Buying a used car could be a cheaper way to get an electric vehicle. However, carefully evaluate the car you are buying, especially the quality of the battery, as it will deteriorate over time. However, a used electric vehicle could be the perfect choice for a second car for errands, commutes, and other short trips.
Look at the alternatives.
As exciting as it is to own an electric vehicle, it may not be for everyone. Many families and individuals cannot afford an electric vehicle that meets their needs – for example, there are few electric vehicles with three rows and space for youth sports equipment, and they are typically expensive. Others cannot simply charge at or near their homes. That is why Mr. DeLorenzo and Mr. Fisher recommend plug-in hybrids.
“If you’re interested but aren’t sure if you want to commit, these plug-in hybrids are kind of a gateway,” said Fisher of Consumer Reports.
For many people, a plug-in like a Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan or the RAV4 Prime SUV could effectively serve as an all-electric vehicle, he said. Toyota claims the RAV4 Prime can travel 42 miles before switching to gasoline, while Chrysler says the Pacifica has 32 miles on a full charge. If the cars are mainly used for short trips to work and for trips around the city, they can rarely use gas. These two vehicles and other plug-in hybrids also qualify for federal tax credits.
“You can just plug it into your regular electrical outlet and charge it overnight and you can get a taste of what it’s like to have an electric vehicle and then maybe your next vehicle will be an all-electric vehicle,” he said.
Of course, gas-powered cars have just gotten more efficient and smart choices can help reduce emissions when upgrading from an older vehicle. Still, many people buy cars based on what they find tempting and attractive. And if you’re passionate about the features and design of an electric vehicle, you may find it hard to settle for anything else, DeLorenzo said.
“It’s a different experience,” he said. “It’s definitely not the same as owning a normal car. So there is something to be said for that. “