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Electric Vehicle information for Atlanta and Georgia

EV basics fact sheet and EV market guide

EV-market-and-basicsThis Electric Vehicles fact sheet (PDF, 200 kB) serves 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.

Less than half of the cars written up in the national press are actually available in Georgia. Most of the electric vehicles on the market are “compliance cars”, built by the big manufacturers but only offered for sale in California, or in “CARB” states that sign up to California’s emissions regulations. Georgia is most definitely not one of those states. And don’t think that you can just buy a particular car in California and then drive or transport it back; the dealers here in Georgia are not certified to work on it and you won’t be able to get it serviced. This fact sheet only shows cars that are actually available in Georgia. Don’t waste your time looking at others.

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.

Sept 2019 update note

This fact sheet gets updated 2-3 times a year. A few highlights from this update:

– The Kia Niro EV has arrived! While this crossover SUV is generally a low-volume electric vehicle intended only for California and other CARB states, we are lucky to be getting them in Georgia because of Kia’s huge factory in our state. The Niro has been getting great reviews. The Niro PHEV sibling to the Niro EV has also arrived and appears in the bottom REx/PHEV section of the fact sheet. The Kia Soul EV is expected to arrive in Georgia in early 2020.

– The Audi e-tron and the Jaguar I-Pace SUVs have arrived! They are available and supported nationwide, including in Georgia.

– The Tesla Model 3 is the most anticipated EV of all time and already a wild sales success. Hundreds of thousands of units have been sold, and that’s before the car has even been launched in all of the world’s major markets and with zero advertising. In the USA, thousands of budget-minded fans who were waiting for the $35,000 version on the Model 3 finally got their chance when Tesla launched the “standard range” model at that long-promised price point in early 2019. After the federal tax credit of $7.5k, this resulted in a $27.5k entry price, a startlingly low price for such a massively capable car. However, it didn’t last long, and within two months Tesla was already making moves to quietly discontinue the very cheapest version. Couple that price increase with the reduced federal tax credit that Tesla cars qualify for, the entry price for a Model 3 (after tax credit) has now jumped up to $37.1k, and after December 31st will increase further to $39.0k. If you want a $35,000 Tesla, you probably missed your chance, but the truth is that it was a stripped car and hardly anyone ever actually bought one, instead choosing the “Standard Plus” version that added several features and that is now the effective entry point.

– The Chevy Volt remains on the chart for now. Even though GM stopped building them early in 2019, there is still quite a bit of new inventory and they still show up in the sales statistics every month. Even after the new sales dwindle away, this car will still be extremely popular in the used market, and serves as a useful benchmark in the fact sheet to compare other gas-electric cars to. The Volt was a groundbreaking, historic car, and is still a fantastic deal used. See the Chevy Volt page here for more info.

– BMW is shuffling their plugin hybrid offerings. The BMW X5 40e has been discontinued, but only temporarily; the X5 45e will arrive within a year, as will a PHEV version of the X3. Similarly, the 330e is no longer available, but an updated replacement is coming. The 530e and 745e remain available as usual.

– The Honda Clarity PHEV was previously available in Georgia, but has now been dropped from the chart. Honda was supporting it nationwide for a while, but has reportedly pulled back and it’s pretty hard to get in Georgia now. Dealers don’t stock it, you can’t test drive it, and the only way to get it is to place a factory order sight unseen.

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 2019, I have added used information to the Nissan Leaf page, the BMW i3 page, the Chevy Volt page and the Tesla page.

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.