A New Federal Bill Could Make EVs Much More Affordable

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So far, federal tax incentives for electric car owners have only applied to new vehicles. But a new bill could change all that. The Affordable EVs for Working Families Act would offer a $2,500 rebate for electric cars. Designed to give people with lower incomes access to the electric vehicle market, the bill could help change the perception of plug-in powertrains as a luxury product.
It could also be the much-needed win the EV revolution needs after the latest Senate infrastructure plan offered only a fraction of the $174 billion President Biden proposed earlier in 2021.
An electric car parked at a house
Affording a new electric vehicle could be easier than ever.

What does the new EV bill contain?

The bipartisan bill introduced in late July will have its limitations. Rather than give rebates for all used-EV sales, it will offer up to $2,500 for used electric vehicles that are at least two years old and cost less than $25,000.
It will also exclude dealers, and credits will only be available to individuals once every three years. Rebate size will be determined based on the annual income of individuals and/or joint filers, scaling down for people who make $75,000 or more a year (or $150,000 together).
Green Car Reports says that while the proposed bill shows promise of future government support, the tax credit could ultimately prop up used car values, minimizing its effect on EV accessibility.
So even if it passes through both houses, its benefit is yet to be seen.

How much does it cost to buy a used electric car right now?

Like with any type of car, the price of a used EV depends on make, model, condition, and capability. One factor unique to EVs makes a lot of difference though, and that’s range.
Short-range models can run for about 58 to 150 miles on a single charge. Their values depreciate quickly. The Fiat e500, with its 84-mile range, for example, loses about 70% of its value in just three years. Yikes!
While that’s bad news for people who bought them new, it means you can get one for a steal if you can fit it into your lifestyle. Just be sure you plan to hold onto it for a while so you don’t lose money like the previous owner.
Long-range EVs like Tesla’s Model S, on the other hand, hold their value pretty well. Green Car Reports says a three-year-old Model S still costs about $57,500, only 17% less than a new one. The main reason its price stays so high? Its battery has an EPA-tested range of up to 405 miles.
Used cars are unusually expensive this year, whether they use gas or electricity. But if you’re in the market for an EV anyway, there are a few other details you should know.
For one, you’ll need to find a specialized EV mechanic if you don’t want to rely on your dealership for repairs. You’ll also need to install a charger for your home, which Edmunds says will cost you between $1,000 and $10,000.
Thankfully, tax incentives and car insurance discounts for electric cars help bring the cost of ownership lower down. Plus, charging costs way less than filling up with gas, and EVs require less maintenance than their fuel-burning counterparts.
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