Find an EV Dealer Near You
EV Buyer FAQ
What is a DET Certified EV Dealership?
Drive Electric Tennessee has developed the “Certified EV Dealership” program to benefit both EV buyers and car dealerships in the state.
A dealership that is interested in becoming a “Certified EV Dealership” can check out the “Dealer” tab above to learn more about the requirements and benefits of this program.
For EV buyers, this program will allow interested parties the opportunity to learn where EVs are sold in Tennessee as well as know which dealerships are meeting the expectations set forth by DET.
Some of these expectations include attempting to keep EVs on the lot for test drive purposes, installing at least one Level 2 charger on-site for vehicle charging purposes, and completing the DET “EV Training Course” as a way to expand a dealership’s knowledge about EVs and selling them.
EV buyers will be able to come to this page and know that the dealerships included have been vetted by us and our program. You should be able to go to these dealerships with confidence that someone present will have knowledge about EVs and EV charging.
How can I purchase an electric vehicle in Tennessee?
The best place to start is by checking out the dealerships that are included in the DriveElectricTN “Certified EV Dealership” program. The map of dealerships will allow you to see where your nearest electric vehicle dealer can be located.
Purchasing an EV is just like purchasing any other vehicle! You can walk into a dealership to purchase a vehicle, pre-order the latest EV on the market, purchase an EV online using websites like Carvana, or find a used EV at a dealership or at CarMax. Keep in mind that some EV manufacturers like Tesla only sell electric vehicles through their online service.
The PlugStar Shopping Assistant created by Plug In America is a great tool to find the right vehicle fit for you or find vehicles in your area.
What questions should I ask at the dealership?
This is just a short list of questions you might consider asking the salesperson at a dealership when looking to purchase an electric vehicle.
- What electric vehicles do you have available to test drive? Do you allow drivers to test drive vehicles for multiple days to learn more about the vehicle?
- What is the full range of this vehicle brand new? What does the range of the vehicle look like in the winter?
- Does the vehicle come with a standard, Level 1 charging cable? Can you show it to me?
- Does the dealership offer free charging to anyone who purchases a vehicle?
- Does the dealership have Level 2 or DC Fast Charging capabilities on-site?
- Can anyone at the dealership do maintenance on an EV? Do you know of anywhere local that does EV maintenance or repairs?
- What kind of battery does the EV have? How fast can the battery charge?
- How old is the vehicle? What does the range of the vehicle look like now compared to brand new?
- Does your dealership offer anything included with the purchase of an EV? For example, with a new ICE vehicle, you might include free oil changes.
- How does an EV drive different from an ICE vehicle? Can you tell me about regenerative braking or e-pedal mode?
How do I charge my EV?
There are three types of electric vehicle (EV) charging. Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Charging are all charging options that you can utilize with your EV.
You can learn more about the different types of chargers by visiting Drive Electric Tennessee’s “About EV Charging” page.
Most EVs will come with a Level 1 charger that can be plugged into any regular wall outlet to charge your vehicle. Many EV owners will use this at home to charge their vehicle overnight.
Some people decide to install a Level 2 charging unit at their home for faster-charging capabilities. These can range from $400-$1,000 depending on what kind of charging unit you decide to purchase and install. Level 2 units can be plugged into a standard 240V outlet (such as a washer/dryer outlet). Level 2 charging can also be found in public places such as Tennessee state parks for convenient charging capabilities when you travel to a destination. This is often called “destination charging.”
DC Fast Charging is something EV drivers rarely need unless they are taking long car trips. These stations can be found all around the U.S. with varying capabilities to quickly charge an EV when you are on the road. More information about this type of charging can be found on the “About EV Charging” page.
Most EV drivers charge their cars at their homes most of the time unless they live in a multi-unit dwelling situation such as an apartment or condo. If your apartment or condo does not offer EV charging on-site, you can either request that a station be installed from the land owner or utilize options such as workplace charging or public charging when you are out.
How much do electric vehicles cost?
According to Kelly Blue Book from July 12, 2022, “The average price for a new electric vehicle – over $66,000, according to Kelley Blue Book estimates, is well above the industry average and more aligned with luxury prices versus mainstream prices. Hybrid/alternative energy vehicles are selling at just over $39,000 in June, a $3,593 increase over May, and an $8,453 increase versus a year ago. High gas prices are driving consumers to consider electric vehicles, hybrids and smaller, more fuel-efficient gas-powered models.”
Brand new electric vehicles can range in price depending on the vehicle you are looking for. For example, a base model 2022 Tesla Model 3 can cost around $46,990 while the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV can cost approximately $33,500. One of the least expensive EVs on the market is the 2022 Nissan Leaf at $27,400. However, some top-of-the-line or luxury EVs can be pricier such as the Ford F-150 Lightning with Platinum trim (top-of-the-line) for around $90,474.
Used electric vehicles also range in price depending on what you are looking for, where you are looking to purchase one, and what year the vehicle is. Carvana, an online car dealership, has a 2015 Nissan Leaf priced at $17,990 and a 2015 BMW i3 priced at $21,990.
When purchasing a used EV, remember that the features the vehicle has, the mileage on the car, the range of the vehicle, and how old it is all factor into the cost. Some vehicles, such as Teslas, can cost more on the used market than other vehicles due to supply and demand.
What kind of incentives exist for purchasing an EV?
To learn more about the Federal EV Tax Credit and what vehicles current qualify, visit the link below:
For information about current rebates and EV incentives in Tennessee, check out the DET page.
What maintenance do EVs need?
Check out this DriveElectricTN article for more information about EV maintenance: “Maintenance Costs for EVs vs. ICE Vehicles”
In short, EVs require less maintenance than ICE vehicles because there are significantly fewer moving parts in an EV. EVs do not require the same routine maintenance as ICE vehicles such as oil changes.
Most EV drivers will tell you that the main maintenance they have to do for their vehicle is tire rotations and windshield wiper fluid refills.
Where can I get more of my questions answered?
You can find answers to all of your questions by…
- Visiting the DriveElectricTN EV FAQ page
- Contacting one of the DET Certified EV Dealerships
- Emailing DET at firstname.lastname@example.org
EV Buyer Resources
LISTS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES
SHOP FOR USED PEVS
- Online resources
- GREAT short guide –> KEVA’s “Used EV Shopper’s Guide” (2 pgs)
- Article – “Buying A Used EV: It’s Crucial To Know What To Look For”
ARTICLES RELATED TO ELECTRIC VS. ICE VEHICLES
- At A Glance: Electric Drive Vehicles (2016)
- Electric Vehicle Benefits and Considerations (2020)
- Combustion engine vs. electric engine: What’s the difference? (2020)
- Seven Reasons Why The Internal Combustion Engine Is A Dead Man Walking [Updated] (2018)
- ATC BLOG: 4 Parts You Won’t Find on an Electric Car’s Maintenance List (2016)
- Here’s Seven Reasons Why Electric Vehicles Will Kill The Gas Car (2018)
- Electric Vehicles 101 (2019)
WHAT MAKES A “PLUG-IN HYBRID” DIFFERENT?
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles have an electric motor with a moderate to large battery AND a gas-powered internal combustion engine. Some PHEVs operate exclusively, or almost exclusively, on electricity until the battery is nearly depleted, then the gasoline-powered engine turns on to provide power. Like Battery Electric Vehicles, PHEVs can be plugged in to charge the battery when the vehicle is not in use.
MSRP Value Guide
All 2021 EVs and PHEVs
2021 model starting at $32,570
Tesla Model 3
2021 model starting at $41,900
Toyota Prius Prime
2021 model starting at $29,245
2021 model starting at $37,295
2021 model starting at $41,190
2021 model starting at $45,445
*All Tesla values assume an additional $1,750-$2,250 in customization.
EV Efficiency Units
When purchasing an Electric Vehicle (EV) or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), you will often see technical specifications labeled MPGe or kWh/100 miles. But what do these mean with respect to how efficient the vehicle is and what your cost per mile will be?
|Definition||Miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) is a measurement that tells you the number of miles that an alt-fuels vehicle can travel using the same amount of energy that burning one gallon of gasoline would require.||Kilowatts of energy per hour per 100 miles (kWh/100 miles) rates how many kWh’s are needed for a vehicle to drive 100 miles. This is an EV specific metric.||Watt hours per mile (Wh/mile) is a simpler way to view kWh/100 miles as the amount of electricity used per mile of travel.||Miles per kilowatt hour measures the number of miles that an EV can travel with one kilowatt hour of electricity. Similar to kWh/100 miles, this is also an EV specific metric.|
|Best to use for||Comparing efficiency of alt-fuel vehicles and gas-powered vehicles.||This metric can easily be multiplied by the cost for 1 kWh of electricity in your area to calculate how much it would cost for the vehicle to travel 100 miles.||This metric is best used to see the amount of electricity used to travel 1 mile.||This metric is used to easily see the number of miles an EV will travel given a specified amount of electricity.|
|Calculation||Burning 1 gallon of gasoline produces 115,000 BTUs of energy. This is equivalent to 33.7 kWh of electricity.|
Using this conversion, an EV that can travel 100 miles on 33.7 kWh of electricity would have a 100 MPGe rating.
|Simply a measurement of the number of kWh of electricity that an EV uses to travel 100 miles||This value is 10 times the kWh per 100 mile value.||This is a simple conversion of kWh/100 miles that focuses on miles traveled instead of electricity used.|