In a previous column, I noted that in Norway, one of the coldest yet richest countries on Earth, 82.4% of vehicles sold in 2023 were fully electric. People who can afford to buy the best and most Earth-friendly cars choose electric vehicles (EVs). Both the performance and sustainability benefits of EVs are becoming better and better.

Every day, as more mining, manufacturing, and transporting equipment is being upgraded to run on electricity generated from sunlight, it’s
getting cheaper and cleaner to make batteries, the critical component in an EV.

So let’s accept the United States policy to give people $7,500 off the price of a brand-new EV made in America, and focus on how to use that “free” money to get new wheels. Which vehicles qualify for a price cut? At, you can find the complete list: about 20 different makes and models, from Cadillacs to Volkswagens, sedans to pickup trucks.

If you’re shopping for a used car, the IRS will allow a $4,000 tax credit if you buy an EV “from a licensed dealer for $25,000 or less.” For more details, see the “Used Clean Vehicle Credit” page on the website. You can charge any EV from a regular 120-volt electrical outlet, but if you want to cut your charging time, there’s even up to $600 in tax credits available for upgrading your electrical panel and up to $1,000 for installing a level two (240 volt) EV charger at home.

If you’re not in the market yet, keep an eye on car prices. Industry experts report that the new way Tesla builds cars (with a huge die-casting machine called a “Giga Press”) will allow manufacturers to roll out EVs at a fraction of the cost of cars with combustion engines.

Depending on how fast factories can be retooled, North America could see EVs that cost much less than gas cars by 2027 or so. EVs made in China are already getting much cheaper; BYD just cut the price of its four-passenger Seagull hatchback EV to $9,700.


Once you drive your EV off the lot (or buy it online and have it delivered), how do you charge it? The simplest way is to plug in to a regular outlet overnight. When we leased our first EV back in 2012, I just opened a window and threw an extension cord from our living room out to our driveway. The next year I put an exterior outlet on that side of the house. In year three, we splurged and ran a 240V circuit for a ClipperCreek charger, which we’ve used to charge all the EVs we’ve leased or owned (a Nissan Leaf, a VW e-Golf, Chevy Volt, and Tesla Model 3) plus others belonging to visiting friends and family.

For those of us living in cold climates with off-street parking, EVs are great. I leave our car plugged in overnight in our driveway, and then in the morning use my phone to turn on climate control to heat up the cabin and defrost the windshield. Never have to worry about the car not starting.

Ten years ago, driving the first generation of EVs, I’d have to recalibrate the “battery fuel gauge” in winter. But nowadays, EVs are smart enough to know how outdoor temperature will affect range.

Many factors, including temperature and driving speed, affect the true range you’ll get from an EV. Our family has found that EVs with EPA ranges below 200 miles are fine for local trips. For road trips, we prefer long-range EVs that can use the Tesla charging network. Other brands of roadside fast chargers with bulky CCS or CHAdeMO connectors are less reliable than Tesla’s nationwide network of superchargers with North American Charging Standard connectors.

Last year, 7.6% of cars sold in the United States (almost 1.2 million) were electric. When EVs get cheaper than gas cars, how long will it take to surpass Norway’s 82.4% market share?

Fred Horch is principal adviser for Sustainable Practice. To receive expert action guides to help your household and organizations become superbly sustainable, visit SustainablePractice.Life and subscribe to “One Step This Week.”

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