Factors to consider before buying electric

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Tesla Roadster image from Wikimedia.

Tesla Roadster image from Wikimedia.

Electric cars are great for the environment, there is no doubt about it. They create no pollution at all, unlike hybrids. They don’t require any fuel, but they do require recharging every few hundred miles.

Right now, the only U.S. car company that sells completely electric vehicles in serial production is Tesla Motors. Other companies have made and sold prototype vehicles or produced evaluation fleets, but the average U.S. citizen who wants to buy a completely electric vehicle will buy from Tesla Motors.

Initial cost of an electric vehicle

When I say “the average U.S. citizen,” I use the term lightly because a Tesla Roadster, the company’s least expensive vehicle, costs $109,000. Despite the fact that electric vehicles buyers qualify for federal and state tax waivers, it is safe to say that the majority of Americans still couldn’t realistically afford a car from Tesla Motors.

Nonetheless, environmental factors and conserving energy are extremely important to many car buyers. Furthermore, electric vehicle owners don’t have to buy gas, so when figuring out how much you a can afford in payments, electric vehicle buyers can deduct their monthly gas expenditures. For those who can obtain financing and are able to afford an electric vehicle, here are a few other factors to consider.

A long wait

Tesla Motors generally makes about 25 cars per week. The Tesla Roadster and Tesla Roadster Sport are currently available. Unlike dealerships where you walk into a show room and walk out with a car, you must order a vehicle from Tesla Motors in advance. You can do this online or at one of the four showrooms in the U.S.

If you are in the market for a car right now and expecting to have a new vehicle in the next few days or next couple of weeks, an electric vehicle won’t be ready in that time. You must order your car and then wait for it to be built. In the past people have waited up to 6 months.

Repairs and maintenance

The great news about Tesla Motors, which only has four physical dealerships in the country, is that the company recently announced it will do house calls on Tesla cars. Technicians will travel to the homes of Tesla owners to perform repairs and maintenance, much like the did when Tesla ordered a recall in the past.

However, the company charges for each mile the technician must travel, and the minimum charge per trip is $100. That is on top of service and parts. For people who are well off enough to afford Tesla Roadsters in the first place, this might not be a big deal.

Electric vehicle future

Tesla Motors is hoping in 2011 to be able to release the Model S, a sedan that will be much less expensive than the current models. The company says it hopes the price of the Model S will amount to between $35,000 and $50,000 after government rebates.

This price is a lot more realistic for most people. Also more electric car manufacturers will no doubt be joining the game in the future. If buying an electric vehicle someday is important to you, it might be best to start planning a purchase a few years from now. Just make sure you take into account waiting for your vehicle to be built and repairs and maintenance.

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