1 SALES OF electric vehicles (EVs) grew 40 percent last year worldwide. Stateside, nearly a third of drivers want their next car to be electric. They’ll have options: Almost 100 pure-electric vehicles are set to debut by the end of 2024. Many manufacturers, including GM, Jeep, and Volvo, have pledged to offer fully electric lineups before this decade is done.
2 BUT ELECTRIC cars are nothing new. Scottish inventor Robert Anderson developed the first electric carriage around 1832, then William Morrison of Iowa perfected the model decades later. By the turn of the century, nearly a third of all road vehicles in the United States were electric. (Ford’s mass-produced Model T then swung the pendulum toward gas-powered engines.) One of the earliest EV enthusiasts was the father of electricity himself, Thomas Edison.
3 EDISON FORESAW that electric cars would need to depend on rechargeable batteries, though he was unsuccessful in developing one himself. Perhaps ironically, one of today’s best-known electric car companies bears the name of his rival, Nikola Tesla. But while Tesla wanted energy to be free, Tesla Inc. released its original Roadster in 2008 for a cool $109,000.
4 SOME EVS are still eye-wateringly expensive. Tesla’s upcoming reimagined Roadster will start at $200,000, while Tesla’s current cheapest model is $41,000. Plenty of other EVs are even more affordable. Chevy, Nissan, and Hyundai all offer models for around $30,000. When assessing the cost of an EV, keep in mind that many states offer buying incentives if you’re switching to an electric vehicle. Some models will even qualify you for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500.
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