It’s hard to miss the corny holiday car commercials this time of year. As if one partner would buy two new cars – a significant purchase – for her and him as a complete surprise. The fact that car companies air these commercials year-after-year means they’re at least somewhat effective. So if you’re finding yourself persuaded to buy a car this holiday season, let it be electric. Not convinced? Here are three reasons why your next car should be an electric vehicle (EV).
1. Savings, Savings, Savings
One of the biggest myths those of us working in the EV industry encounter day after day is the belief that electric cars are simply too expensive to even consider buying. While EVs typically carry a higher initial price tag, they’re on average cheaper to fuel and maintain (no oil changes, head gaskets, timing belts, or spark plugs needed).
Car and Driver compared the Mini Cooper Electric with the gas-powered Mini and found they cost essentially the same to own over three years, all things considered. After three years, the Mini Electric demands less of your wallet because it costs on average $1,000 less to maintain and $2,500 less to fuel each year since electricity is cheaper than gas and electric engines are more efficient.
Car and Driver‘s comparison did factor in the $7,500 federal tax credit, but it didn’t consider state, utility, and local credits and incentives. Since these vary by state, the best place to see credits and incentives available to you is PlugStar. Simply enter your ZIP code and you’re off to the races.
California has some of the most impressive EV incentives including the $4,500 Clean Vehicle Rebate, $5,000 Clean Vehicle Assistance Program, $1,500 Vehicle Retirement Consumer Assistance Program, Clean Vehicle Assistance Program Beneficial State Foundation, and $1,500 Clean Fuel Reward.*
Depending on your electricity provider, you could be eligible for even more incentives. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has a $1,500 Used EV Rebate Program and Peninsula Clean Energy customers are eligible for the $4,000 Clean Energy DriveForward Electric Program.
Utilities across the rest of California and the U.S. also offer rebates, so check with your local electricity provider to see what’s available. PlugStar also lists utility rebates, so it’s a great one-stop-shop.
Last but not least, don’t forget about EV driving perks that vary from state to state, like access to HOV lanes when you’re driving alone, toll discounts, and access to premium parking spots while charging your car.
2. New EV Models Keep Coming
New EV models have been hitting the market every year since 2010. 2020 saw the Tesla Model Y, Polestar 2, Porsche Taycan, Mini Electric, Kia Soul, and more hit the roads. 2021 is shaping up to be even bigger, with more than a dozen new models expected to release. Here are some of the most talked about.
Trucks are the #1 selling vehicle in the U.S. for 2020, and Ford has long been a leader in truck sales. The Ford F-150 Electric will keep its look to maintain loyal followers while drawing in new customers interested in an electric pickup.
Rivian R1T and R1S
Expected in June 2021, the much-anticipated Rivian R1T pickup will start at $67,500 before incentives, while the R1S will be released a little later in the year for $70,000. Backcountry adventurers are waiting with bated breath for the R1T and R1S which carry 300-400 miles of range and the ability to charge one another when a driver’s in a pinch. Plus, Rivian vehicles are eligible for the full $7,500 tax credit in addition to state, utility, and local incentives.
Who can forget Elon Musk’s reveal of the Cybertruck in November 2019? Musk’s biggest fans will have to wait until what appears to be the end of 2021 for the most unconventional electric pickup truck. Unlike the price tags on the Rivian R1T and Lordstown Endurance, the Cybertruck boasts a starting price of $39,990, making it competitive with many gas-powered pickups even before available incentives.
With a 300-mile range and price tag of around $40,000, the Aryia is expected to hit U.S. markets near the end of 2021. Nissan’s new SUV will directly compete with the Tesla Model Y, which carries a slightly higher tag but also a larger battery. Look to the Ariya’s performance in Japan in the middle of the year when consumers there will start receiving it.
3. Fast, Smooth, & Clean
If you’ve ever been behind the wheel of an EV, you know what the hype is all about. If you haven’t, imagine going 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds, the back of your head glued to the headrest. Electric drive systems have 75-100% efficiency compared to 25-35% for gas-powered engines. That translates into instantaneous power and torque instead of energy lost to heat.
Driving an EV is a significant step you can take on an individual level to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution. Over their lifetime, EVs emit 30-70% less emissions than gas-powered cars, and that percentage will only increase as electricity generation becomes more renewable. This podcast episode from Gimle Media explains why EVs are undeniably better for the climate.
While it might be too late to get that special someone an EV for the holidays this time around, 2021 is sure to be an ideal year to make the switch to electric and never look back.
*Maximum rebates listed. Check each program to see eligibility.