top 5 facts you need to know before buying an electric car

Thinking about going full on electric? Want to cut the oil companies out of the picture (as much as you can), and get something you simply plug in and drive? Want to never have to fill up at the gas station again and be almost completely green? If your heart is set on getting an electric car, mull over these five facts before you head to the dealership to sign the papers.

5 Range and Power

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There isn’t much to be said except: Prepare for range anxiety, and unless you’re dropping the cash for a Tesla or a Fisker, that Nissan Leaf ain’t going to be a 370Z in disguise. In most cases, you’ll probably sacrifice a power kick for a gas-free lifestyle.

4 Maintenance and Battery

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For you hands-off car owners, you’ll love this: Your electric ride is going to require almost no maintenance. Sure, you want to take care of suspension, tires, and all that sort of stuff, but all those under-the-hood mechanical parts in your gas engine are almost completely gone. The downside? Your battery may run dry after seven to 10 years. Good news: Most batteries come with a warranty.

3 Installing a Home Charging Station

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Want to charge up your car a lot faster than level one charging can provide? You’ll need a charging station for level two capabilities, which will cost between $1,500 and $2,500. Don’t worry, you can still get a tax break on the installation, and they are simple to install, just remember to factor in the cost and be prepared to buy this piece of additional equipment.

2 How You’re Going to Charge it

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We know charging stations are sparse, but most areas probably don’t even have any yet. If you are lucky enough to live in a progressive city, you’ll probably see just a handful. Fortunately, more are being built every day. Until then, you’ll probably have to plug in at home. Consider the three levels of charging available to you: Level one is a basic three-pong plug which is very slow; level two is sort of like charging a drill, and is much faster than level one; DC charging is like filling up your car with gas, except … well, with electricity instead.

1 State Taxes and Incentives

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As of now, you will probably get money back from the government for going electric. You might be able to get special parking privileges at some buildings and be able to use the HOV lanes with only one person (you) in the car. Make sure to study the laws thoroughly though, because both state and federal laws and tax refunds will be different. Depending on how you handle it, the tax rebate may come in the form of a down payment or payment later on. Don’t delay either, because if you wait too long, these tax breaks may fade away.

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