How to Save Money on an Electric Vehicle

How to Save Money on an Electric Vehicle
  • Opening Intro -

    Have you seen the prices for electric vehicles?

    That's $32,780 for a Nissan LEAF, $41,000 for a Chevy Volt and $36,495 for the Think City.

    You'll pay much more for “boutique” EVs from Tesla and Fisker, leaving one question to ask yourself: how can I save money on an electric vehicle?


The Coda Sedan is one of many EVs coming to the market.

If you really want an EV now, you’ll pay a premium for these cars. Wait a few years and prices should come down as the market adjusts to meet demand and as competition heightens. For now, you’ll have to get creative when it comes to saving money on an electric vehicle or at least avoid the dreaded dealer price markups we’ve seen.

Federal Credit – Most buyers will be able to take a $7,500 tax credit on their new EV. That’s because the federal government has set aside a generous amount of money to help early adopters shift to electric power. This is not a rebate, but it can reduce your IRS tax obligation accordingly.

State Credit – If you live in one of a handful of states offering tax credits or rebates on top of federal credits, then you can lower your final costs further. California is offering $5,000 rebates on zero emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles until its fund runs out. Colorado is extending a $6,000 tax credit. Connecticut is exempting electric vehicles from the state’s sales tax and other states are offering various incentives or perks to entice people to buy electric cars.

Negotiate – Just like you can with any new car, you can negotiate the price of your new EV. Unfortunately, you’re facing some strong headwinds here as production is limited and manufacturers do not control what dealers sell their vehicles for. This means you may actually be charged more than the sticker price if some dealerships have their way. Still, if you’re finding some cars languishing on dealer lots, then a price cut may be in order.

Just Wait – As mentioned earlier, if you can wait a year or two to buy an electric car, then you may be able to save some money. Other models are coming on the market or soon will be out including the Smart ForTwo EV, Ford Focus EV, Coda Sedan and perhaps some new models imported from China. The market is simply too young to support much competition and the technology is still quite expensive. When the market expands and the cost of technology drops, then you’ll see EVs priced for thousands of dollars less, perhaps making these cars a reality for more and more drivers.

Besides electric vehicles, hybrids may offer the best value for energy conscious drivers. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, for example, gets 35 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and is priced from $25,795. You get a larger vehicle and more equipment than most electric vehicles for a lower price at that.

Adv. – If you’re shopping for a new car, can help you find what you want and learn about your auto warranty options.



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Categories: Autos Express

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".