Buying an electric car? Here’s what you need to know

With gas prices soaring, more people might finally be ready to buy an electric vehicle. And Massachusetts will need everyone it can get to drive an EV if the state is going to meet its climate goals. But plenty of people still have plenty of questions about electric cars, from […]

With gas prices soaring, more people might finally be ready to buy an electric vehicle. And Massachusetts will need everyone it can get to drive an EV if the state is going to meet its climate goals. But plenty of people still have plenty of questions about electric cars, from power to pricing and tires to tune-ups. New Tesla owner Barry Jones agreed to take NewsCenter 5 out for a spin to let us know if anything about buying his first electric car shocked him. He’s had his Tesla for about six months. “I definitely had range anxiety initially,” he said. “But just like a gas car, you get used to how far you can go on a charge.”Since spending a little more than $50,000 for his Tesla Model Y, which the company says can drive 326 miles on a full charge, Barry says worrying about how far he can go is in the rearview mirror.”Driving around the Boston area, I don’t ever think about it,” he said. “If you’re driving less than 150 miles in a day, you don’t really ever need to think about it.”Barry did not invest in a special home charger, although Tesla sells one for $500 that will recharge the battery by 40 miles per hour. Instead, Barry uses a regular outlet in his garage but only gets a recharge of four miles per hour.”I plug it into a regular outlet you plug a lamp into,” he said. “In a 10-hour period, I can get 40 miles, and that’s pretty much what I drive in a day max at this point.”No doubt about it, electric cars do still cost more to buy. A recent study by ValuePenguin said the average – including electricity and increased insurance – is about $4,338 more in the first year of ownership.Right now, the $7,500 federal tax credit that helps defray that added cost has been phased out for Tesla and GM vehicles, although the $1.75 trillion Democratic-led package being debated in Congress might expand the program by eliminating the manufacturer-specific caps and increasing the dollar amount of the credit.Massachusetts has its own $2,500 rebate for the purchase of an electric vehicle, but that is capped at a vehicle price of $50,000.But EV advocates say it’s down the road when the savings kick into gear. For starters: there’s no engine so maintenance is minimal, largely limited to refilling washer fluid and replacing wipers and tires.”There’s no other moving parts in the car,” Barry says. “There’s no alternator. There’s no water pump. There’s nothing to fix.”Barry says he almost never uses the brakes because electric vehicles have regenerative braking, which using the energy of the slowing car to recharge the battery. And he says the gas savings started adding up fast, something especially true with current gas prices well past $3 per gallon.Electric vehicles “are competitive at $2.15 gas,” says Massachusetts Energy Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. “So really, when we’re seeing $3, $3.20 per gallon, the economics of this can really be appealing.”Woodcock says electric vehicles quickly become cheaper than gas-powered cars once the price of gas moves beyond the low $2-per-gallon range. But Massachusetts has a long road ahead convincing people to buy one. And one of the biggest concerns is where to charge, especially for those without a home garage or driveway.The state has invested in chargers, like a set curbside on Cambridge Street in Boston, says more are coming but will also need workplaces and businesses to embrace and install them for those who can’t charge at home.Massachusetts’ goal is 300,000 vehicles by 2025 and one million by 2030 but right now just 30,000 are on the road.”We are going to need more,” Woodcock said. “We do see EVs as a central pillar of our climate strategy, and the charging infrastructure will really need to build out.”Barry says his primary motivation for buying his Tesla was concern about climate change. But he has been surprised at how easy ownership has been. He often drives to Pennsylvania to visit his son at college and says he stops just once for a 20-minute charge at a Tesla supercharger which repowers his battery with about 150 miles. He says his experience showed him he doesn’t need a gas-powered car.And his advice for those on the fence about electric cars: “You can get one without worrying too much.”

With gas prices soaring, more people might finally be ready to buy an electric vehicle. And Massachusetts will need everyone it can get to drive an EV if the state is going to meet its climate goals.

But plenty of people still have plenty of questions about electric cars, from power to pricing and tires to tune-ups.

New Tesla owner Barry Jones agreed to take NewsCenter 5 out for a spin to let us know if anything about buying his first electric car shocked him. He’s had his Tesla for about six months.

“I definitely had range anxiety initially,” he said. “But just like a gas car, you get used to how far you can go on a charge.”

Since spending a little more than $50,000 for his Tesla Model Y, which the company says can drive 326 miles on a full charge, Barry says worrying about how far he can go is in the rearview mirror.

“Driving around the Boston area, I don’t ever think about it,” he said. “If you’re driving less than 150 miles in a day, you don’t really ever need to think about it.”

Barry did not invest in a special home charger, although Tesla sells one for $500 that will recharge the battery by 40 miles per hour. Instead, Barry uses a regular outlet in his garage but only gets a recharge of four miles per hour.

“I plug it into a regular outlet you plug a lamp into,” he said. “In a 10-hour period, I can get 40 miles, and that’s pretty much what I drive in a day max at this point.”

No doubt about it, electric cars do still cost more to buy. A recent study by ValuePenguin said the average – including electricity and increased insurance – is about $4,338 more in the first year of ownership.

Right now, the $7,500 federal tax credit that helps defray that added cost has been phased out for Tesla and GM vehicles, although the $1.75 trillion Democratic-led package being debated in Congress might expand the program by eliminating the manufacturer-specific caps and increasing the dollar amount of the credit.

Massachusetts has its own $2,500 rebate for the purchase of an electric vehicle, but that is capped at a vehicle price of $50,000.

But EV advocates say it’s down the road when the savings kick into gear. For starters: there’s no engine so maintenance is minimal, largely limited to refilling washer fluid and replacing wipers and tires.

“There’s no other moving parts in the car,” Barry says. “There’s no alternator. There’s no water pump. There’s nothing to fix.”

Barry says he almost never uses the brakes because electric vehicles have regenerative braking, which using the energy of the slowing car to recharge the battery. And he says the gas savings started adding up fast, something especially true with current gas prices well past $3 per gallon.

Electric vehicles “are competitive at $2.15 gas,” says Massachusetts Energy Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. “So really, when we’re seeing $3, $3.20 per gallon, the economics of this can really be appealing.”

Woodcock says electric vehicles quickly become cheaper than gas-powered cars once the price of gas moves beyond the low $2-per-gallon range. But Massachusetts has a long road ahead convincing people to buy one. And one of the biggest concerns is where to charge, especially for those without a home garage or driveway.

The state has invested in chargers, like a set curbside on Cambridge Street in Boston, says more are coming but will also need workplaces and businesses to embrace and install them for those who can’t charge at home.

tesla electric vehicle

Massachusetts’ goal is 300,000 vehicles by 2025 and one million by 2030 but right now just 30,000 are on the road.

“We are going to need more,” Woodcock said. “We do see EVs as a central pillar of our climate strategy, and the charging infrastructure will really need to build out.”

Barry says his primary motivation for buying his Tesla was concern about climate change. But he has been surprised at how easy ownership has been. He often drives to Pennsylvania to visit his son at college and says he stops just once for a 20-minute charge at a Tesla supercharger which repowers his battery with about 150 miles.

He says his experience showed him he doesn’t need a gas-powered car.

And his advice for those on the fence about electric cars: “You can get one without worrying too much.”

https://www.wcvb.com/article/buying-an-electric-car-heres-what-you-need-to-know/38153337

Shaqil Heaton

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