What You Need to Know Before Buying an Electric Vehicle

Electric vehicle

Electric vehicles (EVs) are set to revolutionize transportation. Not only do they save money on fuel expenses, but they reduce emissions and improve air quality as well.

Many people are considering investing in an electric vehicle (EV), but it comes with its own set of challenges. To help you through these, we’ve compiled a list of five things to think about before purchasing your first EV.


According to a study by AAA, owning an electric vehicle can be more cost-effective than purchasing the equivalent gas-powered model. Savings could reach as high as $800 the first year for cars and $1,300 for pickup trucks. Furthermore, owners of electric cars and trucks end up saving more money in the long run due to lower maintenance expenses and fewer mechanical parts due to their lower running costs.

The primary benefits of going electric are fuel savings. Owners of an EV typically spend only $0.03 per mile to keep their cars moving, which is much lower than the average gas-powered driver (around $0.4727 per mile), according to a study. That’s one reason why many people purchase gas cars and then convert them to an EV later on.

Consumer Reports notes that electric vehicles (EVs) can save you money when charged at home, which is generally more cost-effective than using a commercial charging station. Your savings amount depends on the amount of electricity consumed; however, according to Consumer Reports it’s typically two to three times cheaper to charge at home than filling up your gas tank.

When shopping for an electric vehicle, state incentives and the federal tax credit should also be taken into account. Depending on which model you select and where you live, these can help save thousands off the price tag of an EV.

Depreciation, or the decrease in value that occurs with every car you own, plays a major role in calculating the overall cost of ownership for an electric vehicle (EV). So while a new Chevy Bolt EV may have an initial sticker price of $35,000, you’ll actually pay close to $45,000 after depreciation over its lifetime.

Furthermore, maintenance and repair costs for an electric vehicle (EV) are 40% lower than those associated with traditional cars due to having fewer mechanical parts that require oil changes or spark plug replacements. As such, EVs generally don’t need as frequent servicing as ICE vehicles do.

Recently, We Predict conducted an analysis that revealed that after 36 months, electric vehicles and their equivalent gas-fueled counterparts have an average maintenance cost of $31 versus $50 for gas-fueled vehicles. These savings add up quickly, making owning an EV much more budget friendly than you might think.


Many people use range as a measure of an electric vehicle’s performance, and it is often what draws shoppers from one EV to the next. But while EPA range is based on standardized testing in a laboratory, it does not accurately reflect how far you can travel when driving your EV in real-world conditions.

It’s essential to remember that unlike gas cars with a single fuel tank, electric vehicles possess multiple energy sources (batteries, motors and coolants) which can influence their performance. Furthermore, battery systems and electric motors may differ when driving in city or highway environments at various speeds, temperatures and environmental conditions.

Edmunds calculates the average EPA range for electric vehicles by taking into account factors similar to those used when determining fuel economy (how far a car can go on one charge) in gas-powered cars. For instance, it takes into account the capacity of the lithium-ion battery, measured in kilowatt hours.

Next, EPA-certified testers take the vehicles through a range of conditions including city and highway speed. During the evaluation, a meter records how much energy is used in kilowatt hours and divides that by mileage traveled to determine an EPA range rating.

This metric may not be as intuitively straightforward to comprehend as a car’s mpg, but it can still be beneficial for drivers looking to compare vehicle performance against other options. Furthermore, fleet managers benefit from this measure since it provides them with an estimate of how far an electric vehicle (EV) can travel on one charge and helps determine if an EV is the most suitable choice for their requirements.

But a vehicle’s range can decrease in winter weather due to cold temperatures that affect batteries’ capacity to store and release energy. Thankfully, automakers have made advances in thermal management technology to minimize this loss. And several years ago, the government mandated that electric vehicles come with an eight-year, 100,000 mile warranty as a means of protecting consumers against battery degradation.


Chargers are devices that transfer energy from a power source (usually your home) to the battery in an electric vehicle. There are various types of chargers available and they differ in terms of speed, cost and features. Some are portable while others must be wall-mounted for convenience.

If you live near a public charging station, chances are they offer free or low-cost charging. Some automakers may even provide this service at certain locations. Depending on your electric vehicle model, full battery charges might only take a few hours at these stations.

Alternatively, you can invest in a personal charger that connects to an outlet on your home electrical panel. Some even come equipped with WiFi capabilities so you can use the car’s onboard computer to monitor charging progress and receive notifications when it’s complete.

When selecting a charger for your electric vehicle (EV), make sure it meets the manufacturer’s standards. Generally speaking, this means at least 32 amps; however, some newer EVs may be capable of handling higher charges.

Level 2 chargers are the most commonly installed type in homes and public stations, as they offer enough power to recharge a fully depleted battery in just four to ten hours. However, if your charging needs are high, then you should consider investing in a level 3 charger.

Level 3 charging requires a dedicated DC power supply, making it only available in certain locations. Although more expensive, this equipment can recharge an electric vehicle faster than level 1 or 2 chargers can.

Level 3 chargers can be an ideal option for homes or commercial locations with dedicated DC power sources and high-power AC outlets. This type of charger has the capacity to charge an electric vehicle (EV) up to 60 miles of range per hour, making it the fastest available option.

The Biden-Harris Administration’s Build America, Buy America strategy is spurring domestic investments in electric vehicle fast-charging equipment. These installations are creating high-paying manufacturing jobs and further cementing America’s place as a leader in clean energy technology and manufacturing.


Although electric vehicles are more cost-effective to purchase than gas-powered cars, they still require routine maintenance to stay running optimally. This may include routine checks to keep the car running safely as well as more complex tasks like replacing the cabin air filter or topping off windshield washer fluid.

Due to their absence of an internal combustion engine, electric vehicles don’t require oil changes or engine air filters and usually experience less brake wear. Nonetheless, it is still important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

Additionally, it’s essential to regularly monitor your tire pressure and rotate them as needed. If your tires appear worn or unevenly worn, you may require replacement of them.

Additionally, inspect the power steering and drive shafts to see if they require lubrication or adjustment. Finally, examine your gas struts for signs of wear.

All automakers recommend that electric vehicle (EV) owners perform periodic checks and services in order to maintain the vehicle’s warranty. Whether it’s something as straightforward as checking tire pressure or more complex, these tasks should be handled by a certified mechanic at your dealership.

Another cost to consider is the battery, which has a manufacturers warranty of 8 years or 100,000 miles. After this period has elapsed, mechanics may need to replace it at an expensive expense.

The battery pack is the most costly part of an electric vehicle to repair or replace. Fortunately, many automakers offer extended warranties on battery components which can help cover repair expenses in-pocket.

Finally, all electric vehicles should undergo regular checks for safety and comfort features. These tests are essential both for the vehicle’s operation and security as well as driving pleasure.

Consumer Reports’ data suggests the costs of maintaining a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) are comparable to those for traditional gasoline-powered cars, although small sample sizes make it difficult to accurately estimate what a vehicle’s lifetime maintenance expenses will be. Hopefully, advances in BEV technology will continue to bring down these costs over time.