Why I Wouldn’t Buy an Electric Car yet After Testing 19 of Them

Dan Smith

  • After testing a dozen new electric cars, I was convinced that I wanted one someday.
  • They're fast, quiet, and eco-friendly.
  • But I still won't buy. New EVs are too expensive and used EVs are in short supply.
Enthusiasm for electric vehicles has never been higher. With more models to choose from than ever before, a growing percentage of Americans are eager to avoid fossil fuels and buy something like Tesla instead. After driving over a dozen electric vehicles on the market today, from mainstream SUVs to rugged pickup trucks to six-figure luxury cars, I am being sold to EVs as well. But i don't buy it. At least not yet. At the moment, they're just too expensive and hard to find.

technology is amazing

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning and its magnificent flanks.
Tim Levin/Insider

I'm sure I'll one day own an electric car - and fortunately not just because the government mandates it. there is. they are quiet and smooth. And nearly every electric car, from pedestrian Chevrolets to high-performance Porsches, accelerates instantaneously when the throttle is pressed. This means EVs add a touch of spice to boring drives and are great at navigating highway merges and transitions. Eliminating all the bulky parts of traditional drivetrains allows manufacturers to add additional interior space and storage options that were previously not possible. Think perfectly flat floors, front trunks, Rivian gear tunnels, and more. All of these benefits, combined with an urge to downplay the environment, mean my future is likely to be EVs.

new electric cars are too expensive

Tesla Model Y.
The Tesla Model Y is priced near $70,000.
Tim Levin/Insider

In today's climate, buying a new EV is out of the question for a price-conscious shopper like me. Ford Mustang Mach E takes off At around $50,000, you can't get a Tesla for less than $47,000. Sure, there are some cheaper models on the way, like his new $27,000 Chevrolet Bolt EUV. But EV leans heavily towards the luxury end of the spectrum. The average battery-powered vehicle sold for around $65,000 in November. Also, be prepared to shell out at least $45,000 (before dealer markup) if you're not happy with less than 300 miles of range.

Not many used items yet

2022 Nissan Leaf SL Plus.
2022 Nissan Leaf SL Plus and older Leaf.
Tim Levin/Insider

People who don't want to buy a new car second hand or who can't afford to spend a lot of money. From $10,000 he does this on a budget of $15,000. But the market for electric cars is still in its infancy, and they're so expensive to begin with that there aren't many attractive used ones in my budget. A search for affordable used EVs on Autotrader turns up many older Nissan Leafs and limited production EVs, but their range (93, 107, 124 miles) just doesn't suit my driving habits. not. A long trip with multiple refuels is more trouble than it's worth. You won't find a used EV with more than 250 miles of EPA-rated range for less than $24,000 today. But with all the new Teslas, Fords, Kia and Hyundais sold in recent years hitting the used market, that should change.

too inconvenient to charge

2022 Polestar 2.
2022 Polestar 2 charging.
Tim Levin/Insider

Lack of charging infrastructure is widely cited as one of the biggest reasons why more people don't buy electric vehicles. And I don't think I'm special. Having a garage or driveway to charge is a game changer for EV ownership. You can plug it in, go to bed, and refill by morning. But I live in an apartment in New York City and have neither. There are a few fast charging stations around, but most charging options are relegated to expensive parking lots. My neighborhood has some street chargers, one of the few in the city, but they're usually blocked by petrol cars. Anyway, charging outside the city where I do most of my driving isn't too much of a hassle once you get used to it (especially if you own a Tesla), but dealing with broken plugs and charging dead zones I had to. Realistically, I could have gotten over the annoyance of charging. But I don't want to stretch my budget by thousands of dollars. I look forward to the day when EVs are cheap enough for those on tight budgets and with limited home charging options. Until then, I'm looking for a hybrid.