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Is It Time for Your First Electric Vehicle in Georgia This Summer?

Sometime in the future, everyone may own an electric vehicle. But what about now? Georgian drivers have a lot to consider, including the sticker price, the cost of fuel and maintenance, and even a comparison of Georgia car insurance rates between fossil fuel vehicles and electric vehicles. 

We’re going to provide answers to some of your key questions as you consider the possibility of switching to all-electric vehicles, or EVs, this summer in the Peach State. Let’s dive in! 

Are Georgians Already Driving EVs? 

Not so much. Certainly not compared to the state of California. 

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy, Georgians registered about 5.87 EVs per 1,000 residents in 2022. What does that mean? Well, for comparison, the rate for Californians was 27.22 per thousand or about five times more EV drivers during that same period. 

Georgia’s rate of EV acceptance, however, is greater than all of its neighboring states except for Florida, which has a 7.85 rate. 

By other estimates, the Georgia figure translates to about one percent of all Peach State motorists. In other words, we have a way to go before you’ll stick out like a sore thumb if you’re not driving an EV. 

Here are some key factors motorists like you are considering before making the changeover. 

Sticker Price 

Of course, this is the first consideration because it immediately affects consumers’ wallets. And there’s a big difference in this area of consideration. EVs cost an average of about $11,000 more than conventional fossil fuel vehicles. 

The U.S. government has helped reduce that price gap by offering a federal tax credit that can go as high as $7,500 for new EV purchases. But for some models, the credit is only half that amount, and other purchases get no rebates. The amount of tax credit is determined by how much of the new car’s electric battery materials or components come from North America or designated trade partners of the U.S. 

Some states offer additional state tax credits, but there are currently no electric vehicle incentives in Georgia to offset the hefty price tags further. 

So, when it comes to cost and tax credits…it’s complicated. While the federal government might provide financial assistance for electric vehicle costs in some cases, there are no Georgia-specific tax credits available. 

In general, today you’ll probably pay more for a new electric-powered car than you would for a comparable gas-fueled model. However, as with a lot of leading technology, the price of the battery is likely to come down with future innovation, to further narrow or even obliterate the cost difference. 

Fuel or Power Rates 

This one is hard to calculate since there are so many variables. For instance, will you recharge your EV’s electric battery at your home or via a public recharging station? Will you have to do it when electric rates are highest, or can you plug in overnight, when those costs typically go down? 

Furthermore, when you’re comparing the cost of EV battery charging to gasoline, you have to know what a gallon of gas costs, and that’s highly variable. Not even economists have any idea what your gasoline will be valued at in the next two or three years, long after you’ve bought your car. 

However, we do know that Georgia drivers typically pay less for gasoline than they do in most other states. It may explain why drivers in other states are more likely to buy electric. 

One notable study on the subject came from the University of Michigan. Researchers at the school’s Institute of Transportation Research calculated that the average fuel price to drive a gasoline-powered vehicle for a year was $1,117, while the comparable figure to power an EV was $485. Since that time, the cost of gasoline has changed many times, and EV battery efficiency has improved, so you can only use this older study for a ballpark comparison. 

Car salesman showing young woman how to plug in an electric car in Georgia

Maintenance Costs 

The good news for electric-powered car users is that they have a mechanically simpler vehicle, with fewer parts that can break down. 

A 2021 study by the U.S. Department of Energy compared the price to maintain an EV versus that of a comparable gas-powered vehicle. It found the EV to cost about seven cents a mile in scheduled maintenance, while the conventional vehicle ran about 10 cents a mile. Over time and distance, that’s a pretty big difference. 

However, when an EV does get into an accident, the repairs can be costly. One reason for that is that fewer garages can repair EVs, and if the cause of the trouble is the battery it can be particularly expensive to repair or replace. 

The bottom line here is that your electric car will probably cost you less in maintenance … unless something goes especially wrong. 

Travel Distance 

This factor is more related to convenience and logistics than to what you’ll pay. The average range of an EV — the distance you can drive before needing a battery charge — is currently a generous 291 miles. But that varies, with generally more expensive vehicles having greater battery range. 

That will work well for most drivers, even those with long daily commutes. But what if your livelihood or lifestyle involves driving long distances? Would it be an inconvenience at best to be always on the hunt for a charging station in remote or unfamiliar surroundings? 

But again, technological advancements have steadily improved driving range over the last several years, and will almost certainly continue to do so. Likewise, charging stations are becoming a more familiar sight in the landscape. 

Georgia Car Insurance Rates 

At this point, it’s likely to cost you more to insure an electric-powered automobile than a conventional vehicle. That’s because EVs typically are more expensive to buy, and the cost of their repairs is higher. Therefore, your insurance company must pay more for your covered claims. 

One good way to reduce the higher cost of electric car insurance if you do convert this summer or later is to do business with an independent insurance agent. 

Independent agents don’t work for just a single insurance company. Instead, they’ve contracted to represent the insurance products of multiple carriers. The advantage to you, as a buyer of electric car insurance, is that you can choose from competitive rates from various leading insurers to find the most affordable option. 

Affordable Electric Vehicle Insurance in Georgia

Will your next car be an EV? The vehicle’s range, and your cost of ownership, maintenance, and recharging will play a big part. But so will the Georgia car insurance policy you find. 

That’s where we come in. Call your independent Southern Harvest Insurance agent at (877) 831-4677, or find one of our offices near you. You can also get a Georgia car insurance quote online.