Electric cars: What to consider when buying an electric vehicle

Consumer Reports finds 14% more consumers are interested in going electric the next time they buy a car. Electric vehicles (EV) are often more expensive to buy, but experts say they can reduce your overall costs over the life of the vehicle.

Tesla and Ford just lowered prices on some of their electric vehicle models, as competition is heating up. More than 20 manufacturers have put more than 60 EV models on the roads.

We asked the experts what to consider when choosing an electric vehicle.

"As soon as your foot hits the accelerator -- you have to say accelerator now, there’s no gas pedal -- it's very smooth. There’s a ton of control in the vehicle. And it’s quiet," said Casey Brown, Executive Director of Evolve Houston, giving us a ride in a Volvo Polestar. 

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Evolve Houston is powered up to answer your questions about buying an electric vehicle and AAA just released a Used EV Buyer's Guide.  

First, they say to consider how much driving you do and your ability to charge the vehicle at home.

"For most people, it's just as easy as plugging into the outlet they already have at home," explains Josh Zuber with AAA Texas.

And find places you can charge up along your daily routes.

"Evolve has an excellent resource on our website that shows you where all the charging stations in Greater Houston are," said Brown.

Then compare costs. The average new electric vehicle is about $55,000. The average new gas-powered sedan is $35,000. However, the federal Inflation Reduction Act just lifted caps on tax incentives, which can lower your cost.

"You can get up to $7,500 off a new vehicle, and it's $4,000 for used vehicles," said Brown.

Buying a used EV lowers the cost further, but be sure to ask about the warranty.


"How much warranty is left on that electric vehicle, specifically the traction battery," said Zuber.

In general, charging an EV is approximately 3.5 times cheaper per mile than gasoline per mile.

AAA also offers a Driving Cost Fact Sheet and calculator that lets you compare costs from model to model.

"Put in the year, make, and model of the vehicle you’re interested in and the state you're in. You can see the estimated cost to run that vehicle per mile," said Zuber

Maintenance costs are also considered lower because EVs don't need oil changes and have fewer moving parts.