Your first EV: A step-by-step ownership guide

Posted by Marketing on Mar 15, 2019 06:02 AM

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Buying a new car can be exciting but it also comes with new responsibilities. Purchasing a new electric vehicle is no different in this respect, though the items on your new car to-do list may be slightly different.

Here's your go-to guide to help you through your first EV purchase:

Step 1: Figure out financing

One perk that comes with buying an EV is the electric vehicle tax incentives that can go along with it. The federal EV tax credit provides between $2,500 and $7,500, depending on the vehicle you choose and your income tax bill at the end of the year.

If you're considering buying a Tesla or a GM, time is running out on eligibility for the tax credit. Once a manufacturer hits 200,000 sales, the credit begins to decrease over time for new purchases. Tesla already reached that marker, and GM is closing in on it quickly, Inside EVs pointed out.

This only applies to the federal tax credit, though. There are plenty of other incentive programs offered through state and local governments as well as utility companies; check out the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy's Electric Vehicles: Tax Credits and Other Incentives page to find one in your area.

Step 2: Identify your perfect EV

There are many options on the market today. Here are a few considerations you should make before you begin shopping:

● Your budget.

● Available range (this will depend on battery size and type).

● Hybrid vs. all-electric (keep in mind, some but not all hybrids qualify for tax incentives).

Another factor to consider is whether to buy a used or new EV. If you buy used, you may see lower costs, but you won't qualify for the federal EV tax credit. Used EVs typically have fewer maintenance issues than used gasoline-powered cars, but you may see lowered battery performance than a brand-new vehicle, Edmunds pointed out.

Step 3: Research insurance

Any time you purchase a new car, you'll need to update your insurance. The same goes when you buy an EV. Driving an uninsured vehicle is illegal, no matter the distance or if you've only owned the car for five minutes, so it's important to update your policy before you drive away in your new vehicle, DMV.org pointed out.

Insurance companies evaluate different cars individually based on make, model, year and other factors. Talk to your current provider to determine what your new rates may be. You can also shop around. Switching to another insurance provider may be more cost-effective.

Unfortunately, you may see an increase in your policy rate. According to NerdWallet, car insurance for EVs is typically higher than gasoline cars, though the personal finance company found that EVs often have a lower cost of ownership over a five-year period. Additionally, it's common for insurance rates to increase when you buy a new car, regardless of its fuel requirements.

Step 4: Install an electric vehicle home charging station

Unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, you won't be able to refuel your EV at any gas station. Before you bring your EV home, it's important to identify where you'll charge it. Does your workplace have charging stations? Are there public charging ports in your town?

If the answer to both of these questions is no, consider installing a charger at home. This is relatively simple to do, especially when you work with our experts here at Webasto Charging Systems. A certified electrician will come to your home and make sure you have the power requirements necessary to support an EV charger. Our network of professionals will also carry out the installation if you prefer.

Click on the link to learn more about Webasto's electric vehicle home charging stations, reach out today.

Topics: EV Charging