tip comes from Pele P. Smiths, who recommends the town of Sonora, about 90 miles southeast of Sacramento.
“The Gold Rush founded the town of Sonora in the early 1850s by bringing many Mexican miners to Mother Road at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When visiting today’s town, economic deprivation Experiencing Sonora requires little imagination, as it was before the first people and commerce left the town. The center’s typical architecture is well preserved and walks through the typical Sonora buildings. Among them are the fascinating past stories of the region, such as the county hall, the home of the Union Democrats, and the Tuolmi County Museum. The iconic Golden Chain Highway is Sonora’s small but dynamic. It runs through the center, where you’ll find plenty of atmospheric restaurants and coffee houses where locals mix with tourists on their way to the breathtaking Stanislos National Forest in Tuolmi County. “
What is your favorite place in California? Email your suggestions to [email protected] More will be shared in future editions of the newsletter.
And some good news before you go
SouthAsian Network, a Little India-based advocacy group in Artesia, Southern California, will soon receive $ 200,000 to expand its programs on mental health, citizenship support, and small business support.
Bank of America today announced five Racial Equity Award winners as part of its philanthropic efforts. One of the winners is Manjusha P. Kulkarni, who co-founded Stop AAPI Hate in 2020, an organization that tracks national anti-Asian harassment.
The award allowed Kulkarni, who lives in Los Angeles, to donate $ 200,000 to a nonprofit organization of her choice, and she decided on the South Asian network.
Part of the funding will go to the creation of a small business mentorship program to help combat the negative effects of pandemics and anti-Asian hatred on local South Asian small businesses. The program will start within a few months with at least 50 mentors.