Getting a Charge out of Driving
Gas prices are going up and it’s become increasingly common to drive down the road behind a hybrid or electric vehicle. Gone are the days of the boxy, dinky electric cars with all the range of a wind-up toy and the top speed of an RC car. The modern electric car is sleek, stylish and has a hundred-mile range on a single charge. If you want a charge out of driving, you’d do well to consider picking up an electric car for your next vehicle purchase.
There are a lot of benefits to an electric car. You don’t have to worry about gas prices; you can just plug-in anywhere there’s a charging station. For many cars, you can even plug-in at any standard electrical outlet. The decreased dependence on gasoline, of course, as a noticeable environmental impact.
Beyond the personal and environmental benefits, the government also has incentives for buying an electric car. Since 2009, any vehicle that meets certain definitions of an electric vehicle — that is, uses a battery for propulsion and recharges with external power — is eligible for tax credits. The credit is $2,500 for a new vehicle plus an increasing amount, up to $5,000, determined by the capacity of the battery. By purchasing a new electric vehicle, you may be eligible for up to $7,500 in tax credits.
If that’s not enough, wait a year or two. The government is pushing to increase tax incentives and broaden their scope, to encourage more people — and more dealerships — to deal in electric vehicles.
If you’re curious how you can afford a brand new electric vehicle this year, contact Valley Auto Loans. Getting a quote for an auto loan gives you a great idea of how much car you can afford, and it applies equally to a gasoline, hybrid or all-electric vehicle.
What Cars to Buy
That’s all well and good, but what electric vehicles are on the market today? Here’s a good selection you can browse to find the perfect vehicle for you.
The Chevrolet Spark EV – At the low-cost of $27,500, this car has a range of around 82 miles per charge. It’s also using new technology produced by GM for fast battery charging, traditionally one of the biggest drawbacks of owning an electric car. The one drawback? You might have a hard time finding one outside of California or Oregon.
The Chevrolet Volt – $35,000 will get you one of the highest rated electric hybrids available today. The car only runs for around 38 miles per charge in pure electric mode, but give it a little gas and that shoots to nearly ten times the range. The Volt has won a number of awards for its low-cost of operation, making it a great car to pick up in the hybrid market.
The Fiat 500e – At $31,800, the Fiat car is an adorable, tiny imitation of a beetle with a little less in the rounded edges. You’ll pull 87 miles per charge out of the batteries, with one minor drawback. The Fiat is a compliance car, meaning it was made in small numbers in California and is hard to find elsewhere.
The Ford Focus Electric – The Focus is available both in gasoline and electric models, so be sure you’re looking at the electric version. At a cost of $35,200, the Focus Electric runs for 75+ miles per charge and is a full four-door sedan. Plus, with a similar design to the standard Focus, no one can tell you’re driving electric.
The Nissan Leaf – At a low-cost of $28,900, the Nissan-produced Leaf is one of the most popular electric cars anywhere in the world. It has the high range of 84 miles per charge, with a fast charge and a very stylish look. It has four doors, it has great curves and it’s incredibly affordable.
The Tesla Model S – Most electric vehicles are made for city style, city driving and city life. Some of you out there want something with a little more kick. Tesla has you covered with the Model S roadster, the world’s first real electric sports car. With an astonishing 250+ miles per charge, there’s just one drawback to this monster; the $80,000 price tag.
Along with these options, you can always consider a Smart ED, a Prius, a RAV4 electric or one of the upcoming models new to 2014. The options are growing every year, and there’s never been a better time to invest in electric.
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