Buying an electric vehicle (EV) in Los Angeles can be a good idea. California is at the forefront of the EV movement, and the state offers tax rebates and incentives for driving an electric car. If you're planning on buying an EV in Los Angeles, we have some tips on how to choose the right one for you.

Choosing the Right EV in Los Angeles

Buying an EV in Los AngelesAs the state that's striving to be the front-runner in the race to cleaner air, buying an EV in Los Angeles might be the thing to do!

With nearly 1,800 charging stations in LA County, with 91% of them being Level 2 chargers, it's no surprise that California is at the forefront of the EV movement. If you're planning on getting an EV, you can keep your charging costs down, as 17% of LA County charging stations allow you to plug in for free.

If you're on the fence about getting an electric vehicle, or don't know which one to get, we have some tips on how to choose the right car for you.

The three main types of electric vehicles that people can get are:

  1. Battery electric vehicles (BEV) – Battery electric vehicles are battery-operated and have no gasoline engine at all. These cars are exhaust-free, and run nearly silently. These vehicles can be charged using any EV charging plug that fits their port, whether it be a Level 1, 2, or 3 charger. The fastest full charge comes from a Level 3 charger, also called a DC fast charging. Some examples of battery electric vehicles are the Tesla Model X, Nissan LEAF, and the Kia Soul EV.
  2. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) – Plug-in hybrid models have gas engines, but they can run unassisted on battery power for a certain number of miles. To charge the battery on these models, you can plug in to an external charging source, but the battery also charges itself through regenerative braking. Examples of plug-in hybrids include the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, BMW i8, and the Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid.
  3. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) – Hybrid electric vehicles use both gas engines and electric motors for power. The battery recharges using only regenerative braking – they don't plug in to charge the batteries. Hybrids typically accelerate using the electric motor for power (provided the battery has enough of a charge), but as speed or load increases, power switches to the gasoline engine. Examples of these cars include the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, and Toyota Camry Hybrid.

To decide which vehicle is right for you, you have to take into account your driving needs. LA is a good place to be if you're thinking about an EV due to the abundance of Level 2 and Level 3 charging stations available. Additionally, many EVs have been extending the distance they can travel between charges; some are even touted to go 200 to 300 miles on a single charge.

New vs. Used Electric Cars in LA

Although battery costs are falling, electric cars are still more expensive than their internal combustion engine counterparts. But like vehicles with these engines, some models are less expensive than others. For example, a 2019 Nissan LEAF has a starting price of $30,885, while the 2019 Tesla Model X starts at $82,200.

Although it can be more difficult to get financed with bad credit, you can get a lot of the eco-friendly benefits of a new EV without the high price tag by buying used. Most EVs are available as used cars, or even CPO vehicles that have just come off lease, and they can offer a huge savings over their new counterparts. For example, a 2016 Nissan LEAF can go for as little as $11,800 in Los Angeles.

It's a similar story with hybrids and plug-in hybrids, where reliable, low-mileage, used examples pop-up for sale for thousands of dollars less than a new model. For example, a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid can go for as little as $16,988 in Los Angeles – that's nearly $25,000 less than the 2019 model's $41,740 starting price.

Additional savings can also sweeten the deal if you're thinking of buying an EV. In order to encourage drivers to switch to electric vehicles to better the environment (all-electric models have zero emissions), many states offer rebates and incentives for people who buy one of these environmentally friendly cars.

In California, especially, thanks to the California Air Resources Board and the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, you could be eligible for rebates of up to $7,000 for purchasing a zero-emission car. Rebates differ by vehicle, manufacturer, and electric car type, so be sure you research which rebates you're eligible for.

Knowing Where to Get Auto Financing

Buying an EV in Los Angeles can be a great idea, especially because the state is one of the nation's leaders in EV infrastructure. If you want an electric vehicle to get you around the City of Angels, but you're afraid of your credit getting in the way of financing, fear not.

At Auto Credit Express, we know where to go to get auto financing in Los Angeles even if you have bad credit, good credit, or no credit at all. We work with a nationwide network of dealers in LA and around the country.

Fill out our easy and free auto loan request form, and we'll get the process of matching you with a local Los Angeles special finance dealership started. Don't delay, get on your way to an EV in LA today!