Back to Resource Center

Navigating Car Choices: Key Buying Decisions With EVs

When looking for a new car, electric vehicles (EVs) are competitive with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in four key car-buying factors including: price, fuel efficiency, safety and performance.

A new car purchase is a significant decision with a lot of factors to weigh. EVs are a new category for consideration as barriers to purchase have continued to weaken. Consumers surveyed named fuel savings (69%), environmental benefits (56%) and performance/driving experience (31%) as the three main reasons to purchase an EV or hybrid vehicle.

Car-Buying Decision 1: The Cost of EVs and NADA Car Prices

As a wider variety of EVs become available, buyers consider the total cost of ownership, as well as federal tax credits and other incentives when comparing EVs and their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. The average EV price was down 18% at the end of 2023. The cost of EVs is expected to continue to decrease, opening access to a wider buyer audience range than ever before.

New legislation allows federal tax credits to be transferred to qualified dealer and taken at the time of sale at the dealership instead of waiting for annual tax returns. Federal tax credits give consumers $7,500 if you're buying a new car and $4,000 if you're buying a used car. (It’s not a guarantee as not all dealerships are participating yet, so confirm before purchase.) U.S. News & World Report put together a helpful guide to EVs for sale with charts detailing the price and incentives available.

Consumers use resources like NADA car price tools, Kelley Blue Book and J.D. Power when comparing vehicles. Common searches and purchases include Toyota Highlanders for sale, Honda Pilots and Honda CR-V for sale, as well as the long-popular Honda Civic and Toyota Camry. But as EV battery prices fall due to rapidly advancing technology, the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.4 and Nissan Leaf all start to compete.

Car-Buying Decision 2: EVs Shine in Fuel Efficiency Comparison

EV drivers save big on costs versus their ICE counterparts. The average price of home charging an electric vehicle in the U.S. is roughly equivalent to paying $1 per gallon of gas. Gone are the concerns about fluctuating oil prices and world events affecting daily gas prices at the pump or added fuel costs when planning long road trips. EVs also have fewer parts, so there is less to maintain. Plus, regenerative braking (which uses the car’s momentum as it slows down) captures the extra electricity and helps extend driving range. EVs also have much higher efficiency. Only 20% of the energy in a gas-powered car actually goes to propulsion of the vehicle—the rest is wasted. EVs only lose about 10% of their energy; 90% goes to moving the wheels.

Wondering how much you can save by driving electric? Use our savings calculator to estimate your potential savings. Read more about the costs associated with EVs in our Resource Center article.

With over 170,000+ charging ports available to electric car drivers throughout the U.S. and Canada, charging stations are making substantial inroads. The range on a full charge can be anywhere from 230-520 miles for the top 20 EVs, according to Kelley Blue Book. EV drivers can charge at home for the best time-of-use rates (usually charging an EV overnight when rates are lower gets the best price). You can charge at home using a basic 110-volt wall outlet. Or you can upgrade to a faster 240V Level 2 home charger and add 12-60 miles of range per hour of charging.

Car-Buying Decision 3: Safety and Electric Vehicles

EVs generally perform just as well or better than ICE vehicles in crash tests and score overall higher ratings from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). Commercially available electric-drive vehicles must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and undergo the same rigorous safety testing as conventional vehicles sold in the United States. Advancing tech like night-vision systems, automatic doors, rear-view cameras, LED lighting and more all help improve the safety of new models as they come to market. Edmunds tests EVs in person, and their ratings assess performance, comfort, technology, utility, value and more. See their list of the best electric cars of 2024 and 2025.

Car-Buying Decision 4: Performance

So what’s it like to drive an EV? Consumer Reports says, “…most electric cars deliver instant power from a stop, and they are both smooth and quiet when underway, which is very gratifying. Even the most affordable modern EVs can post 0-to-60-mph times that would put a gas-powered muscle car to shame.” Having 100% torque availability at zero RPM is a major plus to those who enjoy the drive.

Electric cars also have great handling. With the battery pack positioned in the center of most electric cars, it lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity, providing superior weight distribution and stability, and improved cornering that minimizes rollover risk.

Find the EV for You

The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As drivers consider the impact their purchases make on the environment, EVs help everyone. EVs come in various models and price points. Use our EV Comparison Tool or meet with one of our Dealer Partners to find the perfect EV for your lifestyle and budget.

Keep reading our most frequently asked questions about EVs to learn how they can fit into your lifestyle.

Learn More About EVs
View All >

Driving EV Demand: 2024 EV Tax Credits, New Models and Affordability

Analysts have projected that by 2030, up to 42 million light-duty electric vehicles (EVs)* could be on the road in the U.S. If you’re thinking about buying an EV and using the electric vehicle tax credit, here are four important considerations for your research.

3 Ways Small Businesses Can Save Big in Missouri with Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Energy efficiency improvements can help small businesses save energy and money while creating a more comfortable place for customers and employees. It also contributes to a more sustainable community and world. Fortunately, there are several types of energy efficiency upgrades that are ideal for small businesses. They’re affordable, relatively simple to plan and install, and can quickly provide recovery of the upfront investment.

Delmar DivINe: Renewables, Energy Efficiency and Electrification Programs Help Breathe New Life into a St. Louis Community

A consortium of private investment, government, non-profit agencies and Ameren Missouri collaborated on a large-scale project to transform an unused facility into a vibrant multi-use residential and non-profit business hub that is bringing much-needed stimulus to an economically disadvantaged part of St. Louis, Missouri. This story also highlights the multifaceted roles a public energy provider can play to help propel a project of this scale and bring the benefits of enhanced energy sustainability to underserved communities.

Alert Info