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What to Know Before Purchasing an Electric Vehicle: A Buying Guide

202303 ev lead ev buying guide scaled jpg Cars.com illustration by Paul Dolan

So, you’ve decided it’s time to buy an electric vehicle. There are more electric cars than ever, with 40-plus unique models currently on sale and more coming soon. Compared with a gas-powered car, you’ll have to consider how far you can travel before needing to recharge (range), as well as how to “refuel” an EV, including possible home improvements to support EV charging, how long it takes to charge and where to charge publicly. Not all EVs are created equal in their charging capabilities.

Related: More EV News and Testing

Electric cars can be expensive, too, as many come from luxury automakers, and those that don’t often command premium prices, though incentives can help if the car and buyer qualify. The purpose of this buying guide is to supply you with the information to help find the best EV for you, but we lead off with our top picks derived from owning, driving and reviewing EVs.

Cars.com Top EV Picks
How Much Range Do You Need?
Home and On-the-Road Charging Differences
How EVs Drive
Electric Car Pricing
How Do You Buy an EV?
What About the Federal Tax Credit?
What’s Next for EVs?

Cars.com Top EV Picks

We named the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 our Best Electric Vehicle of 2023 based on overall characteristics we want from an EV. But with the number of EVs available quickly increasing and consumers having more choices than ever, we wanted to highlight standouts in areas of family-friendliness, commuting, luxury and value. For those categories, we’ve named Cars.com’s Top EV Picks below.

Top Pick: Family EV — 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5

Looking for a family hauler everyone will love? Don’t let the 2023 Ioniq 5’s compact SUV exterior fool you — there’s a lot more space inside than meets the eye. Because EVs lack bulky components found in gas-powered cars, there’s more room for, well, room. The Ioniq 5 makes the most of its design with ample space and flexibility for carrying people and stuff.

Families will appreciate its plentiful in-cabin storage spaces, perfect for stashing snacks or devices, as well as its generous cargo area. For those with kids in car seats, the Ioniq 5’s backseat easily accommodates two car seats thanks to its abundant legroom and no-nonsense Latch anchors for easy connection.

The Ioniq 5 is also a road-trip-worthy EV, with a competitive EPA-estimated maximum range of 220-303 miles (configuration depending) and speedy charging; it’s among the fastest-charging EVs we’ve tested when using DC fast charging. Unlike the quirky road manners of some other EVs, the Ioniq 5 also feels refreshingly normal, with a relaxed and composed ride. It’s quick, too, adding an element of fun to the driving experience.

We’re so impressed by the Ioniq 5 that we crowned it our Best EV of 2023, and when it comes to the particular needs of families, it excels. That’s why it’s also our Top Pick for a family EV.

Shop the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 near you

Used
2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 SE
17,576 mi.
$25,500 $495 price drop
Used
2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 SE
34,049 mi.
$28,995 $1,000 price drop

Top Pick: Commuter EV — 2023 Kia Niro EV

Our top pick for commuters is the redesigned 2023 Niro EV, a front-wheel-drive, four-door compact hatchback. Kia redesigned the entire Niro lineup for 2023, upsizing the car slightly and giving it fun, funky styling and a more dynamic interior.

Commuter cars aren’t usually primary vehicles, so the Niro EV’s relatively low starting price makes it a smart choice for a second car. With an estimated maximum range of 253 miles, owners shouldn’t need to plug in every night at home, either — but when they do, the Niro EV can be recharged from empty to full in about seven hours on Level 2 charging equipment thanks to an onboard charger that has been upgraded to 11 kilowatts from 7.2.

The Niro EV’s 150-kW electric motor is zippy and responsive around town, making 201 horsepower. The ride is comfortable, and the cabin is a pleasant place to be when you’re stuck in traffic. Plus, the hatchback body packs a respectable amount of cargo and passenger space within tidy, easy-to-park exterior dimensions (just in case anyone out there is still carpooling in 2023). We loved the Niro hybrid variant so much that it nabbed our Best Car of 2023 award, and now the Niro EV brings home its own accolade as Cars.com’s EV Top Pick for commuters.

Shop the 2023 Kia Niro EV near you

Used
2023 Kia Niro EV Wind
14,330 mi.
$26,995
New
2023 Kia Niro EV Wave
$45,300 MSRP $48,455

$1,577 price drop

Top Pick: Luxury EV — 2023 Genesis Electrified G80

Our pick for a luxury EV is something a little different — and it’s different by not being that different at all. Unlike a lot of new luxury EVs, which are clean-sheet designs, what makes the 2023 Genesis Electrified G80 different is that looking at it or sitting inside it, there’s almost no hint that you’re sitting in an EV. Genesis took the gas-powered G80, itself an exceptionally well-executed large luxury sedan, and replaced its powertrain with a pair of electric motors for standard all-wheel drive and a big 87.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery under the floor.

What we get is a gorgeous luxury sedan with an opulent interior that puts a lot of other luxury brands to shame (and positively blows away the interior of even the nicest versions of the Tesla Model S). And on top of that, the Electrified G80 has now elevated the driving experience to one where there is practically no powertrain noise at all (unless you want there to be). The experience of operating a car this quiet only adds to the luxurious feel. The multimedia system is simple to use, easy to decipher and elegant to behold, and none of the ancillary controls are confusing or require studying the owner’s manual for an hour.

The car pretty much only comes loaded, with options mostly dealing with colors and upholstery choices, and it stickers around $83,000 (including destination). The Electrified G80 is only available in select states, but Genesis is adding states regularly as it also expands its EV lineup. Despite limited availability — or should we say “exclusivity”? — it’s good enough for us to name it our Cars.com Top Pick: Luxury EV.

Shop the 2023 Genesis Electrified G80 near you

Used
2023 Genesis Electrified G80 4DR SDN ADVANCED
2,070 mi.
$47,550 $333 price drop
Used
2023 Genesis Electrified G80 Base
5,637 mi.
$50,000 $2,400 price drop

Top Pick: Value EV — 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Many EVs hitting the market lately are relatively expensive for most car shoppers, with starting prices above $50,000 in many cases. The Chevrolet Bolt EV hatchback, by comparison, is something of a rarity: a fully electric vehicle with decent range that starts at less than $30,000 — and that’s before any applicable tax incentives.

Even in base trim levels, the Bolt EV comes well equipped. Standard features include a 10.2-inch touchscreen multimedia system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, automatic air conditioning, automatic emergency braking and lane departure steering assist.

With an EPA-estimated driving range on a full charge of 259 miles, the Bolt EV delivers good range for the money, with more than enough miles to satisfy most daily needs. The Bolt EV also has an 11.5-kW onboard charger, and when you combine this with its good overall efficiency, you can replenish range quickly when connected to a Level 2 home charging setup that supports this charging rate. Your home may require significant electrical upgrades to accommodate Level 2 charging, and trust us: That can cost a lot. But the Bolt EV’s lower starting price should make any needed home improvements more realistic to a wider range of buyers, and Chevrolet says it will even help cover some or all of the costs of home charging equipment installation. It’s another reason why we’re recommending it as a Top Pick for value.

How Much Range Do You Need?

lucid air 2022 28 infotainment system interior menu sedan scaled jpg 2022 Lucid Air | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

It’s difficult to say just how much range you need. You might not need as much as you think, or you might need more range than you think. Ideally, your home becomes the “gas” station, so every night you plug in and recharge the car to start the day with range replenished. Most data (pre-coronavirus pandemic) suggests the average driver travels less than 30-40 miles per day, so you’d be in good shape without much variation in daily driving habits considering the average standard EPA-estimated driving range of 2023 model EVs is just over 260 miles on a full charge.

The 2023 EV with the lowest EPA-rated driving range is currently the Mazda MX-30 with 100 miles (on sale in California only), and the EV with the longest range is the Lucid Air Grand Touring with 516 miles of range (starting price around $140,000). Most EVs in the $35,000-$60,000 range have between 200-300 miles of range, and to get more than 350 miles of range will cost significantly more.

There are several reasons you might need more range than you think. One is that automakers recommend you charge the battery to 80% or 90% on a regular basis — and try not to drop below 10% if you can avoid it — to extend its life, saving a full 100% charge for long trips. That means you’re immediately cutting the EPA-estimated, manufacturer-advertised range by up to 30% for daily use if you want maximum longevity.

Being able to charge daily (without which you should reconsider EV ownership) also doesn’t account for worst-case scenarios like being away from home when range is falling fast. According to a study from AAA, EVs can lose about 40% of their range when the temperature drops from 75 degrees to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, attributed to battery capacity loss at colder temperatures and the need for heating the cabin, which robs range. Based on a 40% decrease, an EV with a rated range of 250 miles could have only 150 miles of range when it’s 20 degrees outside, if only temporarily. In addition, some reports show EV batteries lose 5%-10% of overall capacity over the span of five years, so, worst-case scenario, that 250-mile range might get you only 125 miles in cold weather after five years of ownership. There’s a reason why EVs have been so popular in warm-weather states like California. Our time with three EVs — including two on long road trips — during a cold snap in late 2022 gives some insight into just how much cold temperatures can affect both day-to-day driving and trip planning. For example, Managing Editor Joe Bruzek used 31% of a 2023 Mercedes-EQ EQE’s battery charge to travel just 40 miles on a subzero day.

How much range you need depends on how far you drive, in what conditions, and your access to public as well as home charging. EVs are less efficient at highway speeds, and the EPA gives a glimpse with usage-specific ratings: An extended-range 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning’s EPA-rated range drops from 350 miles in the city and 320 miles in combined city/highway driving to 283 miles at highway speeds, while a 2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD drops from 342 miles in the city to 330 combined and 316 on the highway.

If all conditions are favorable, you might not need as much range as you think, but if you have a deficiency in any of the above, it may make sense to pad your range with the higher-range model or version. Sometimes range diminishes on higher-cost versions because they often include all-wheel drive or performance upgrades with the same battery but higher-output motors, which use more power and lower overall range; because of that, sometimes the standard range is also the longest range, but it varies from car to car.

Home and On-the-Road Charging Differences

ev home charger install 17 charging station juice box scaled jpg The JuiceBox 48 in use | Cars.com photo by Jennifer Geiger

When shopping for a traditional gas car, you don’t have to consider how quickly the gasoline flows out of your local gas station’s pump or how quickly your car can accept gasoline. But with an electric car, comparable limitations do exist, and owning one that can replenish its battery quickly enough for your lifestyle is the difference between a good and bad EV experience. How much time it takes to charge an EV (and how many miles of range it represents) depends on a number of factors, including the battery size, the vehicle’s overall efficiency, its onboard charger, and the capacity of both the external charger (technically the electric vehicle service, or supply, equipment, which is what hangs on the wall and plugs into the car) and the electrical circuit that feeds it.

The three charging levels that loosely bracket how fast an EV can charge are Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast charging, which we detail in our explainer. Your home is filled with electrical outlets, but most are 120 volts; they’re just not practical to charge a modern long-range EV’s huge battery because they can only replenish its range at speeds of 3-5 miles of range per hour, meaning an empty EV with 250 miles of range would take 50 hours(!) in the best-case scenario. Granted, charging from empty to full is rare and also not recommended for battery-health best practices. Replenishing after shorter trips (say, 40 miles) could take between eight and 13 hours.

For modern EVs, we recommend 240-volt Level 2 home charging, which can add 5.5-60 miles of range per hour depending on the car, charger and home charging circuit. Charging power for Level 2 spans 3-19.2 kW, which is the measure of charging-speed potential; Level 1 circuits commonly max at a scant 1.8 kW.

More power (in kilowatts) doesn’t always mean one EV will charge faster than another because of differences in the vehicles themselves. Some simply accept more power, as explained in the first of five things that could slow your EV’s home charging speeds.

Then there’s efficiency. Charge times can vary based on ambient temperature, battery temperature, charge percentage, grid usage, battery age and health, and more. You may be asking why we’re not mentioning battery size, measured in kilowatt-hours; that’s because it’s really not the end spec on which you should be focused. Battery size is equivalent to the gas tank size on a conventional car, which can’t be separated from the car’s efficiency; higher efficiency means more miles of range on the same battery. For charging times, a smaller battery on one EV could actually charge more slowly than a larger battery on another.

ford mobile charger with pigtails  charging cable jpg Ford Mustang Mach-E's supplied charger with interchangeable 120- and 240-volt plugs | Cars.com photo by Joe Wiesenfelder

While most EVs include a charging cord that facilitates Level 1 charging, some include a Level 2-capable “mobile charger” with the vehicle, including Tesla (though a $35-$45 adapter is required), Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and the Chevrolet Bolts. These standard apparatuses are a good starting point if there’s a lower-amperage 240-volt circuit from an appliance like an electric clothes dryer available, but they aren’t as fully featured as available hard-wired, wall-mounted units that cost hundreds of dollars and are often required for the faster charge time. Mobile chargers of this type are typically limited to 32 amperes, providing around 7-ish kW to the car.

ev home charger install 11 chargepoint charging station scaled jpg Finished installation | Cars.com photo by Joe Wiesenfelder

The more expensive hard-wired installations (required for 48-80 amps) are worth the cost if you’re driving more miles per day because they can charge faster as long as the vehicle can support it. We had six home chargers installed in the Chicago area at an average of around $3,800 per home on a mix of townhomes and houses, which you can read more about in our story detailing what it cost us to outfit six homes with EV chargers.

DC charging is the fastest way to charge and isn’t feasible for homes due to the cost and power levels required, so it’s available only at public or commercial charging stations. While enticing, DC charging is expensive when not included as a limited incentive with a new car purchase, and it’s not recommended for frequent use in order to preserve maximum battery life, so it’s best for longer trips where stations are commonly placed along popular highways or in emergencies. DC fast-charging speeds vary even greater than for Level 2, from 24-350 kW, though even at its most powerful isn’t close to as fast as you can pump gasoline into a traditional car.

Tesla Superchargers commonly span 72-kW, 150-kW and 250-kW speeds, and every new Tesla can charge at each one. Tesla is piloting a program as of this writing that opens its Supercharger locations to non-Teslas in select states, but most DC fast charging for other cars is available from networks like Electrify America and EV Go, which have chargers that span 24-350 kW. Not all cars can take advantage of the higher-power units, however, and the 350-kW chargers are mostly along popular highway corridors. EVs that can take advantage of the 350-kW chargers include the Audi RS E-Tron, GMC Hummer EV, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Lucid Air, Porsche Taycan, and Rivian R1S and R1T, but not all EVs can match the charger’s potential. A Lucid Air is limited to 300 kW, a Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 max at 240 kW, Rivians are currently limited to 200 kW initially but plan to offer 300-plus kW in the future, and the GMC Hummer EV is claimed to charge at just under 350 kW (346 kW).

Fast-charging capability of 150 kW and greater is found on current EVs like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4. Earlier EVs, such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV, rarely exceed 50-90 kW.

In our experience, the claims of being able to charge from “this percentage to that percentage in 16 minutes” are often not consistently repeatable because weather, battery or other conditions prevent maximum charge speeds. On the faster end in our testing have been Hyundai, Kia and Genesis EVs with 800-volt charging capability that in warmer weather replenished batteries from 18%-80% in as little as 18 minutes, which added 162 miles of predicted range on a Kia EV6 and 152 miles of range on a Hyundai Ioniq 5. Charging a Genesis Electrified G80 from 16%-80% took 20 minutes to add 187 miles of range.

How EVs Drive

tesla model y 2022 01 dynamic exterior profile sedan white scaled jpg 2022 Tesla Model Y Performance | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

One of the most exciting experiences of driving an EV is being thrust into your seat after pressing the accelerator, which is experienced even in most lower-powered EVs. An electric motor makes its maximum torque at low speeds, so hitting the accelerator provides instant acceleration. There’s no traditional step-gear transmission, so there’s no waiting for downshifting or the engine’s speed to climb to get more power like a gasoline-powered car.

Unlike a traditional gas-powered car — which can only employ a single, more powerful engine to get more power — an EV can have two or more motors. Traditional all-wheel drive mechanically links the front and rear wheels with a driveshaft, but EVs accomplish the same with one or two motors at each axle. You’re essentially getting two engines when you choose an AWD EV, so that version will almost always be quicker than the two-wheel-drive version. And fast is right: Ford says the Mustang Mach-E GT can hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds versus 3.3 seconds for the proper Mustang Shelby GT500; we “only” managed 0-60 in 3.95 seconds in our own testing of a Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition.

The downside is that range is often diminished with an extra motor (or a more powerful one) when used with the same battery. The least expensive new AWD EV is currently the $45,000 Toyota bZ4X XLE AWD, so if you live in wintry climates and want an EV, be prepared to pay up. Along with the bZ4X, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 are just some of the mass-market EVs that offer AWD, and the number is growing.

With an extra motor, additional regenerative braking can recuperate energy and soften the hit. Regenerative braking, which recycles energy that would otherwise be lost during deceleration, is a characteristic that will vary by EV and is a staple of all-electric driving. It’s often used to maximize efficiency through a one-pedal driving mode where the accelerator pedal is used to accelerate and brake — as you ease up on the accelerator, the car engages its regenerative braking to aggressively slow the car without requiring use of the brake pedal in normal driving. (You still have to use the brake pedal for heavier/emergency braking.)

Unique to EVs is the return of the RWD standard configuration. Many EVs have standard RWD with optional AWD (ID.4, Mustang Mach-E, Ioniq 5, EV6, etc.) versus the common front-wheel-drive layout of most mass-market cars and light- to medium-duty SUVs. FWD cars tend to behave more predictably in slippery conditions, though we only have limited experience with rear-drive EVs in wintry conditions. EVs are heavy because the large batteries by themselves can weigh a thousand pounds or more, so a compact electric SUV like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 at its lightest 4,200-pound curb weight can weigh a touch more than a three-row SUV like the Hyundai Palisade, which is at minimum 4,217 pounds. Because of this extra weight, traction might prove better than in a traditional RWD gasoline-powered car.

Some EVs have peculiar ride quality, and few ride with the inoffensiveness of most mass-market cars. The Mustang Mach-E, for example, not only rides harshly over bumps, but also gets into a pitching-type rhythm on imperfect roads; it’s less noticeable on smooth roads, so your results may vary. The ride quality of Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y is decidedly firm, but they reward with competent handling; a revised suspension with improved comfort was in production in late 2022, but we haven’t driven it yet to see if it rides more smoothly than our 2021 Model Y long-term test car. Some of the least-offensive-riding of the more affordable EVs we’ve sampled are the VW ID.4, Kia EV6, Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin and Hyundai Ioniq 5, which are all tuned more toward the comfort side.

Electric Car Pricing

The average price of all new vehicles (gasoline and electric) per J.D. Power was $46,229 in February 2023, even as dealer inventories improve. EV starting prices average around $65,000 for the more than 40 models that are on sale or will be within the 2023 calendar year for which we have estimated range (EPA or automaker estimates) and retail pricing; EV prices span from under $30,000 to well over $100,000, and, as previously mentioned, are usually pricier than similar gas-powered vehicles.

Every New Electric Car Starting Price and Range Available in 2023

This list includes the starting price and range of electric cars on sale or scheduled to go on sale in 2023 that, as of publication, have retail pricing and EPA or manufacturer-estimated range.

Year Make Model Trim Starting Price, Including Destination (When Available)
Standard EPA-Rated Combined Range, Unless Noted
 

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV 1LT

 

$27,495
259 miles
 

2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV LT

 

$28,795
247 miles
 

2023 Nissan Leaf S

 

$29,135
150 miles
 

2023 Hyundai Kona Electric SE

 

$34,885
258 miles
 

2023 Mini SE Hardtop Cooper Signature

 

$35,220
114 miles
 

2023 Mazda MX-30 EV

 

$35,385
100 miles
 

2023 Fisker Ocean Sport

 

$37,499
250 miles
 

2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Standard

 

$40,290
280 miles
 

2023 Kia Niro EV Wind

 

$40,875
253 miles
 

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 SE Standard Range

 

$42,785
220 miles
 

2023 Toyota bZ4X XLE

 

$43,335
252 miles
 

2023 Tesla Model 3 Base

 

$44,380
272 miles
 

2023 Nissan Ariya Engage FWD

 

$44,525
216 miles
 

2023 Subaru Solterra Premium

 

$46,220
228 miles
 

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Select

 

$48,195
247 miles
 

2023 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor

 

$49,800
270 miles
 

2023 Audi Q4 e-Tron 40 Premium

 

$49,995
265 miles
 

2023 Kia EV6 Wind

 

$50,025
310 miles
 

2023 BMW i4 eDrive35

 

$52,995
260 miles
 

2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge Core

 

$54,645
223 miles
 

2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range

 

$56,380
330 miles
 

2023 Volvo C40 Recharge Core

 

$56,395
226 miles
 

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro

 

$57,869
240 miles
 

2023 Genesis GV60 Advanced

 

$60,415
248 miles
 

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Luxury

 

$64,185
312 miles
 

2023 Audi E-Tron Premium

 

$71,995
226 miles
 

2023 Jaguar I-Pace HSE

 

$72,575
246 miles
 

2023 Rivian R1T Adventure Package Dual-Motor AWD

 

$74,800
260 miles
 

2023 Mercedes-EQ EQE350 Premium

 

$76,050
305 miles
 

2023 Rivian R1S Adventure Package Dual-Motor AWD

 

$79,800
260 miles
 

2023 Genesis Electrified G80 Base

 

$80,920
282 miles
 

2023 BMW iX xDrive50

 

$85,095
324 miles
 

2023 Porsche Taycan Base

 

$88,150
208 miles
 

2023 Lucid Air Pure

 

$89,050
406 miles
 

2023 Tesla Model S Base

 

$91,380
405 miles
 

2023 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo 4

 

$99,150
235 miles
 

2023 Tesla Model X Base

 

$101,380
348 miles
 

2023 Mercedes-EQ EQS450+ Premium

 

$105,550
305 miles
 

2023 Audi E-Tron GT Premium Plus

 

$106,395
238 miles
 

2023 Mercedes-EQ EQS450 Premium

 

$108,550
340 miles
 

2023 GMC Hummer EV pickup 3X

 

$110,695
329 miles
 

2023 BMW i7 xDrive60

 

$120,295
318 miles
 

2023 Audi RS E-Tron GT Base

 

$145,395
232 miles

* Manufacturer-estimated range

How Do You Buy an EV?

Innovation and EVs go hand in hand, and that extends to the buying process, as well. Non-legacy automakers like Tesla, Rivian, Lucid and Polestar all offer direct purchasing processes where interested buyers order their desired model and features, usually pay some sort of reservation fee or deposit, wait for their car to be built and then complete the purchase. When we bought our Tesla Model Y, Cars.com’s Editor-in-Chief Jenni Newman ordered the car and said, “Purchasing the Model Y couldn’t have been easier. It was frankly easier than ordering groceries online.” For consumers who need to finance, these newer companies often offer their own financing, as well. Ford, a more traditional automaker, is also reportedly exploring a similar purchasing process that would ask franchised dealerships to sell to consumers via an e-commerce platform at a fixed price, but it’s meeting resistance from some franchisees.

For the majority of EVs, however, buyers will simply need to follow the traditional purchase process just like any gas-powered car. Consider the factors we’ve already mentioned about range and home charging, then add them to the advice in our other buying guide and you’ll be taking home your EV in no time.

What About the Federal Tax Credit?

An additional complicating factor when purchasing an EV is the nonrefundable Federal EV Tax Credit — and we do mean complicating. If the Federal EV Tax Credit and its potential savings are important to you — and why wouldn’t they be? — you’ll most likely want to start with the IRS’ list of currently eligible vehicles and narrow your choices accordingly. There are additional factors to consider, as well, such as your household income and, potentially, where the EV and its batteries are assembled. As of this writing, many details are still being determined and, like lots of politically hot topics, it’s all subject to change.

Our current guide to the state of the federal tax credit is here, and we’ll help distill future updates or changes to make your shopping process as easy as possible.

What’s Next for EVs?

There are lots of changes on the way for all-electric vehicles. You may have noticed that most of the EVs currently on the market are SUVs or vaguely SUV-shaped; that trend isn’t likely to change, but we are seeing more traditional SUV designs like the Rivian R1S and the upcoming Kia EV9 and GMC Hummer EV SUV join the high-riding hatchback crowd. Luxury and ultra-luxury automakers are also getting in on the act, with Bentley and Rolls-Royce entering the segment and Cadillac attempting to return to its former place among the pinnacle of luxury with the hand-built, $300,000-plus Celestiq. Performance is also becoming more affordable, as the Kia EV6 now has a high-performance GT version, and an Ioniq 5 N likely using a similar powertrain is on the way from Hyundai. Dodge may have just announced the most insane Challenger ever in the SRT Demon 170, but that monster is also a funeral dirge preceding the arrival of the Challenger’s all-electric replacement.

The most significant body style for EVs, however, may be pickup trucks. A few are already on sale, including the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T and GMC Hummer EV pickup, but more are on the way from Chevrolet, GMC, Ram and others. Given the popularity of pickup trucks in the U.S., it’s not surprising that EV pickups would become a thing, but after our experience testing the F-150 Lightning, it appears they still have a way to go before replacing gas-powered trucks. EV pickups are prone to similar range losses when towing and hauling, but unfortunately, the public infrastructure isn’t yet where it needs to be to make an EV pickup a viable option for a lot of truck-centric tasks — try taking a truck and trailer to the common edge-of-parking-lot charging station and you’ll have to unhook the trailer to fit in a charging stall, for instance. As infrastructure improvements occur and as automakers develop new powertrain and battery technologies, that could change; for now, if you’re shopping for a truck, your best bet is to stick to those powered by fossil fuels.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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