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Are Electric Cars Worth It?

Electric cars are rising in popularity due to their increased range, affordability, and other great features that drivers love. Although the initial cost of an electric vehicle tends to be higher than gasoline-powered vehicles, electric car rebates in California can make purchasing electric cars more affordable. And with gas prices going up, electric cars might actually be more affordable in the long run.
At Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal), we make auto financing easy.
Call 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation consultation and learn about our auto loans, home equity lines of credit, personal loans, checking and savings accounts, and other banking products. As a full-service financial institution, we look forward to helping you with all of your banking needs.
Read on to learn more about electric cars pros and cons.

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Electric Car Pros

Here are some of the main benefits associated with owning an electric car:
  1. Save money on gas. All-electric vehicles do not run on gasoline.
  2. Better for the environment. Gasoline-powered vehicles emit carbon dioxide and other gases or “fumes” that contribute to air pollution. Electric vehicles provide a cleaner operation in terms of emissions.
  3. Electric vehicle incentives and rebates. Most electric vehicles qualify for some combination of purchasing incentives at the county and/or state level, and many EVs qualify for federal tax credits.
  4. Easier to maintain. Gasoline-powered vehicles require oil changes and other related maintenance that EVs don’t require.
  5. Great performance. EVs use the latest technology that maximizes driving performance.
  6. Designated parking spots. Some cities have created local ordinances allowing for priority parking for electric vehicles, as a way of promoting green technology. In other cases, parking spots containing EV chargers are reserved specifically for drivers needing to charge their vehicles.

Electric Car Cons

Here are some of the reasons not to buy an electric car:
  1. Cost is more than gas-powered cars. Although the initial cost for buying an electric car in California may be high, California electric car rebates and incentives can make them more affordable.
  2. Charging can be a hassle. Installing a home charging station can be expensive, and if you live in an apartment, you may have to locate nearby charging stations if your building doesn’t provide one. The fact that you can’t just “gas and go” can be a hassle.
  3. Limited mileage compared to gas-powered cars. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the median EPA estimated range for all EV models offered in the 2020 model year exceeded 250 miles. The 2020 model year also marked the first year that an EV achieved an EPA estimated maximum range of more than 400 miles.
  4. Harder to plan road trips. Because EV charging stations are not yet as plentiful as gas stations, planning a long road trip could be challenging and requires advanced mapping so you know exactly where you can find charging stations along the way.
  5. Higher insurance premium. Because EVs come with a higher price, for insurance purposes they would cost more to replace if totaled. For this reason, insurers charge higher premiums.
  6. Expensive battery pack. The costs of EV battery packs vary widely. Even different vehicle models by the same manufacturer have varying costs and battery life. For example, a high-end price could be up around $10,000, however, most electric vehicle battery packs cost about $5,000.
  7. Limited used inventory. Used EVs, especially ones with high miles, aren’t particularly popular due to the fact that the battery life degrades over time. That said, used Teslas tend to be more available than other EVs due to their longer battery life.
  8. Higher initial cost. Limited inventory, high materials costs, and new technology make the initial cost of electric vehicles higher than gas-powered vehicles.
  9. Low resale value. The main factor affecting the rapid depreciation of electric vehicles is loss of range, meaning that the purchaser of a used EV may not get as many miles out of the battery charging capacity as when the vehicle was new. Also, recent advancements in EV technology has made newer models more attractive to buyers.

Should You Buy an Electric Vehicle?

Although the initial cost for buying an electric car in California may be high, California electric car rebates and incentives can make them more affordable. The money the average driver spends on gas can also add up, which means electric cars may save drivers money in the long-run.
While many electric vehicle car owners choose to install a charging station at home for added convenience, many EV manufacturers provide complimentary charging at public charging stations. Plus, electric car charging stations are becoming more ubiquitous with each passing year.
California drivers may also be eligible for the Clean Fuel Reward Electric Vehicle Rebate Program.
The California Air Resources Board also offers point-of-sale rebates of up to $750 for the purchase or lease of a new all-electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle through the Clean Fuel Reward Program.
For more information, including vehicle eligibility requirements, see the Clean Fuel Reward website.
Although there are many advantages to driving an EV, there are also reasons not to buy an electric car. The cons of EVs include long battery charging time, difficult finding charging stations, distance or driving range, and low resale value.
Learn more about buying an electric vehicle in California.

What Kind of Electric Vehicle Should I Buy?

There are three types of electric vehicles, as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy:

All-Electric Vehicles (EVs). All-electric vehicles (EVs) — also referred to as battery electric vehicles (BEVs) — run entirely on an electric charge from a rechargeable battery, with no other fuel source needed.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). These are powered by an internal combustion engine in combination with an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. PHEVs can operate in all-electric (or charge-depleting) mode. To enable operation in all-electric mode, PHEVs require a larger battery, which can be plugged in to an electric power source to charge. To support a driver’s typical daily travel needs, most PHEVs can travel between 20 and 40 miles on electricity alone, and then will operate solely on gasoline, similar to a conventional hybrid.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). Sometimes referred to simply as “hybrids,” HEVs are powered by a gas-powered internal combustion engine and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. The vehicle is fueled with gasoline to operate the internal combustion engine, and the battery is charged through regenerative braking, not by plugging in.

Where Should I Get an EV Loan?

Need auto financing? Here are the most popular financing options:
  • Credit Unions. CU SoCal, and other credit unions, can provide lower interest rates than traditional banks. A CU SoCal auto loan can put you in the driver’s seat with no loan application or funding fees, and electric vehicles get a .25% discount on the loan! Membership is easy! Join now.
  • Banks. All banks offer auto loans. Check with your current bank for the latest interest rates.
  • Online Lenders. While there are many online auto loan lenders to choose from, you’ll need to do some research to make sure you choose one that’s reputable. Working with a trusted lender at a financial institution where you already have an account is safe and convenient, and you’ll get personalized service.

Why Savvy Consumers Choose CU SoCal

For over 60 years CU SoCal has been providing financial services, including car loans, mortgages, Home Equity Loans, HELOCs, personal loans, credit cards, and other banking products, to those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.
Please give us a call today at 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation loan consultation with a CU SoCal Member Services specialist.


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Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) is a leading financial institution empowering those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County to reach their goals and build strong financial futures. CU SoCal provides access to convenient money management services and offers competitive rates and flexible terms on auto loans, mortgages, and VISA credit cards—turning wishing and waiting into achieving and doing.


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