Purchase Awareness

Hitting the Road Again

Is this the year to buy an electric car?

ONE OF THE TELL-TALE signs of emerging from our distanced living is the growing traffic. Commuting and cars are returning to be part of daily living. For the 40% of US households that make a car purchase each year, the resurgence creates the right time to consider another purchase.

On top of all the makes and models, one of the factors to decide is whether to buy a gas or an electric vehicle.

Variations of Electric Cars

Automakers are adding more options for electric vehicles (EVs) to their lineup every year.

Besides models, there are several types of power among EVs to choose from. Batteryelectric vehicles (BEVs) are powered solely by electricity, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) run on both electricity and gas. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) rely mostly on gasoline, but they also have an electric battery that assists the gas engine to reduce fuel costs.

Cost of ownership

Sticker price is a big factor when choosing between gas-powered and EVs. Those prices are expected to get lower as the vehicles become more common and less expensive to manufacture.

There are considerations beyond the initial price. The average cost to fill up a gas vehicle is approximately $40. The cost to fully charge an EV depends on where the electricity is coming from, but the national average is just under $7.

In addition to their lower fuel costs, EVs are often less costly than their gas-powered counterparts to maintain and repair.

Environmental impact

One of the main cases driving the choice for an electric car is that they’re more environmentally friendly. The largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. comes from transportation. Because EVs don’t rely on as much (or any) gas, they have a much smaller carbon footprint than their gas-powered counterparts.

For example, the fully-electric Nissan Leaf produces under 200 grams of carbon dioxide emissions per mile, while the Toyota Sequoia SUV emits over 800 grams of carbon dioxide per mile.

Purchase price inflation

Another post-pandemic phenomenon affecting car purchase decisions is the growing cost of cars. According to the Consumer Price Index, the cost of purchasing used cars is up 30% from the past year and new cars 5%. A global chip shortage and pent-up demand are contributing factors.

Kim is a part of the Emory Alliance Credit Union team. For more information or to pre-qualify for your upcoming purchase, visit emoryacu.com.


  1. Shop choices: There are many options, including a local credit union. These institutions often have lower rates and more flexible terms.
  2. Pre-qualify: Knowing your buying power before you shop for the car can strengthen your position to purchase. Often this is an easy step that can be taken online.
  3. Compare Rates and Terms: Rates and terms will vary depending on your current financial situation.
  4. Consider Mechanical Repair Coverage (MRC): The miles can add up, but the repair costs don’t have to. Various coverage levels and deductibles are available.