back to articles | October 18, 2022 | Staci Bailey

Categories: Tips & Insights For Car Buying Buying & Selling Cars Vehicle & Buying Research

6 Tips to Consider When Buying Green Vehicles

he automotive industry has made great advancements in the development and marketing of electric vehicles. Drivers who are ready to go green should consider their purchase carefully and with the right approach.


The automotive industry has made great advancements in the development and marketing of electric vehicles. New technologies and changing consumer attitudes have turned buying a green vehicle into a viable option. Market trends hint at these developments continuing into the foreseeable future.

In the U.S. electric vehicle sales saw strong growth of almost 60% in the first quarter for both 2021 and 2022. It’s really quite remarkable considering the challenges automakers have faced during this period. In a shrinking market a greater number of drivers turned to buying a green vehicle.

The shift away from fossil fuels has undoubtedly strongly impacted this market growth. Increasing concerns over climate change and high gas prices have been continuing to impact sales. Electric vehicles are much less expensive to power and the rising prices of gasoline are making a very strong case for buying a green vehicle.

Drivers who are ready to go green should consider their purchase carefully and with the right approach. While buying a green vehicle isn’t that different from a gas powered car, there are a few considerations consumers should keep in mind.

1. Know Green Vehicles Types

When it comes to buying a green vehicle, not every car is the same. There are 3 common types of green vehicles to choose from and each comes with unique strengths and limitations. A buyer needs to understand the differences before making a decision.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

Battery electric cars are typically referred to as electric vehicles. This type of vehicle has an electric motor and draws all of its power from a rechargeable battery. The battery is charged by plugging into a standard or specially designed home wall outlet. This is the most environmentally friendly option as there are no emissions from this type of car.

Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid cars are a fusion of electric vehicles and traditional cars. They have an internal combustion engine which is powered by gasoline, as well as an electric motor which runs on a battery. Instead of plugging in, their battery is recharged by capturing energy from the internal combustion engine with technologies such as regenerative braking.

Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs)

Plug-in Hybrid cars have an internal combustion engine as well as an electric motor but the greater focus is on the electric capabilities. Just like BEVs, plug-in hybrids recharge their batteries through a plug-in outlet and are able to operate on electricity alone. Their internal combustion engine serves more as a backup power option.

BEVs are the most environmentally friendly option as they use only electricity while hybrid vehicles favor power over green initiatives. A strictly electric vehicle may be the best choice for the planet but it might not make a lot of sense for every type of driver. Motorists will have to balance all factors when buying a green vehicle.

2. Delve Into Your Driving Needs

The best vehicle for any driver depends upon their driving requirements and budget. The seating and cargo capacity of the car are likely to be a major factor to consider when buying a green vehicle. Likewise those vehicle options and features which tend to take a lot of power might be omitted in many green cars.

Electric cars may sometimes sacrifice size and features for efficiency. A better electric motor and larger battery can overcome these limitations but at a higher price. Your needs, budget, and willingness to compromise will determine how green you can go.

3. Consider The Vehicle Driving Range

Motorists should carefully analyze how much driving they do before buying a green vehicle. The average electric car has a range of around 200 miles on one charge. This should be enough for the standard work commute and running errands around town. However it probably won’t do for someone with a long commute or for the weekend warrior that takes long drives in unfamiliar territory.

Your habits and driving style will impact the vehicle’s range. Features such as climate control will use up power and decrease how far you can drive. A larger battery will boost the range of the vehicle but be prepared to pay extra. Drivers who spend a lot of time in their vehicles might be better off buying a hybrid rather than spending the money on a big enough battery.

4. Assess Your Need For A Thermal Management Systems

The batteries in electric vehicles are affected by weather changes and they can lose range in freezing temperatures. Motorists in cold climates can avoid such problems with a thermal management system. The battery is kept at an optimum temperature stopping issues before they start.

5. Understand Charging Requirements

Owners of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids will need to install an at home charging station. This is usually a job for an electrician. It’s generally an additional expense but it’s worth looking into subsidies that may be offered in your area.

It is possible to charge an electric vehicle using a standard 110 volt wall outlet. This is known as Level 1 charging and it will charge the battery at a rate of roughly 4 miles of range per hour of charging. A 240 volt outlet will allow for Level 2 charging which will give you about 25 miles of range per charging hour. Level 3 is a fast charging option available to some models of electric vehicles and it has the capability of charging most electric car batteries to 80% capacity in 30 minutes.

6. Look Into Electric Car Incentives

Reducing greenhouse emissions is a priority for many governments and organizations. The U.S. federal government offers a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles and credits for plug-in hybrids too. Savvy shoppers who are considering buying a green vehicle should look at their eligibility for credits, reimbursements, and incentives offered in their area.

Growing environmental concerns and rising gas prices are making a strong case for buying a green vehicle. Electric powered vehicles are less expensive to operate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The initial investment may seem a bit higher but with the help of electric car incentives, and a great deal on financing from, reaping the rewards of green vehicle ownership is within reach.