BY Sam Laird

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Design by: Alex Beuge

Aug 26th 2021

Sustainable LivingTaking Action

How to Buy an Electric Vehicle: The EV Shopper’s Guide to the Galaxy

Aug 26th 2021

In early 2021, Volvo and General Motors announced plans to manufacture exclusively electric vehicles by 2030 and 2035, respectively. Two of the world’s biggest automakers going all-electric—if there were lingering doubts that electric vehicles are the future, perhaps this put it to rest.

Yet, when it comes to electric vehicles, details are still somewhat vague for the everyday person. Questions abound. For example:

  • How many electric vehicles are on the road today?
  • What is the forecast for electric vehicles adoption over the next several years?
  • How many types, brands, and models of electric vehicles are there?
  • Are electric vehicles better for the environment?
  • How do you charge an electric vehicle?
  • Are all electric vehicle chargers the same?
  • Do electric vehicles pay road tax?
  • What are the financial perks to buying an EV?

Here, we’ll answer those questions and more. Whether you’re actively looking to buy an electric vehicle, casually considering it, or just interested in learning more about your options—you’ve come to the right place. (Sources are included in the footnotes)

Author image

Sam Laird Bank of the West

Sam joined Bank of the West in 2019 after more than 10 years in journalism. He’s also worked as a teacher, a grant writer, and a janitor, and prefers to spend his free time in nature.

Footnotes small arrow indicator

1. IEA Global EV Outlook 2020

2. “Electric Vehicles, Setting a Course for 2030”, Deloitte

3. Alternative Fuels Data Center, US Department of Energy

4. IEA Global electric car stock, 2010-2019

5. “Here’s Every New Electric Vehicle Model for Sale in the U.S.”, Car and Driver

6. Best-selling plug-in electric vehicle models worldwide in 2020, Statista

7. US Plug-in Electric Vehicle Sales by Model, US Department of Energy

8. Tesla Models

9. “FOTW# 1167, January 4, 2021: Median Driving Range of All-Electric Vehicles Tops 250 Miles for Model Year 2020”, US Department of Energy

10. New All-Electric Vehicles, US Department of Energy

11. “Highlights of the Automotive Trends Report”, US EPA

12. Average Fuel Economy by Major Vehicle Category, US Department of Energy

13. “How Long Does it Take to Charge An Electric Car?”, Nerd Wallet

14. “Plug it in: Electric car charging station numbers are rising”, AP News

15. Electric Vehicle Charging Station Locations, US Department of Energy

16. Electric Car Charging Overview, DriveCleanCA

17. Interoperability of Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure, EPRI

18. “How Green Are Electric Vehicles?”, New York Times.

19. “Fact check: Electric vehicles emit fewer emissions and are better for the environment”, USA Today

20. “Electric vs. Gas: Is It Cheaper to Drive an EV?”, NRDC

21. “California starts charging EV registration fees up to $175 in July”, Electrek

22. Federal Tax Credits for New All-Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles, US Department of Energy

23. State Laws and Incentives, US Department of Energy

24. Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Program



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