Buzz

It’s a great time to buy an electric car

Enlarge / Our electric 2019 Kia Niro. (credit: Timothy B. Lee / Ars Technica)

On Friday the 13th my wife and I went to a Kia dealership to take delivery of a Kia Niro. Taking one of the last 2019 Niros on the lot, we paid $32,900 for a car that lists for $41,000. Even better, when we file our taxes next spring, we’ll get a $7,500 credit from Uncle Sam. So the after-tax cost will be just $25,400.

The options for electric vehicles have gotten dramatically better since we last went car shopping in 2017. I wanted to buy an electric vehicle back then too, but the pickings were slim. Tesla’s Model S and Model X were way out of our budget. My wife declared the Chevy Bolt and Prius’s plug-in hybrids to be too funny looking. The Nissan Leaf was then rated at 107 miles of range—far too little for road trips.

We test-drove Ford’s C-MAX plug-in hybrid in 2017, but the plug-in feature seemed like an afterthought. The car had extra batteries stacked in the rear cargo area, leaving little room for cargo. So we settled for a Subaru Impreza with an internal combustion engine. Cost: $25,200.

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