Header image alt text


Electric Vehicle information for Atlanta and Georgia

EV basics fact sheet and EV market guide

EV-market-and-basicsI created this Electric Vehicles fact sheet (PDF, 250 kB) as an intro to EVs. The first page summarizes the cars available on the market now, and the second page goes through the basics of electric vehicles. If you do just one thing while visiting this website, do this: grab this PDF and take a long look at it later.

There are over a dozen plug-in cars on the Georgia market! Everyone knows about the Nissan Leaf because it’s cheap and ubiquitous, and most people know about the Tesla models because of the cutting edge technology and insane performance, but between those two extremes there are now plenty of other plug-in cars to choose from. Click on the PDF to see what they are.

September 2018 update note:

A few highlights from this update:

– The 2018 Nissan Leaf has arrived and is being delivered in Georgia. The second generation Leaf offers completely revamped styling (no more bug-eye headlights) and somewhat longer range. However what we’re really looking forward to is the 2019 model year Leaf, which will offer more range, much faster charging, and rumored thermal management in the battery (which would be huge). If looking at getting a 2018 Leaf, dig up the rumored specs for the 2019 Leaf, show that to the dealer, and then ask for a discount. And a used Leaf, model year 2017 or older, remains an insane bargain, if you can stomach the shorter range.

– The BMW i3 has now received a mid-cycle refresh in the 2018 model year, adding more power and range and tweaking the styling a little bit. The 2018 model year also brings the i3s which is a new sportier model (on what was already a very sporty car). As with the Leaf, though, the 2019 model year i3 is widely rumored to be bringing a lot more range and probably faster charging. There may be discounts to be had on the 2018 i3 later this year since it’s really lagging the market in range now. Dig up the 2019 rumors and use those to get a discount on a 2018.

– The Tesla Model 3 has finally arrived and production is ramping up into the stratosphere. Tesla appears to be pretty much caught up with all the pre-orders, delivering cars to all the people who were willing to order the car sight-unseen and while there was all that drama swirling around Tesla. Tesla has now triggered the end of the federal tax credit, so the $7500 credit for Teslas will start ramping down after Dec 31st of this year. The car had pretty awful quality problems at first but Tesla has been improving it very quickly. The service operation remains a concern, despite years of fancy promises from Elon. The base (cheapest) version of the Model 3 still isn’t being sold yet, as Tesla is waiting until they get their production costs down to the point where they won’t be losing money on every car sold. We’re all excited about this car, but be careful.

Down in the PHEV section of the sheet, the two recent additions are the Honda Clarity PHEV and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

– The Honda Clarity PHEV has rather stunning numbers: high power, big battery, low price. However be aware that Honda is not passing through the federal tax credit on leases; you need to purchase the car outright to get the $7,500 credit. Further, in my opinion this is still a compliance car, sold in low volume and more likely to be unreliable down the road, so keep that in mind before buying one instead of leasing it.

– The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has finally arrived in the US, and is being offered for sale in Georgia. We have been hearing about this SUV in Japan and Europe for literally years, but its arrival in the US kept getting pushed back. Now that it’s here, two surprises are its affordability and its Chademo plug — normally a PHEV doesn’t have DCFC capability, because it has the gas engine to keep you going when the big battery runs out. Anyway, this is a far more affordable SUV than the Tesla Model X, and perhaps more palatable to some than the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV minivan, which is great in its own right but more expensive and “it’s a minivan”.

I continue to discourage buying any new EV — I still recommend that you lease new but buy used, and this is especially true for the models just launched, which at the very least are having the bugs worked out of them. Further, though, some manufacturers are being dragged kicking and screaming into this electric age, and if you BUY one of their cars you could be stuck with no support after their warranty expires. Lease new, or buy used (bargains). See the leasing page on this website for more guidance.

Some of the car pages on this website (linked on the right side) have detailed information about finding a great value in a used EV. When evaluating a specific car that’s listed for sale, it can be difficult figuring out exactly which options the car is equipped with. The seller may have provided insufficient photos, or some features can only be discerned from photos if you know exactly what to look for. The “used advice” information on the car pages is to help you research specific cars. As of Sept 2018, I have added used information to the Nissan Leaf page, the BMW i3 page and the Chevy Volt page. I’ll work on a Tesla page next, providing guidance on buying a used Tesla (you sure don’t need another website telling you about new Teslas).

Think about this for a minute … How much are you spending on gasoline in your old car right now? How about for maintenance? (EVs have almost zero maintenance costs.) Now, have you ever actually driven an EV? Prepare to be wowed.