Electric Vehicles: Price, Range and Payments

Many drivers have resisted moving from internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles (“EVs”). Two reasons are price and driving distance. But things are changing. Consumers find it easier to make the switch because the industry’s new electric models offer longer ranges and lower MSRPs. As manufacturers release new EV models, affordable options become available to more consumers. Below is an overview of the EV market, as well as helpful data about payments and performance.  

More models coming soon

In the coming years, more charging stations will become more available, and a more centralized, Federally-led vehicle emissions framework could emerge. This could accelerate manufactures’ EV production plans.  While Tesla remains the current electric vehicle standard in in the U.S., General Motors is establishing itself as an EV leader. GM will invest “$27 billion through 2025 to develop electric and driverless vehicles,” according to the Wall Street Journal.  The company will offer 20 EV models, across its brands within the next three years.

Pacecar helps consumers make informed decisions about their automotive expenses. We do this by focusing not only monthly payments but also overall vehicle value. Below is a chart of current EV models plotted in terms of price (MSRP) and mileage per battery charge (Range).  More affordable, longer-range models are in the lower-right corner.

Electric vehicle miles per charge and price

You can see Tesla still dominates the American EV market, with eight models on the graph above. But a slew of affordable options with MSRPs that compare to traditional gasoline vehicle prices, also appear. The blue shaded region in the lower right of the chart highlights the cars with the magic combination of more affordable MSRP and longer than average range between battery charges.

How do monthly EV payments compare?

Let’s look at current payment expectations for some of these vehicles.  According to the most recent available data from Experian, the average new vehicle loan rate nationwide is 5.15%.  In the table below we calculate payments for our blue-quadrant vehicles using this average rate, and a 60 month term for the loan.  We also assume a 10% down payment, meaning the buyer finances 90% of the MSRP.   

Four of the models listed above cost less than $100 more per month than the national average new car payment, which Experian reported to be $568 as of Q2 2020. Chevy Bolt’s monthly payment is only $54 per month more than the national average which, depending on gas prices in your area, may be a negligible difference than it’s gas fueled equivalent.  

What used to feel like a nice-to-have luxury feature is becoming more attainable each year.  EVs from several makes, with various body styles and with payments near the national average will be easier to find in the near future.

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