Investing in an electric vehicle is not really an investment from the financial stand point. After all it is just 4 wheels to bring you back and forth from work everyday. And it is the same wheels that start to loose the value as soon as you leave the dealer. I kept my previous car for over 9 years and was determined to keep it for longer.
Financially speaking, it is wise to keep your current car until the value of its maintenance does not exceed its market value. If your car costs $500 and you spend $2000 to keep it running and safe to drive and pay insurance, it is too late to change it.
The decision to purchase an electric was not easy. I did a lot of research and looked at several models available at that time. It took me over a year to decide. I should say the choices were and are limited today.
The following are my reasons to consider an electric car versus traditional ICE (internal combustion engine) car:
- Gasoline prices range from $2.20 to almost $4 depending on your location in the east cost of the USA
- Gasoline prices go up as you drive a more luxury vehicle because luxury cars fitted with engines tuned for better gas usually 89 and higher in octane. The higher octane requirements the closer you get to pay almost $4 per gallon. Many would argue to stick with the cheaper cars and thus cheaper gas. Very true but still you are looking at spending at least $2+ per gallon.
- Gasoline prices always vary due to many variables which I always want to understand better. I might write another post on this subject 🙂 There are months where you feel lucky because prices are low and other times you feel miserable because prices sky rocket or maybe just rise a bit 🙂
- Gasoline consumption. I did a lot of research to see if I can find the car with the best miles per gallon rating. At the time I did my research, I was only able to find cars with 40 miles per gallon rating such as Toyota Prius. Most of these cars are hybrid and have both electric and normal internal combustion engines. While this setup does improve gas consumption, it also increases the complexity of the design and I believe the long term cost of maintenance. I was afraid I would end up fixing both ICE engine and electric engine. In addition, these cars are not cheap.
- Environment. Yes I do care for the environment and factors that affect it. However, I feel that this is a very politicized subject and many of us may agree or disagree with the statements that electric cars actually safe environment.
- Maintenance cost. I believe ICE cars are more expensive to maintain and it takes more time. I am referring to oil changes, oil filter changes, transmission oil changes, gas tank related problems, transmission related problems etc. Electric cars do not have these items to worry about.
- Hassle to drive to get gas. When I had an ICE car, I would always drive it to an almost empty tank because I was reluctant to stop at gas stations. Note, driving an ICE car to an empty tank is not a recommended thing to do. I was especially reluctant to be at the gas station in one of the East Coast Winter Mornings.
- Hassle to drive to maintenance. Regular maintenance trips are also hassle and usually take time and need to be scheduled.
- Brakes. I believe ICE cars are notorious swallowers of brakes. Unless, one drives a manual transmission, there is very little one can do to stop the car other than slamming on the brakes all the time. Some cars have these transmission pedals on the steering wheel where you can press – or + to downshift or up shift. I tried to downshift using these pedals but this is not seamless and it is not like manual transmission driving. And, brakes are not cheap to replace.
- Charcoal Dirty Wheels. I am not a super car guy but I still like my wheels to be a bit lighter than charcoal. When I had my ICE car, my wheels would stay clean for two days maximum after a good wash. After 2 days, the brake dust would take over and this would require more cleaning.
- Tax Incentives and Credits. This was another reason to consider an electric vehicle. Why not take advantage of the credits if they are available. However, these incentives are only valid for new electric cars and each manufacturer has a quantity limit for each model. So, if you decide to purchase a used electric vehicle, you many not get full or any tax credits. For example, Pennsylvania has a State Tax Credit for electric vehicles but it only applies to brand new vehicles.
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