Not too long ago, Electric Vehicles (EVs) used to seem like something out of The Jetsons, but they are quickly making their way into the mainstream, and for good reason. Not only are EVs consistently described as quiet, fast, and fun to drive, but they give you the power to divest from fossil fuels and save money in the long term. If you’re thinking about purchasing or leasing an EV, here are five things to take into consideration.
1. Take advantage of incentives.
While a brand new EV can range from $30,000 on the lower end to $100,000 for a new Tesla, there are lots of federal, state, and local utility incentives to help offset the cost and encourage people to switch from gas to electric-powered vehicles. For example, if you are an Xcel Energy electric customer in Colorado, the utility is offering $10,000 in incentives for customers who purchase Nissan Leafs. Combine this with a $5,000 tax credit from the state of Colorado and a $7,500 federal tax credit, you’re looking at $22,500 in savings for a brand new Nissan Leaf.
2. Range and charging stations are increasing.
Depending on the EV, range varies between 82 and 238 miles per charge, and is getting better and better every year. As range increases, it is reducing the demand for a gas station on every corner, and the logical benefits of home charging stations become more and more apparent. Just think about the possibility of never having to go the gas station again! Consider renewable options for a home charging station like a solar powered station, or offsetting the electric use from your home charging station with community solar. And when you’re on the road, use this helpful site to find charging stations near you.
3. Save on fuel costs.
On average, an EV requires a 3 kilowatt charging system, and the average cost to charge an EV is about $450 a year. For comparison, a typical driver pays about $1,600 a year in gasoline.
4. Use community solar to maximize your savings.
One thing to consider when buying an EV, is how you can combine your purchase with other clean energy solutions to maximize your savings and your environmental impact. For instance, you can use your incentives and tax credits to pay for panels in a community solar array, and then save on electric costs through community solar. A 3 kW system in a Clean Energy Collective RooflessSolar array in the Xcel Energy service territory is $7,500, so you could use your incentives and savings from buy a LEAF to pay for your RooflessSolar system!
On the flip side, you can use your savings on electricity through RooflessSolar to pay to charge your new EV. Xcel Energy customers in Colorado who purchase a 3 kW RooflessSolar system save about $1,045 a year in electricity costs, more than enough to cover the additional electric usage to charge your EV.
5. Get some sweet perks for owning an EV.
- With 10 times less moving parts than a gas-powered car, EVs have much less maintenance, which means spending less money on repairs and maintenance. And think of all those oil changes you don’t have to get!
- Many cities allow EV drivers to drive in HOV lanes without fees, and many shopping centers have preferential parking for EVs.
- And of course, you won’t be paying for gasoline to power your car!