Tesla’s Model 3 is supposed to be the electric car that changes everything. Beautiful, high-tech, affordable: this is the car that is supposed to bring electric cars into the mainstream. But don’t expect to be driving one anytime soon. If you’re not already on the 500,000-person reservation list, you won’t be driving one this year. Or next. Or probably the year after.
Thankfully, there are dozens of electric and plug-in hybrid cars that are available right now. And more are on the way. To be sure, electric cars are still very much in their infancy. Sales of electric cars represent just 1 percent of the record 17.55 million cars sold last year in the US. And a recent survey of 2,500 American found that 60 percent were still “unaware of electric cars,” eclipsing concerns such as range or charging station availability. That’s a huge hurdle to overcome.
But the automotive industry is clearly trending toward electric. BMW will release two new electric cars by 2020. Mercedes-Benz plans to launch four EVs by 2018. Volvo said it would stop selling gas-only cars by 2019. Ford will release its first car built to be all-electric from the ground up in 2020. The new Nissan Leaf is coming out later this year, and the Chevy Bolt is already on the road.
So if you’re ready to the take the plunge and go all-electric, here are some things you need to consider.