Buy an Electric Vehicle Now, Before Subsidies Disappear

Buy an Electric Vehicle Now, Before Subsidies Disappear

The classic Americana car company General Motors, more commonly known as GM, sold its 200,000th electric car in late 2018. That’s great news for GM and great news for the environment, but not so great for car buyers of the future. For car buyers now, however, things are still pretty great on the “buy ev” front.

It’s Time to Buy an Electric Vehicle… Here’s Why

The IRS offers a subsidy of up to $7,500 for every qualifying electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle purchased in the US…but not for long. The subsidy legislation specifies that when a car manufacturer sells 200,000 electric vehicles, the subsidy amount will begin to phase out.

GM will need to reduce the tax credit that it offers to $3,750 in April of 2019 and again to $1,875 in October. By April 2020, GM buyers won’t have any tax incentives left. 

The same has already happened to Tesla buyers. Tesla, one of a handful of electric vehicle leaders in the US, sold its 200,000th electric car in July of 2018. Those looking to buy an electric car from Tesla now have access only to the $3,750 tax credit, although Tesla has announced that it is lowering its EV prices by $2,000 to make up for the loss.

What Are the Best Electric Vehicles?

OK, so now’s the time to buy. But which one is the best EV?

Top Sellers

Unsurprisingly, GM and Tesla are head and shoulders above their competitors in terms of sales volume, but others are catching up as they release more vehicles. Since 2010:

  1. 1. Tesla has sold more than 320,000 vehicles
  2. 2. GM is close to 204,000
  3. 3. Nissan is coming up in third at almost 128,000
  4. 4. Ford has hit 111,715

Nissan and Ford aren’t expected to hit the 200,000 mark until 2021 and 2022, respectively, so there are still plenty of incentive-eligible cars out there. But if you’ve got your eye on a proven leader like the Chevy Bolt or a Tesla, you’ll want to act soon.

Consider the Ratings

…for shoppers on a budget.

The Chevrolet Bolt, GM’s most in-demand electric vehicle, topped the Edmunds chart for affordable EVs in 2018, thanks to its high level of performance and drivability rating. 

The Kia Soul, Hyundai Ioniq, and Nissan Leaf all have strong ratings in the affordable EV cagory, but none have quite the range of the Bolt – which will get much more expensive soon. 

…for big spenders.

In the luxury EV market, the Tesla Model S tops the charts, but the company’s Model X and Model 3 aren’t far behind. Tesla’s offer to reduce prices to offset the subsidy disappearance does help buyers a bit, but the subsidy is going to decrease even more in the next few months.

The Take-Away

EVs are becoming more common and more accessible, and that’s a great thing. But it also means that some of the early-adopter incentives are going away. If you’ve been thinking that it’s time to buy an electric vehicle, it’s time to stop thinking and start shopping.


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