What to Know Before Buying an Electric Car

The electric car is one of the greatest innovations to hit the world of automobile manufacturing in decades. Though these machines once seemed like something out of a science fiction movie, electric models are appearing in increasingly greater numbers on roadways across America. While there are many merits to making the switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle, there are some things drivers should know before taking the plunge. We’ve talked with experts and taken the top models for test spins in order to bring you the most pertinent information you need to know before buying an electric car.

Know What You’re Shopping For


Before hopping, make sure you understand the different kind of EVs. There are two types of electric cars on the market: all electric cars and hybrids. All electric vehicles (also know as BEVs or battery-electric vehicles), are powered solely by batteries. The Nissan Leaf is one of the most recognizable BEVs available today, while our favorite is the Fiat 500e from fiat downey. Hybrids, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs for short), use a smaller battery pack that can be plugged in and recharged once it is drained. Hybrids, like the Chevy Volt, can also revert to being a regular, fuel-fed vehicle, if you’re unable to recharge your battery pack on the go. Do your research before visiting a dealership, like http://www.ocfiat.com, so that you can find the right electric model for you.

Consider the Incentives


There are numerous perks and incentives that come with buying an electric car. The most obvious appeal, perhaps, is the reduction or total elimination of fuel costs. With gas prices soaring higher every day, who wouldn’t be thrilled to keep their gas money in their pocket instead of the pump? And when you stop using conventional fuel, you start doing your part to help the environment. With no exhaust systems or tailpipes, electric cars are 100% emission free. EV drivers have the ability to charge their cars using solar power, which dramatically reduces their carbon footprint. If you’re still not convinced, consider the federal and state incentives to purchase an electric car. Both local and federal governments seem to think that EVs are worth investing in, and are offering seriously lucrative incentives for drivers to make the switch. All US taxpayers are eligible for an impressive $7,500 federal tax credit when buying or leasing an electric vehicle, and many states have offered additional cash incentives of their own. Be sure to check online to see what initiatives are available where you live.

Will it Work for Your Lifestyle?

2013 Fiat 500e

Understanding the limitations of an electric car will help you decide whether or not one is right for your lifestyle. Most electric vehicles run between 75-100 miles per charge, making them a great option for daily commuters. But if you regularly cover huge stretches of highway, live in a remote area, or plan on taking a lot of long road trips, you might want to consider a hybrid model instead.

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