In many an article about electric vehicle costs, we and others have pointed out that aside from the US federal tax credit for EVs, there are various state incentives for buying an electric vehicle as well. And that’s often where we stop. Which states? How much? What models or types of electric vehicles qualify? Naturally, if you want to sell an electric vehicle, it’s helpful if you can quickly answer these questions for a potential buyer and help them along — especially when it comes to financial incentives and savings — and Tesla is now doing that better.
The electric vehicle leader now includes a tool on its website for calculating the state EV incentives available to a potential buyer.
Let’s look at an example for Colorado, the state with perhaps the best EV subsidies in the country. First, you go to the model you want to buy and click the “Custom Order” button. (Or you can click the “Explore Inventory” button, but then the widgets will look a bit different.) If you have a referral link from someone (which currently gives you $500 off and 3 months of complimentary Full Self Driving), you can jump right to the order screen. Here’s a direct link with my referral code as an example and we’ll start there with the screenshots.
Once you’re on that screen, you can see that blue box in the top right highlighting the potential $7,500 federal tax credit. If you click the “See Details” link in that box, you then get a popup box that prompts you to enter your ZIP Code.
As you can see, for this exploration process, I used a Denver ZIP Code. That resulted in the “Colorado Incentive” being added, which shows as $5,000.
If you scroll further down in that popup box, you can see the footnote about that incentive.
The footnote mentions some eligibility requirements — the Model 3 or Model Y purchase has to stay below $80,000, most notably.
Then, you can also see the much lower “After Potential Savings” cost on that main design screen and you can click on the “Potential Savings” button on the right to switch over to that much more attractive cost.
But note that this estimate also includes potential gas savings. In fact, that’s something I didn’t realize until just now you could modify to fit your situation. If you click on that “After Potential Savings” text in the middle of the screen, it opens up the following popup box:
You can see that an estimated 6-year gas savings of $4,800 is included, as well as the $5,000 Colorado EV incentive. There are three cards there that you can click or swipe between. The second card is focused on the gas savings:
As you can see there, you can adjust the estimated gasoline cost across the coming 6 years, the estimated annual mileage, the gas car fuel efficiency you’re comparing to, and the estimated electricity cost for your charging over those 6 years. I recommend toying with that and coming up with your own best estimate! Then you will at least feel confident you used the numbers that seemed most appropriate to you and your expectations of the future.
Let us know if there’s anything else here on federal and state EV incentives, gas savings, or other total cost of ownership factors that I’m missed or skipped over too quickly.
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