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Electric Vehicle information for Atlanta and Georgia

EV basics fact sheet and EV market guide

This Electric Vehicles fact sheet (PDF) 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.  It’s two pages, designed to be printed out double-sided and handed out.

Only some of the cars written up in the national press are actually available in Georgia. Many 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 may not be certified to work on it and you might not be able to get service when it breaks. This fact sheet only shows cars that are actually available in Georgia — don’t waste your time looking at others.

This fact sheet is quite dense since it is summarizes of a lot of information onto one sheet of paper. Some of the shorthand used in the sheet:

  • Number ranges — when you see a range of numbers, e.g. for the MSRP, this is reflecting that there are multiple trim levels in a model line. For example, two different battery options might offer two different electric range numbers, or a GT version might offer higher power.
  • 0-60 MPH time — we don’t expect everyone to be doing jackrabbit starts all the time! Rather, this number is included as a proxy for the power of the car, for how quick and fun it feels in general. The drivetrain horsepower number is not useful because it could be offset by higher weight (e.g. in a truck).
  • Tax credits — only the net result of any tax credits is shown in this sheet. See the EV tax credits page here for thorough explanation of the new federal tax credits and links to more resources.

April 2023 update note

The latest round of tax credit guidance was issued on April 17th by the Treasury Dept, and it’s surprisingly bad for Nissan and Rivian, who lost the tax credit entirely. Yes, the Nissan Leaf now gets ZERO tax credit, despite being assembled at the plant in Tennessee for a full decade now! My understanding is that this is due to their sourcing of battery components and battery minerals. Actually the April 17th announcement had the VW ID.4 disqualified as well, but VW said they were still working on the certification paperwork, and two days later they completed it, and so the ID.4 does qualify.

Multiple PHEV models from Audi, BMW and Volvo lost their eligibility for the tax credit, again apparently due to battery sourcing, in spite of them being assembled in North America.

That isn’t even the final word on this. That April 17th announcement started a 60 day comment period when the carmakers will be making their case to the US Treasury for adjustments. Final rules, and list of qualifying cars, will come out in mid June, and then be updated monthly.

GM and Ford continue be big winners with full $7500 tax credits for their EV models. The Chrysler / Jeep PHEVs all still qualify for the full credit. Tesla is a partial winner with some tax credits, and I have now introduced a new half-smile symbol in the chart for that case …

As far as we can tell, LEASES still qualify for the full tax credit with NO restrictions on final assembly or battery innards. Joe Manchin is furious about that so we don’t know how long that will last.

Tesla continues to make rather dramatic adjustments in their prices on a monthly basis, sometimes more often.

The Koreans (Hyundai, Kia and Genesis) are pretty steamed that they are frozen out of the tax credits, for now, since they are already making huge investments in new factories in the US — mostly in Georgia, actually! They have been lobbying Congress for some kind of change that will allow their EVs to qualify, and they have included Georgia’s two senators in those efforts. As of this writing in mid April, the Korean models do not qualify for the federal tax credit, but it’s possible that leases may qualify. It does make ones head spin.

General comments on purchasing, leasing and buying used

For a full decade I had been discouraging the purchase of any new EV — I recommended that you only leased new EVs. This was because EV technology was rapidly improving, including the range (in miles) and the charging speed (in kW), and you didn’t want to be stuck with a suddenly inferior car that was also plummeting in resale value. However, starting at around 2019-2020, EV technology reached a point where I think it’s now OK to buy outright instead of lease — the technology continues to improve, but it has slowed down from the torrid pace of the 2010s. New models now typically offer at least 250 miles of range and at least 100 kW of DC Fast Charging power. Those two minimum numbers mean the car is good enough for pain-free roadtrips, and you’ll be much less likely to regret the purchase years from now. That said, you may have your own reasons for wanting to lease (or try out a “lease takeover”!), in which case you should check out the leasing / lease takeover page on this website for more guidance specific to EVs.

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 used cars, literally a specific used car with a specific VIN. See the used information on the Nissan Leaf page, the BMW i3 page, the Chevy Volt page and the Tesla page.