As with any big change, the road to owning an electric vehicle comes with its own set of bumps. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to buying your first EV. Making the right choices from the start can save you time, money, and a whole lot of headaches. So, let’s break down what you need to know to dodge common mistakes and make your first EV purchase smooth sailing.

Not Plotting Out Your Budget

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Electric vehicles (EVs) come with a higher upfront cost due to advanced technology both under the hood and inside the cabin. Before committing to an EV, ensure the monthly payments are within your budget, including maintenance and insurance costs. It’s vital to have a clear picture of your financial situation to avoid being overburdened by car payments.

Forgetting About Federal Incentives

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Federal tax credits for EV purchases can significantly reduce the overall cost. In the United States, owning an electric vehicle can lead to substantial tax refunds. Make sure to research or consult with your accountant about these incentives when considering an EV purchase, as they can make electric cars more affordable.

Not Considering Your Commute

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Assess the daily mileage of your commute to ensure the EV’s range meets your needs. Without adequate charging stations at work or school, you must ensure the vehicle’s range is sufficient for round trips. Understand the model’s range capabilities and factor in your commute distance to avoid range anxiety.

Not Considering Your Local Climate

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Extreme weather conditions, especially cold temperatures, can affect an EV’s battery performance and range. Before purchasing an EV, consider how your local climate might impact its efficiency and charging capabilities. This is crucial for maintaining optimal performance year-round.

Not Evaluating All of Your Needs

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Consider whether the EV can meet all your driving requirements, such as towing, hauling, interior space, and off-road capabilities. Compile a list of your needs and compare them against what various electric vehicles offer to ensure your chosen EV aligns with your lifestyle.

Buying New vs. Used

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While new EVs offer the latest technology and features, they can be expensive. The resale value of EVs can vary, and because of this, you might find used EVs with low mileage at a fraction of the cost of new ones. Purchasing a used EV can be a cost-effective way to enter the electric vehicle market without the higher financial commitment of a new model.

Not Signing Up for the Right Charging Service

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Choosing the correct charging network is crucial for convenient access to charging stations. Companies like ChargePoint, EVgo, Electrify America, and Blink offer extensive networks. Before committing to a service, ensure it has ample coverage in your area and understand the terms, especially regarding account balances and charger availability.

Skimping On the Research

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Invest time in researching various EV models, their features, specifications, and costs. Understanding the differences in range, charging times, and available incentives is crucial to making an informed decision that matches your needs and budget.

Not Overthinking the Range

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The range anxiety can lead to overestimating how much range you actually need. Evaluate your regular travel distances realistically to avoid paying extra for unnecessary range capabilities. This can save you money while still meeting your commuting needs.

Ignoring the Charging Infrastructure

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Investigate the availability of charging infrastructure in your area and along regular routes. The convenience of owning an EV heavily depends on access to charging stations. Consider the initial cost of installing a home charging station to ensure you’re prepared for the overall investment.

Not Considering the Cost of Charging

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Calculate the total cost of ownership, including charging expenses. While electric charging is generally cheaper than gasoline, the costs of home charging installation and public charging fees should be factored into your budget to avoid unexpected expenses.

Not Thinking About the Resale Value

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Understand that EVs may depreciate faster than gas-powered vehicles due to rapid advancements in technology and battery degradation concerns. Considering the potential resale value is important if you plan to upgrade your vehicle in the future.

Author: Abbie Clark

Title: Co-Founder

Expertise: Automotive Industry, Electric Vehicles, DIY Car Repairs


Abbie Clark is a writer, blog, and founder of RideRambler, Hey She Thrives, and The Bearded Bunch.

From clever car cleaning tricks to the freshest car features and reviews, Abbie loves sharing her knowledge on everything automotive. Outside of her time writing for her websites, you’ll find her fishing with her husband, deciphering her toddler’s babbling, or baking up something sweet.

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