Discounts, Incentives and Bargains Abound. Is it Time to Buy An Electric Car? 

With $2K, $5K even $10K discounts on electric cars, is it time to plug in to this hot market? We explain the discounts, reveal the caveats and answer: Maybe!

Genesis Gv60 Featured Image

The deals are pretty lucrative, but are they right for you?

It just might be time. We are seeing significant electric car discounts on Ford, Hyundai, Nissan and even Tesla, $2,500 to $10,000 before tax incentives. Sounds pretty good right?

But there’s a lot to know; car shopping is never that simple. Still, with the right car, you may find a well-priced car of your dream on the market right now.

Related: Charging an Electric Car is as Easy as 1, 2, 3

We Could Look Forward To Reductions In The Cost Of Electric Cars And Of Charging Them

We could look forward to reductions in the cost of electric cars and of charging them.

Why Are Electric Cars On Sale?

If you’re wondering why we’re seeing these offers, there are a few factors at work. First, automakers have stepped up manufacturing of electric cars and produced more cars than there are buyers (this goes for many gas-powered cars, too). 

And, there are more brands making electric cars now — nearly every brand has some sort of electrified powertrain to sell, and that’s in addition to the startup companies building electric cars. So, there are a to choose from and many of them are sitting on dealership lots.

Then, the federal government tightened the rules on tax incentives for electric car buyers. This means that cars that qualified for these tax credits in the past may not any longer, so manufacturers need to do something to make these cars more attractive to buyers: incentives and discounts. 

Related: 13 of Our Absolute Favorite Electric Cars, Hybrids, and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona Electric car. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Dealer Incentives are Back!!!

Depending on where you live, the incentives can be really good. I saw a 2023 Mustang Mach E advertised with more than $8,000 in incentives, which would take the price to about $36K; buyers who can benefit from the federal tax credit, which is $3,750 on this car, would see a net cost of about $32,000 for a brand new Mustang Mach E. That’s a stunning discount — if you can get it. 

Which other brands are we seeing irresistible deals from? Tesla is offering thousands off on the Model 3 as the company prepares for the introduction of a redesigned Model 3; Hyundai and Kia, which do not qualify for federal tax incentives, have significant discounts on the Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. Nissan is offering cash back on the Nissan Ariya and Leaf.

Related: Are Electric Cars Actually Better for the Environment?

Hyundai Electric Cars

A fleet of Hyundai electric cars in a row. Photo: Hyundai

Ah… But There are Caveats on These Discounts

I called my local Ford dealer to run the math by him on the Mach E I saw advertised. The ad was correct; there were cash back offers on most of the more than a dozen Mach E Premium models on his lot, and they range from $1,000 to $5,000. However, qualifying for these discounts may require trading in your car, financing through the dealership or other qualifying factors. It’s not as simple as the ads would make it seem.

This Is The 2.0 Electrified Version Of The Car I Drive Every Day. 10/10 Recommend. Photo: Jill Robbins

This is the 2.0 electrified version of the car I drive every day. 10/10 recommend. Photo: Jill Robbins

Will Discounts Grow Deeper in the Coming Months?

Maybe. There are several factors that will continue to work in favor of more discounts on electric cars: First, more SUVs will enter the market by the end of the year and early next year; these always tend to be more expensive and more popular and they tend to push down the price of anything that isn’t an SUV. 

Then, technology is continuing to evolve quickly. By the end of the year there will be more electric cars on the market that have longer-range batteries, more novel technology and more passenger space. The electric cars currently on the market will pale in comparison, which will put pressure on pricing.

And, auto makers and their dealers need to sell these cars; the longer they sit on a dealer’s lot the more negotiable pricing becomes (in theory anyway). 

Prius Prime

A Charge Point charge station.

Despite Discounts, An Electric Car Still Might Not Right For You

You have to consider the big caveat: It’s still not a good idea to buy the wrong car just because it’s a good deal. Make sure the car you’re considering has the battery range and seating capacity you need. That it has the features you want and need in a new car. And if these cars don’t do it for you, soon they should. In the next year we should see 3-row electric cars and SUVs from Kia, VW, Volvo, Cadillac, Toyota, Vinfast and more. And, they should have longer battery ranges and more advanced features. 

As automakers continue the march toward electrification, electric cars will become more affordable and deliver a better fit for our daily lives. Experts predict that ultimately they’ll be priced the same as gas-fueled cars; without the cost of gas and maintenance, they’ll actually be cheaper than gas cars.

After spending time driving a lot of electric cars over the last few years, I can’t wait for that day. These cars are fun, stylish and smart. You’re going to love them, too. 

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Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss