Part 1- Vehicle Type and Incentives
Tax season has arrived, but don't let the thought of crunching numbers dampen your dreams of owning a brand-new EV especially if you've got a refund headed your way! With an overwhelming influx of news and updates each day, it's easy to feel lost. But don't worry, we've got your back! Here's how I’d approach the purchase of a new EV:
- Pick Your Perfect Vehicle Type. As a parent who needs extra space for the kids and all-wheel drive for those frosty winter months, I'm narrowing my search down to SUVs and trucks.
- Price, Incentives, and Setting Your Budget. Everyone's budget will differ, but let's assume I’m aiming to maximize the price and incentives for my purchase. Sounds simple, right? Well, sort of.
Federal Level Incentives: Bear in mind that the Treasury and IRS could update these qualifications. However, as of now, here are the rules to qualify for a $7,500 Tax Credit:
- The vehicle's MSRP must not exceed $80,000 for vans, SUVs, and trucks or $55,000 for other vehicles.
- Modified AGI must not exceed $300,000 for married couples filing jointly, $225,000 for heads of households, or $150,000 for all other filers.
- The vehicle must be for your personal use, not for resale.
- The vehicle must be used primarily in the U.S.
State-Level Incentives: As a Colorado resident, I can take advantage of an additional $2,000 tax credit. Don't forget to check your state's incentives here. Also, it’s probably prudent to consult with your CPA.
Part 2- Availability
- Vehicle Availability. Living in a fast-paced world driven by next-day deliveries from Amazon, instant gratification plays a significant role in my decision-making process. I want an EV today! Knowing that and knowing that some EVs are hard to come by, I want to check on availability.
To begin my search, I'll visit reputable platforms like CarGurus or even the manufacturer's website directly, such as Tesla. Utilizing CarGurus' advanced filters, I can quickly sort by:
- Vehicle type
- Fuel source (electric in this case)
- Color, and more.
I kept this search simple and started with an electric truck within 25 miles of my house and is less than $80,000. My search yields a single result – a Ford F-150 Lightning with a stock photo marked as sold. To ensure its availability, I'd probably contact the dealership directly. We encountered a similar tactic looking for our current Lightning and oftentimes, these trucks were not actually available.
Given the scarcity of electric trucks, I could then expand my search to include SUVs, specifically the Tesla Model Y. Instead of using CarGurus this time, I will turn to Tesla’s site directly. By entering my preferences on Tesla's website, I found a solitary Model Y within 25 miles. I talked to Tesla and this Model Y is available for immediate pickup-up.
For this scenario, let’s just assume both options are readily available. I now face a critical decision: the brand-new Ford F-150 Lightning or the equally enticing Tesla Model Y?
Part 3- The Details
In my search for a new electric SUV or truck under $80,000, available now, and within 25 miles of my house, I have narrowed down the choices to the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Tesla Model Y.
- The Details. To determine the best option, I will compare them side by side considering factors like exterior color, range, price, seating capacity, storage, drivetrain, and more.
Here's my comparison:
Tesla Model Y Long Range
- Exterior Color: Red
- Dual Motor
- 314-mile range
- 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds
- Heated Seats
- 7 Seats
- Enhanced Autopilot: $6,000
- Full Self-Driving: $15,000
Ford F-150 Lightning Pro SuperCrew AWD
- Exterior Color: Gray
- 230-mile range
- 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds
- No heated seats
- 5 Seats
- Ten 120V outlets and a 240V outlet
Heated seats are essential in Colorado winters and having at least six seats is necessary for picking up the in-laws at the airport with the whole family. Another huge factor is the additional 80+ miles of range offered by the Model Y.
Considering these factors, I’d choose the Tesla Model Y. While the F-150 Lightning is an excellent truck, the Tesla better suits my needs for a family-oriented EV. What can I say, I like toasty seats in the winter.
This concludes my three-part series on my EV buying process. I hope you've found it informative and enjoyable.