How to choose your first electric car: 4 factors to consider

It’s finally time. You have decided to make the switch and join the zero emissions club. Buying your first electric car comes with a whole new experience. Once you feel instant torque, improved technology and a smoother ride, you’ll never go back. Now the question is how do you choose which electric car to buy? Here are some factors to consider.

How to choose your first electric car

As with any major purchase, it’s good to know your options and what to look for. You wouldn’t buy a house blind without knowing what the inside looks or feels like. The same applies when buying an electric car.

Americans are buying electric vehicles (EVs) at a record rate as new electric models appear in showrooms. According to Cox Automotive, electric cars accounted for 5.6% of the total auto market this last quartermore than double the 2.7% in 2021.

Tesla is still the dominant brand, but most of the major automakers at the moment have introduced their own electric models and are starting to scale production.

With more options than ever, where do you start? It is not as complicated as it may seem for first-time buyers. However, there are a few things to consider before choosing the right EV for you. Here are some tips and considerations for selecting your first electric car.

first-electric-car
Hyundai IONIQ 5 Source: Hyundai

Price and incentives

Yes, there are incentives to buy electric cars. The Inflation Reduction Law, approved in August, extends the tax credit of up to $7,500 for the purchase of new electric cars and grants a credit of $4,000 for used ones.

However, for an EV to be eligible, it must meet strict battery supply and assembly requirements. You can find a list of electric cars eligible for the tax credit here.

Several popular EV models are on the list, including:

  • Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV
  • Ford F-150 Lightning
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E
  • nissan leaf
  • tesla model 3
  • Tesla Model Y

The average price of an electric vehicle in September 2022 is just over $65,000. However, that doesn’t mean all electric vehicles cost that much. For example, here are some of the most affordable electric cars on the market and their starting prices:

starting price
2023 Chevy Bolt EV $25,600
2023 Chevy Bolt EUV $27,200
2023 nissan leaf $28,040
2023 Hyundai Kona Electric $33,550
2023 Volkswagen ID.4 $37,495
List of the most affordable electric cars
first-electric-car
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Source: Chevrolet

handling area

Another big consideration when buying your first electric car is how far you’ll travel on a full charge. Range is one of the most critical factors for drivers. Do you mainly travel to work? How often do you travel long distances? Do you live in a house or in an apartment?

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself before deciding which electric vehicle is right for you. Here you have the electric cars with the greatest autonomy and their starting prices to make it easy for you.

Range (it is.) starting price
Lucid Air Dream Edition 520 $169,000
tesla model s 375 $109,490
Tesla Model 3 Long Range 358 $62,990
Mercedes-Benz EQS 350 $102,310
tesla model x 333 $120,990
Tesla Model Y 330 $67,990
Electric vehicles with greater autonomy in 2022
first-electric-car-1
Tesla Model S Source: Tesla

vehicle type

Why not choose a car that you love to drive? Electric cars offer a superior driving experience than their gasoline counterparts. With instant torque, you can feel the power behind the wheel. Also, because they don’t have an internal combustion engine and have fewer moving parts, electric vehicles are quieter and offer a smoother ride.

At the same time, you don’t have to give up your favorite type of vehicle to switch to electric cars. Automakers have introduced an EV in each category to suit all driving styles. Below are some examples in each category.

electric car model
Sedan tesla model 3
Cross/
compact
come on EV6
Tesla Model Y
hyundai kona electric
Chevy Bolt EV
Chevy EUV Bolt
Ford Mustang Mach-E
pole star 2
volvo c40
all terrain Hyundai IONIQ 5
Volkswagen ID.4
Rivian R1S
Jaguar I Pace
Chevy Blazer
audi etron
kia niro electric
mercedes eqs
Truck Ford F-150 Lightning
electric gmc hummer
Rivian R1T
Luxury tesla model x
lucid air
types of electric cars
how to choose your first electric car: 4 factors to consider
Kia Niro EV Source: KIA

Load Considerations

Last, and certainly not least, is charging availability. If you have a house, it is ideal to have a charging option at home. In this way, every morning you wake up, you will have an electric car fully charged and ready to face the day. It is common for around 80% of charging to be done at home.

To state the obvious, it’s best to put the charger where it’s normally parked. However, not all EV models will have the charging point in the same location (some are near the rear, while others may be on the grille).

The next thing you’ll want to consider is loading speed. Most new electric vehicles will come with a Level 1 charger, the slowest piece of equipment that uses the standard 120-volt connection. Level 1 can take ten hours or more to charge your EV.

You can upgrade to a level 2 charger, but it will require a 240-volt power supply. Meanwhile, level 2 charging units can fully charge an electric car in around 3 to 8 hours.

For those who don’t own a home, that’s fine. There are also charging options for you. You can always talk to your apartment manager to see if an EV charging facility is feasible (it’s a good investment)

If that’s not an option, there are plenty of public options available. Automakers like Tesla are building their own supercharging network, allowing drivers the freedom to go anywhere. Meanwhile, federal funding is helping roll out a national electric vehicle charging network.

Other companies, such as ChargePoint and EVgo, provide chargers to private companies and for public use, further expanding access.

Most electric vehicles use the latest in connected technology, letting you know when and where to charge so you know exactly how far you can travel.

Which electric car will you choose first?

Your ideal first electric car will depend on several factors, including your budget, travel habits, and lifestyle. To get you started, here are some of my top EV picks for first-time buyers:

The best electric cars for first-time buyers

FTC: We use automatic affiliate links that generate income. Plus.

how to choose your first electric car: 4 factors to consider


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