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The Pros and Cons of Buying a New EV During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic will almost certainly impact our lives in ways that are difficult to predict. However, one thing that isn’t likely to change is our need for safe, affordable transportation. With this in mind, you may be wondering what path to take regarding an electric vehicle (EV) purchase during the current crisis.

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Due to how easy it is to catch the virus from people who are in close proximity, COVID-19 has made transportation options such as ridesharing and public transit riskier choices than private car ownership. EVs also have a slight advantage over gas-only vehicles in that owners don't need to go to a public gas station if they have an at-home charging solution. 

Owning any vehicle allows you to travel without spending time in close quarters with other people, and that makes this mode of transportation a safe pick during the current outbreak. But if you’re thinking about buying an EV during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are pros and cons to consider. 

Pros  

Low-interest rates. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a severe economic slowdown. To help boost spending, bank lending rates continue to be at historical lows. Low loan rates mean that if you plan on financing your EV, you may be able to secure a car loan with low interest. Low-interest rates can make your car loan more affordable, saving you money over the long haul. 

Great deals. Even though many dealers have re-opened their showrooms after being closed in the early weeks of the pandemic, COVID-19 concerns have made many people reluctant to venture into public spaces such as car dealerships. This is expected to cause a sudden and acute drop in car sales. Dealers aren’t taking this without a fight, and many have introduced attractive bargains designed to woo buyers. Because of these deals, you may find that the new EV you’ve had your eye on is now more accessibly priced than ever. 

Deferred financing. Many shoppers are skittish about committing to an EV purchase when it’s possible that the COVID-19 crisis could ultimately cause them to lose their job. Many automakers are providing new-car buyers with financing deals that allow them to defer their payments to address this.  


Cons 

Safety concerns. It’s a good idea to see a car in person before you buy it and take it for a test drive. Because of COVID-19, this could create safety concerns. It may require you to spend time in close proximity to others in an auto dealership behind the wheel of a car that may have been contaminated by other customers. However, it’s important to remember that many dealers have announced special safety measures to prevent transmission during the outbreak. These include cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces multiple times daily and asking guests and employees to stay home if they are sick. Better yet, some dealers are offering home delivery service that allows you to complete your car purchase without leaving your residence, while some dealers now offer a return/exchange time period when buying online. 


WHY THIS MATTERS 

Beyond the COVID-19 situation, the barriers to owning an EV in Canada are slowly being removed. Both federal and provincial governments offer rebates on new EV purchases, Stage 2 charging stations are being continually added across the country, and automakers are on the brink of offering a wider range of EVs to consumers, including popular segments like SUVs and full-size pickup trucks.  

Overall, if you have a good idea of which model you want to buy, you should be able to get some great deals on your EV during the current crisis. However, if you anticipate needing to do a lot of shopping around before deciding on a model, it might not be worth the risk and the hassle. 

 

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