So You Want To Buy Your First Electric Vehicle (EV)
What does a soon to be EV owner need to know before you buy ? Well it depends. It depends because your buying experience is going to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, dealership to dealership, state to state, country to country, and even from power service provider region to region.
Buying an EV from Legacy Manufacturers
Even with all of the variation the more you know before you buy your first EV the better the experience will be for you. If you know what you want and your vehicle is coming from any dealer who sells many more internal combustion (ICE) vehicles than EVs (such as Nissan, Chevy, Kia, Ford etc…) you are going to need to know pretty much everything before you go. From secret shoppers to club member experiences and my own personal experience the sales people are just not able to answer your questions. They might give you the wrong or misleading information or even try to deter you from buying an EV simply because they don’t know enough about it. You don’t need that negativity in your life.
Buying an EV from Tesla
If you are buying from Tesla you will not get the typical dealership experience of waiting around, haggling, and going back and fourth with a sales person. Instead you order your make and model from their website and schedule a pick up. In our opinion as long as you know what you want this is a MUCH better way to shop for a vehicle. After you order there are a series of tutorials Tesla sends you via the App so you can familiarize yourself with what you need to know. When buying a Tesla make sure to use a referral code which currently gets you 1000 free supercharging miles.
Reserving an EV from a New Company Not Yet in Production
There are a lot of new players in the EV market making a lot of promises. Companies like Rivian, Fisker, Canoo, and more are all scheduled to launch new EVs and are currently taking reservations. When you reserve from a new company there is a risk that they might never be produced or the schedule may slip beyond what you need. Remember even Tesla’s schedule has slipped from time to time. While we can’t predict the future we do have a reservation in for the Fisker Ocean Electric SUV because I really love the styling and look of it. Check it out and reserve here. We have high hopes for these new players and hope that we end up with many EV choices sooner than later.
So What do You Need to do Before You Buy Your First EV? Prepare
With these tips you should be prepared before you set foot in a dealership or place an order online.
- After you establish your budget research, research, research!
- Watch YouTube walk-throughs of the makes and models you like
- Calculate your mileage needs for daily driving (This might surprise you it’s usually much lower than you think)
- Look up federal, state, local, and utility credits for your make and model.
- Don’t forget to look for install credits for Level 2 home charging stations.
- Figure out where and how you are going to charge your EV. At home vs public stations, 110 vs 240 outlet.
- Charging at home is usually the cheapest and best option but for people who live in condos and apartments sometimes charging is not available.
- Don’t be scared to reach our to your HOA or complex and ask them when they will be installing charging stations.
- Join a local EV club such as the Electric Auto Association or a private club such as the Space Coast EV Drivers
- Ask your EV owner friends what they like about their vehicles and for recommendations, if you don’t know any one with the EV you can always e-mail us with your questions.
- In September check out a National Drive Electric Week event near you. This is usually the best place to see various makes and models of EVs all in one place and you get to talk to the everyday owners.