7 Cost-Cutting Habits of Experienced EV Owners

Electric vehicles are better for the environment and can save drivers money in the long run. But the high initial costs still prove to be quite a significant barrier for many drivers. There is not only the purchase of the vehicle itself, but also all the necessary extras such as car insurance, vehicle registration and charging station costs.

It may be a while before EVs become as affordable as their gas-powered cousins, but with the right strategies, you may still be able to fit one into your budget. Here are seven tricks that wallet-conscious EV owners can use to keep their costs as low as possible.

1. Choose your car wisely

Certain new EVs qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, while select used EVs qualify for a credit of up to $4,000. Starting in 2024, you can apply this credit to your purchase at the point of sale, effectively reducing your purchase price. Check FuelEconomy.gov to learn which cars qualify for the tax credit.

2. Go with a green car loan

Green car loans are available through some banks and credit unions for EV buyers. They work the same way as a traditional car loan, except they usually have lower interest rates. This can help you pay less overall. However, not all financial institutions have these types of loans, so you may need to search online to find lenders that do.

3. Shop around for auto insurance

Car insurance for EVs is usually more expensive due to the high repair costs of these vehicles. Shopping around is critical to ensure EV buyers get the lowest possible cost. It is best to get quotes from several top car insurers before purchasing a policy. Drivers may also look for insurance companies that offer discounts for purchasing hybrid or electric vehicles.

4. Be strategic about home charging

Charging your electric vehicle at home is usually cheaper than using a public charging station. This is especially true for those who charge their vehicles at night. Electric companies typically offer lower rates when fewer people are using electricity, making the middle of the night one of the most affordable times to charge your EV’s battery.

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5. Look for free public charging stations

If you need to charge your EV on the go, look for free public charging stations. Sites like PlugShare can help you find the ones closest to you. You’ll often find them in car dealerships, some workplaces and even shopping areas.

6. Drive carefully

Careful driving reduces the risk of an accident, which in itself can save you a lot of money. But it can also help your EV’s battery last longer. Rapid acceleration and braking drains the battery faster, so sticking to moderate speeds and smooth transitions will help you go further on each charge.

7. Maintain your EV

Electric cars may need less maintenance than gas-powered vehicles, but they still need some. Following all recommended maintenance, including tire rotation and alignment, can also help your EV go further on a charge and last longer over time.

Even if you take the above steps, be prepared to pay a high upfront price for EVs. If that’s not realistic for you right now, consider holding off for another year or two. Electric vehicle prices are already starting to fall, and interest rates on car loans are also likely to decrease over time, which should make EV ownership more affordable for the masses.

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