Should I buy an electric car?
I’m thinking about buying an electric
car, should you? It’s not pretty. I might need an upgrade so I’m thinking
electric. Here are a few things that I’m considering: Electric cars — used or new — can be more expensive up front, but prices are falling. And, once you buy it, it’s cheaper to drive per mile. For new cars, there’s a big federal tax credit, and some different state and local incentives. I can even find a used Leaf for like, $10,000. Almost always, the most sustainable thing to do is buy used. No extra emissions! It’s already been built. These points are
pretty straight forward. Driving electric instead of gas means less
pollution. Of course, that carbon savings can vary depending on how your region makes energy. If all your state’s electricity comes from coal, charging up your electric car isn’t that helpful for the environment. Like lots of folks, my biggest concern about buying electric is range. Batteries are getting better, but those cheap, used Leafs aren’t really ideal for long road trips. I live in the Pacific Northwest where we’ve got lots of charging stations, especially for city
driving. But, hometown visits are problematic. So, what about you? There are still lots of barriers between the average American and an electric car purchase: The range and corresponding lack of infrastructure, and, importantly, the upfront costs. But prices are falling and expected to fall further. “So now everybody is realizing that all the pieces that need to come together for an electric future are coming together.” States like California and New York continue to put strong incentives in place, driving their markets toward
electric. Even these rules could get scrapped by a Trump administration. But not before a long, drawn out legal process. If you need a new car, or a new used car, electric could be a timely, cost-effective choice. But, for me, for right now, I’m sticking with my Civic and relying on more truly carbon-friendly options. Often the most sustainable thing is to not buy the new thing. Also, I’m a cheapskate.