What to know before purchasing an electric vehicle

How to navigate sticker prices, EV charging and the positives and negatives of used EVs
It’s difficult for dealerships to keep electric vehicles on hand because of high demand.
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 5:03 PM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - A 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV is an electric vehicle for sale at Keweenaw Chevrolet in Houghton, which is a certified electric vehicle dealership.

“There’s a number of courses we have to take through GM with testing at the end to certify the salesperson on their knowledge and orientation on the vehicle,” said Keweenaw Chevrolet General Sales Manager Jonathon Oakes.

Oakes said the sticker price of electric vehicles is not much higher than gas vehicles. In comparison, the Bolt EUV has a price range of $30,000 to $40,000 dollars while a comparable gas vehicle’s price range is $20,000 to $30,000.

Oakes adds that it’s difficult for dealerships to keep electric vehicles on hand because of high demand. However, you can expect to see more, come this summer.

“This year we’ll start seeing some Chevrolet Blazers come in and then from that point on we’ll start seeing a lot of more electric vehicles come in. After that, we’ll see the Electric Equinox and, in the fall, we’ll see the electric pickup trucks,” Oakes said.

Oakes said interested customers ask a lot of questions about charging EVs. He said the Bolt EUV comes with level 1 and 2 chargers.

“That is the 110-volt and 220-volt options,” Oakes said.

Level 1 charging provides 4-5 miles of range per hour charged while level 2 provides up to 16 miles of range per hour.

Phil Joffee is the owner of an EV hybrid in Marquette. He said he uses a standard 110-volt outlet to charge his vehicle.

“It takes about 12 hours to charge, so if I come in at night it’s fully charged by the next morning. That’s just one of the ways to do it,” Joffee said. “I can also use a 220 volt which would charge it in 3 hours, or it also regenerates its electricity from the brakes. So, while I’m driving it it’s charging the battery, that’s what is nice about a hybrid.”

Joffee said in his hybrid, a fully charged battery will take him 50 miles in ideal weather conditions.

“In addition to the battery, there’s a four-cylinder turbocharged motor in this vehicle. If I was running on electricity and ran out, the motor kicks in automatically,” Joffee said.

He has noticed some issues with the battery in the winter.

“When it is cold out, the battery does discharge faster and here again that was my concern and why I went hybrid,” Joffee said.

Additionally, if you are on the fence about purchasing an EV, AAA has a buyer’s guide you can turn to.

“It includes basic backgrounds of EVs, driving range and charging used EV ownership cost comparison, battery versus gas power, repair and maintenance costs, and supplemental AAA car buying resources. It also includes what to look for in a used EV,” said AAA Auto Club Group Spokesperson Adrienne Woodland.

Woodland adds that there are both advantages and disadvantages to buying a used EV.

“Buyers can expect to spend less on a used EV than a new one. Overall, used ones are generally less expensive to own than new ones,” Woodland said. “When buying a used EV, it’s important to find a vehicle with a warranty with a lot of time on it before it expires and specifically covers the replacement of the traction battery.”

If you would like to access the AAA EV Buyers Guide, click here.