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Demand For Electric Cars Is Up — Here Are Some Tips If You’re In The Market

A silver Tesla electric vehicle has a colorful reflection on it.
( ChrisGoldNY (Flickr/ceativecommons))
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Demand stemming from exorbitant gas prices and ongoing supply chain issues are making it more difficult for some drivers to make the switch to an electric vehicle.

According to auto industry watcher Edmunds, “on-site shopper consideration of green vehicle (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric) pages on Edmunds jumped 39% over the past month.”

Translation: a whole lot more of us are checking out electric cars.

And along with that comes higher-than-normal sticker shock.

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“There’s a couple of vehicles that have come out recently that are very, very popular,” said Joel Levin, Executive Director of consumer EV non-profit Plug-In America.

“Initially, they’ve been in very short supply because the volumes are low, and so dealers have been adding $3,000, $5,000, $10,000 onto the sticker price because they can.”

But Levin said it’s important to keep in mind that all types of cars have seen price increases due to pandemic-related supply chain issues. And he believes dealer price hikes are temporary.

UCLA Institute of Environmental Sustainability researcher Narayan Gopinathan agrees that EV price surges are probably a short-term issue.

“The long-term trend in electric vehicles going down in prices is still happening, due to the decline in battery prices and improvements in technology,” Gopinathan said.

If you’re ready to go electric now though, Levin offered some tips when looking for an EV.

  • Check out federal, state and even utility incentives. They can knock $10,000 or more off the price of a vehicle. 
  • Make an appointment with a dealership in advance —  ideally with an EV expert.
  • Check out websites like the one run by Plug-In America where you can see which cars are on the market, what incentives you might be eligible for and more. 
  • Go to some of the SoCal EV events coming up in April (to correspond with Earth Day) where you can test drive green cars and learn more about ownership.
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