There are some easy steps to accelerate getting your first electric car, as soon as you have made up your mind. Once I realized not only could I afford an electric car, I could actually save some serious cash, I turned my attention to these next steps. So, long story short, I got my first EV, and here are the steps I took to go from “What EV should I get?” to shaking hands and driving off the lot with my new electric vehicle.
- Where will I charge my car, and when?
Ask yourself: Do you have private off-street parking, such as a garage or dedicated spot, with access to a standard electrical outlet? Apps like PlugShare and Chargepoint showed me all the chargers around me, and on the roads for my long-distance road trips. I also live in an apartment, so I can’t charge at home. I realized I’d need to charge my car at the office, and at charging stations near where I lived. Thankfully, I was able to easily find those thanks to the EV charging apps!
- How will I use this vehicle?
I need a vehicle mainly for commuting and local errands, I already have a second vehicle I use for long trips, on a long trip, I am OK to stop for a regular meal and charging breaks, I take regular long trips by car and would only get an electric if I could do so without changing any of my existing driving habits or expectations. This will help you understand if a BEV or a PHEV is best for you, and what kind of electric range is a best fit
- Determining what I want and need in my car, and what EV models best fit what I’m looking for.
Do I need a hatchback? Is pricing a big point? What’s my commute? How many family members need to fit in my car? All questions I answered when looking at my needs.
- Test driving!
Has to be done. You press on that accelerator, and an EV just takes off. They’re such a joy to drive. Before you go test drive, make sure the dealership has fully charged the car. Sometimes they forget to do this or need a reminder on how to do it.
- Different deals offered by dealerships selling EVs.
In Massachusetts, I started with the Green Energy Consumer’s Alliance, who built different partnerships with MA dealerships selling electric vehicles. But I made sure to go to each identified dealership’s website to see what they were offering as well. You always need some ammunition in you belt before walking into a dealership. Knowledge is power.
- Know my incentives & negotiate
The other piece of knowledge to bring in.Some dealers may be unaware that there is a federal or state incentive for the car. Make sure you know what federal and state incentives are offered for your particular model. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your utility to see if they have any charging incentives for EVs in their territory.
- Make sure the EV I purchase has Everything I need before driving off the lot
Sometimes the sales staff isn’t properly trained, or forgot to check that your model was supposed to come with an EV specific trait (example, some models of EV don’t come with DC fast charging, I needed that, and made sure my charge port had DC fast charging as well as the regular level 2 and had a full charge before I left).
We’re always happy to help you with any questions you may have, and with every step listed here! Any questions regarding EVs or these 7 steps, you can reach us at our help line or email: 833-443-8363 or firstname.lastname@example.org