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4 things to know before you buy an electric vehicle

Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

Is an electric vehicle right for you?

Many people will ask themselves that question for the first time this year. Prices are falling, battery range is rising, and mainstream brands are adding new EVs at a breakneck pace.

The technology, for years the province of early adopters eager to buy a Tesla or a pricey compact that looked like a science project, is about to hit the heart of the auto market.

“Three major barriers exist for widespread EV adoption: vehicle price; range, and charging infrastructure,” Autotrader senior analyst Michelle Krebs said. “With expensive Tesla models being the only EVs available — before the Model 3 — the impression was all were luxury models.

“This year and in the coming years, we will see a much wider array of EV offerings — in all body styles and a wide array of prices.”

Similar improvements are coming for driving range and charging infrastructure.

 

From the Mustang Mach-E and VW ID4 — both on sale now — to the Chevrolet Bolt EUV coming this summer and GMC Hummer EV sport truck arriving in the fall, you’ll be seeing a lot more EVs on the road soon.

They offer a host of benefits, from less greenhouse emissions to refueling while you sleep at home, but they differ from gasoline or diesel powered vehicles in fundamental ways, particularly how often you’ll need to refuel on road trips, and how long that will take.

“It’s not onerous, but there are some things people will have to learn,” IHS Markit senior analyst Stephanie Brinley said.

Here are four things anybody seriously considering buying an EV should know:

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