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Why you should consider an electric vehicle

An electric vehicle (EV) is not just a regular car with an electric motor; it represents a significant shift in automotive technology and offers numerous benefits over traditional gasoline-powered cars. Here are three key reasons to consider an EV:

Eco-friendly operation: Electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions, making them a cleaner and more environmentally friendly option. This is crucial in reducing air pollution and combating climate change.

Low operating costs: EVs are generally more affordable to run compared to gasoline cars. They have fewer moving parts, which means less maintenance and lower repair costs.

Innovative technology: Many electric vehicles come equipped with the latest automotive technologies, including advanced driver assistance systems, cutting-edge infotainment, and connectivity features.

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Frequently asked questions
What are electric cars?

Electric cars–also known as electric vehicles or EVs–use electricity as a power source, as opposed to gasoline. An EV’s electricity is stored in a battery and drives an electric motor, as opposed to a traditional car which stores its energy source (gasoline) in a fuel tank and uses it to power an internal combustion engine. The most well-known maker of electric cars is Tesla, but in recent years the majority of traditional car-makers have launched their own electric models in a bid to be more environmentally friendly and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. In addition to fully electric cars, many brands also offer hybrid models, which combine a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) with an electric motor to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.

What are the best electric cars?

As with any vehicle class, the best electric car is the one that most closely matches your requirements. The good news is that as the EV market expands, so choice is increasing, and you can now find electric cars for sale that will cater to most requirements. Need a three-row electric SUV? The Kia EV9 is a great choice. How about something with sports car handling and room for four? That’ll be the Porsche Taycan. To help you narrow down the choices when it comes to choosing the best EV cars, start with our guide to the Best Electric Cars on sale, where recommended models include the aforementioned Kia and Porsche, as well as the Tesla Model 3 sedan and Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

How much you pay to charge your electric car will depend on a number of factors. Generally speaking, the cheapest way to fill your battery car is at home using a dedicated EV charger, and the most expensive is via DC Fast Charging at a public charging station. That’s one of the key reasons EV ownership often makes the most sense for people who can do the majority of their charging at home. Other factors that influence how much it’ll cost to charge an electric vehicle include the size of its battery (the larger the battery the more it’ll cost to charge it to capacity), the efficiency at which it charges, and potentially even the time of day that you choose to charge, assuming you live in an area where off-peak rates might be available. For more information see our full guide: How Much Does it Cost to Charge an Electric Car?

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Electric car charging time is influenced by three factors. First is the size of the battery being charged–the bigger the battery, the longer it’ll take, and the greater electric car range you’ll have at your disposal. The second is the speed of the charger–a basic home charger might take 24 hours to provide the same amount of electricity a DC Fast Charger could in 30 minutes. The third is the amount of charge you need to add–many EV drivers charge as and when needed rather than running a car until the battery is drained and then charging back up to 100%. This tends to reduce the time of individual charges. To find out more, see our guide: How Long Does it Take to Charge an Electric Car?

How do electric cars work?

An electric automobile operates in a fundamentally different way to an internal combustion engined (ICE) car, and has far fewer moving parts. At its most basic, an EV’s drivetrain has three core components: a motor that drives the wheels, a battery to provide energy to that motor, and a control unit to send the energy between the battery and motor. Electricity can not only flow from the battery to the motor, but also from the motor back to the battery. This process is achieved via regenerative braking, which is used to convert kinetic energy back into electricity when the vehicle is slowing down. An EV also requires a charging system so that it can be connected to a power source to replenish the battery, and a way of managing the battery temperature to optimize efficiency.

Do electric cars need gears?

Electric vehicles do not require gears in the same way that ICE cars do. This is because an electric motor provides a wide range of torque over a broad speed range, and so doesn’t need a series of gears. To put that into context, an electric motor can deliver full torque from almost zero revolutions per minute (rpm) to its maximum rev range of around 20,000 rpm. An ICE car, meanwhile, might not deliver its maximum torque until 2,500 rpm and will be limited to a maximum of 7,000 rpm, which is why it needs gears to maintain efficiency over a wide range of speeds. An EV’s ability to deliver its maximum power at any point in the rev range not only negates the need for gears, but also means EVs generally feel very responsive to drive.

Do electric cars use oil?

Electric vehicles do not need engine oil. However, EVs do still need to be serviced so that other fluids can be checked and changed, including coolant and brake fluid. Additionally, on certain EVs, the transmission fluid might periodically need to be renewed.



Are electric cars better for the environment?

The most obvious environmental benefit of an electric vehicle is that it doesn’t produce any emissions from the tailpipe. As a result, EVs are better for local air quality than internal combustion engined (ICE) cars. Electric motors are also quieter than gasoline engines, reducing noise pollution, and they’re more efficient at converting their energy source (electricity) to drive the car. Another environmental benefit of EVs is that they can be powered by renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, or hydroelectric.

However, there are environmental considerations that apply to electric vehicles, too. Notably, production of the lithium-ion batteries used by most EVs requires mining for natural materials including lithium and cobalt, which carries environmental implications. Additionally, if the electricity to power an EV doesn’t come from a renewable resource, it could mean gas or coal is used instead, which carries its own environmental impact. A further environmental question is what happens to an EV's battery at the end of its life if it can’t be properly recycled.

Despite the above concerns, improvements in technology and a focus on growing the use of renewable energy mean that EVs are generally considered to be better for the environment than ICE cars.

Which EVs are eligible for the federal tax credit?

The federal tax credit is designed to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and promote EV manufacturing in the US. It provides buyers of certain electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles with up to $7,500 towards the cost of a new electric vehicle, or up to $4,000 for a first-time purchase of a used EV. There is also a partial credit of up to $3,750 that can apply to new vehicles meeting some but not all of the tax credit criteria. These criteria include that the car must be assembled in North America and be priced at less than $80,000 for a pickup truck, SUV, or van, or under $55,000 for a sedan, hatchback, or coupe. Check out our guide to the cheapest electric cars to get an idea of what vehicles might qualify. Additionally, the vehicle must not contain battery materials or components sourced from what are described as “foreign entities of concern.” 

For a used vehicle to qualify for tax credits, it must be at least two years old, priced at below $25,000, and sold through a dealership rather than a private party. Our guide to the best cheap used EVs provides a list of electric cars worth considering.

In addition to criteria related to the car itself, there are thresholds around buyers’ household incomes that must be met for federal tax credits to apply. In the case of new cars, the maximum household incomes are $150,000 for a single tax filer, $225,000 for heads of households, or $300,000 for joint filers. For used cars, these numbers drop to $75,000, $112,000, and $150,000 respectively. As of 2024, the tax credit can be transferred to the dealership selling the car and the discount applied at the point of sale, whereas previously, buyers needed to wait until filing their taxes to claim the credit. For the latest information on which cars are eligible for the EV tax credit, visit the IRS website.

Which EVs are eligible for the federal tax credit?

The federal tax credit is designed to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and promote EV manufacturing in the US. It provides buyers of certain electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles with up to $7,500 towards the cost of a new electric vehicle, or up to $4,000 for a first-time purchase of a used EV. There is also a partial credit of up to $3,750 that can apply to new vehicles meeting some but not all of the tax credit criteria. These criteria include that the car must be assembled in North America and be priced at less than $80,000 for a pickup truck, SUV, or van, or under $55,000 for a sedan, hatchback, or coupe. Check out our guide to the cheapest electric cars to get an idea of what vehicles might qualify. Additionally, the vehicle must not contain battery materials or components sourced from what are described as “foreign entities of concern.” 

For a used vehicle to qualify for tax credits, it must be at least two years old, priced at below $25,000, and sold through a dealership rather than a private party. Our guide to the best cheap used EVs provides a list of electric cars worth considering.

In addition to criteria related to the car itself, there are thresholds around buyers’ household incomes that must be met for federal tax credits to apply. In the case of new cars, the maximum household incomes are $150,000 for a single tax filer, $225,000 for heads of households, or $300,000 for joint filers. For used cars, these numbers drop to $75,000, $112,000, and $150,000 respectively. As of 2024, the tax credit can be transferred to the dealership selling the car and the discount applied at the point of sale, whereas previously, buyers needed to wait until filing their taxes to claim the credit. For the latest information on which cars are eligible for the EV tax credit, visit the IRS website.

Are electric cars safe?

Electric cars are generally considered to be just as safe as ICE cars, and whether a small electric car or a larger electric SUV, EVs must undergo the same crash testing to ensure their structural integrity and built-in safety systems meet requirements. The safety issue most often connected to electric cars relates to the possibility of the lithium-ion batteries catching fire. While there have been instances of this occurring, it is relatively rare. First responders are also being trained and equipped to deal with these kinds of fires. Another less-often cited safety consideration tied to electric cars is that they produce very little noise, which can make it difficult for pedestrians to hear them coming. To mitigate this risk, many automakers fit their EVs with speakers that play an artificial sound when the car is traveling at low speed to alert pedestrians of its presence.