What you need to know before buying an electric car

In addition to your current speed and fuel level, your car’s instrument panel will flash alerts when something is wrong. If your tire pressure or windshield washer fluid is low, you’ll get a notification. The same goes for problems with headlights, brakes, steering, temperature, oil, battery and more.

The Check Engine Light may seem like a big deal, but it’s usually linked to something like your car’s oxygen (O2) sensor. But a new cause is at the top of the list, and it has to do with your catalytic converter. Tap or click here for our report.

Do you know which cars do not have a catalytic converter? Electric vehicles. And besides Tesla, we see more EVs on the way from manufacturers. Here’s crucial information you need to know before buying an electric car.

They are out there

Ford introduced the Mach-E for the 2021 model year and has since electrified its best-selling F-150 pickup truck to bring us the F-150 Lightning.

GM has just announced that it will have a hybrid Chevrolet Corvette next year, followed by an all-electric version. The Hummer EV is GM’s first electric truck, and the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV is in development.

Demand for EVs is high

People are increasingly accepting electric cars to the point where it is sometimes difficult to secure one. Many reservations are backed up. Whether you want to drive an EV to help the environment or combat high fuel costs, there are a few factors to consider:

EV costs include more than just the electricity itself. Commercial chargers come at a cost and you will sometimes need time to find one. Some states also charge an additional EV tax. With the fees, tax and deadhead miles, EVs can cost more energy than conventional vehicles. EV fuel prices vary widely compared to gas prices.

Tap or click here for our full report on EV fuel prices.

Take a break

Look for an EV that qualifies for a federal tax credit. This can offset up to $7,500 of your purchase price.

The list of cars ranges from budget-friendly economy cars to luxury sports cars. You can view a comprehensive list of eligible EVs at fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb† Here are some examples of all-electric vehicles from the list that qualify for the full $7,500 credit:

2020–22 Audi e-tron Sportback2014–21 BMW i3 Sedan2021–22 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT2022 Hyundai Ioniq 52019–22 Kia Niro EV2022 Mazda MX-302020–23 MINI Cooper SE Hardtop2011–22 Nissan Leaf2021–22 Porsche Taycan EV2016–20 Tesla Model X

These federal tax credits don’t last forever and some have already expired. According to a report by the Associated PressToyota is getting close to its credit limit, so that’s something to think about.

Equipment costs

Installing charging equipment at home makes the life of an electric car much easier. You spend less time looking for a charging station and if you plug in your car at night, you have enough for your commute.

The problem here is the cost. Teslas Wall connector goes for $400, and Ford’s Charging station Pro costs over $1,000.

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