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If You’re Interested in a Zero Emissions Vehicle, The Time To Buy Is Now


In 2015, zero emission vehicle (ZEV) technology is providing customers with reliable, convenient, less expensive commuting, and nobody is buying it. If you’re interested in a ZEV, dwindling state incentives mean that the time to buy one is now.

“Looking at a 17 million sales year, and though EV sales are also up, they’re not keeping pace with the market,” said John Bozella, president and CEO of Global Automakers, the country’s largest auto manufacturer trade group, as he moderated a panel of experts at the NEMPA/MIT Technology Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts in May.

A volatile oil market is keeping Americans from making the jump to an electric vehicle. That price volatility – according to Britta Gross, director of advanced vehicle commercialization policy at General Motors allowed consumers to “change their minds almost instantly about what vehicle they want to buy.”

Dr. Anup Bandivadekar, program director for passenger vehicles at the International Council on Clean Transportation, noted that the countries that have best organized cities, states and the federal government in working with private industry to build cars and infrastructure were the countries that have adopted ZEVs as a matter of course. “There’s a reason that 20 percent of the auto market in Norway is EVs,” Badivadekar said.

Adoption is much slower than anticipated. As state incentives wane, sales will slow even further. An infographic produced by the New England Motor Press Association and BestRide.com shows the problem: Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick committed to 330,000 ZEVs registered in Massachusetts in the next ten years, but only 1,700 are registered on the road today. None of the other four states are faring much better.

For consumers, it means that right now may be the most opportune time to purchase a ZEV. In states like Georgia, with a billion dollar need to fund roads and bridges, incentives for ZEVs are being questioned with bills to eliminate a popular $5,000 tax credit for EV buyers.

You have a lot of considerations when buying an EV. Do you buy or lease, for example? To learn the most, you’ve got to seek out the dealers who are the ZEV experts in your area. Read the ratings on DealerRater. Sales representatives in those dealerships have often gone through additional training to become sales specialists in that manufacturer’s ZEVs, and they indicate that in their title. Read their ratings and get a sense for their expertise in guiding customers into the right product for their budget, and for their commuting needs.