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What to consider when buying an electric vehicle

American Lung Association calling for transition to electric cars by 2050
Posted at 5:44 AM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 06:46:23-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — For those of you who don’t own an electric car, it might seem out of reach. GM just announced their Hummer EV will have a starting price tag of $113,000. The 2020 Telsa lineup ranges anywhere from $37,000 to $99,000.

The good news here is there are some options, but be prepared to consider if getting an electric car is worth the upfront money you will pay.

“Here is the problem with electric cars, the batteries are horrifically expensive,” said John McElroy.

McElroy is the host of Autoline and has worked in the auto industry for the last 40 years. He says there are a few ways to buy electric cheap, including taking advantage of a $7,500 federal tax rebate.

“With the $7,500 U.S. federal tax rebate that you can get, you can probably buy a Nissan LEAF for about $25,000 to $27,000. I don’t think that is too much out of line, you can get a Fiat 500 E for about that same sort of price,” said McElroy.

He also suggests buying a used electric car.

“You can buy used electric cars dirt cheap, absolutely dirt cheap,” said McElroy.

If you can cough up the money, McElroy says there's a long term payoff, something for drivers to consider.

According to a recent Consumer Reports study, fuel savings alone can be $4,700 or more the first seven years. Maintenance cost is also cheaper on electric vehicles, saving an additional $4,600 over the lifetime of an electric car.

Mary Naber of Grosse Pointe Park says her husband drives a Tesla, and points out some positives to having an electric car.

“One of the biggest pros is that you don't need to stop for gas but you do have to charge it up,” said Naber.

She also pointed out some cons for drivers to consider.

“I really don’t like that the battery runs out," said Naber. "So he has had it a few years and it trails out, it is not the greatest in the winter when there is snow and ice and deep water because the battery is at the base of the car,” she said.