When is the Best Time to Buy an Electric Vehicle?

By: Susan Sammon

Have you noticed? There are many more electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid cars cruising around town lately. This is encouraging news for our planet, as replacing a gas-powered car with an EV, plug-in hybrid or hybrid vehicle reduces carbon emissions and improves the planet’s health –and ours! I believe Croton can become a model community for EV ownership. And you can help to make it happen!

I thought I’d share my personal story to illustrate how I decided the time was right for an EV. In my case it was a 3-step process. After becoming active with the C100 organization my husband and I made a commitment to make our next car purchase electric. Now the challenge was to decide which vehicle. Turned out there were many choices. Did we want a fully electric car such as a Tesla or Chevy Bolt? Or a hybrid car like the Toyota Prius or Honda Insight? In our quest for the right car we learned that there was a third category we didn’t even know existed, the plug-in hybrid. This vehicle has two modes. You can drive around on battery power for about 25 miles. When the charge runs out, the car switches over to an efficient hybrid system. Sounded good to us. We made our decision.

Explore EVs (click “load more” at end of each page to see the full list): 

To check out this new technology before buying, we asked our friends and Croton on Hudson residents, Larry and Karen Moy, if we could come by and see their Toyota Prius Prime and ask a few questions. We drove their car (this was before the pandemic social distancing rules), saw how they charged up and found out there were several solid financial incentives to be had including a rebate from NYS and a federal tax credit. Our decision was feeling even better. 

The last step for us was related to timing. We wanted to wait for a car lease to end so we could replace our gas vehicle with an electric vehicle. The global pandemic had some impact on our timing. Car dealerships were closed for a while. But when they reopened we purchased our EV wearing masks and forgoing the dealer new car prep session.

It’s been two weeks since we purchased our plug-in hybrid car. We feel great driving it around town. It’s empowering, it’s quiet, it’s fun, and it didn’t take long to became pros at charging. We also find it entertaining to guess how long it will be before we need to visit a gas station. 

Keeping in mind the mission of Croton100, I am happy to report that the switch we made, from driving a BMW x3 to a Toyota Prius Prime, will have a measurable positive impact on the planet. In our case, we estimate our carbon emissions for driving will go from 4.974 tons of CO2 per year to 2.078 tons of CO2 per year. That is a reduction of about 59%. That is real change. 

The question about when is the best time to buy an EV doesn’t have a fixed answer. It will vary from person to person and family to family. But if you make a commitment to change, do your research, reach out to neighbors and wait for your timing trigger, you’ll be ready when the time is right for you. 


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