Karl Brauer, executive analyst at automotive research firm iSeeCars. An automotive journalist for more than 25 years, he is a jury member for both the North American Car and Truck of the Year and the World Car of the Year awards. iSeeCars.com
If you’re thinking about making the leap to an electric vehicle (EV) in 2020, there’s some news you should know…
The federal tax credit is running out for some of the most popular EVs. The $7,500 tax credit that has helped make EVs affordable phases out for cars made by an automaker after that automaker sells 200,000 eligible vehicles. GM and Tesla now have passed that sales threshold, so Teslas no longer qualify for federal tax credits…while GM EVs, including the Chevy Bolt, qualify for only a $1,875 tax credit and no credit at all after March 31, 2020. Fortunately, a number of excellent EVs available from other automakers are still eligible for the tax credit. Example: The Hyundai Kona EV is a superb EV crossover—reliable, fun to drive and well-equipped—with a starting price of $38,045. That’s $30,545 after the tax credit.
Some states are imposing fees on EVs. Many states have imposed, or are considering imposing, EV fees to make up for the fact that EV drivers don’t pay gas taxes. Sometimes these fees are higher than car owners pay in gas taxes, according to Consumer Reports. Examples: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Washington State, West Virginia and Wyoming have annual EV fees of $120 to $225, which is in excess of the typical car owner’s gas taxes, according to a recent analysis.
The latest generation of EVs offer more than 200 miles per charge. That helps eliminate the “range anxiety” felt by the owners of earlier-generation EVs, which often provided little more than 100 miles of range. Examples: Kia Niro EV offers 239 miles of range…Kia Soul EV, 243 miles…Tesla Model 3, 250 miles…Porsche Taycan, 253 miles…Kona EV, 258 miles…Tesla Model X, 328 miles…Tesla Model S, 373 miles. Ford claims its forthcoming electric SUV will offer more than 300 miles per charge when it arrives later this year…and Rivian, a new US automaker, says its R1T pickup will have up to 400 miles of range.