Electric Cars for Everyone? Not Unless They Get Cheaper.
The people here aren’t Hollywood stars or billionaire tech entrepreneurs who might own Ferraris and private jets. But they are well off. The median household income in the area exceeds $ 165,000, and half of the homes are valued at over $ 1 million. Eight in ten residents have at least an undergraduate degree. As high-income early-stage buyers, they can easily take advantage of the federal electric vehicle tax credit.
The incentives are, in effect, “to subsidize my luxury,” said Mr. Teglia, who also has solar panels on his house. The Model 3s he owns sell for around $ 40,000 before government incentives.
Obstetrician-gynecologist Dr Jack Hsiao had avoided buying an electric vehicle for fear of not being able to drive very far before having to plug it in – a phenomenon known as range anxiety. But her sister, who moved from Texas to California and bought solar panels and a Tesla, persuaded their father, who lives with Dr Hsiao, 54, to buy one as well. Following his family, Dr Hsiao bought a Tesla and solar panels.
“Gas prices have just skyrocketed, so since I have the solar panels it cost me next to nothing to charge,” he said. “For me, it was just a perfect fit.”
Elaine Borseth, a retired chiropractor, is another convert. Before buying a Model S, she had never spent more than $ 20,000 on a car. But after seeing several of the big sports sedans on the road, she drove one about seven years ago. “I thought they were sleek and sexy,” said Ms. Borseth, who now heads the San Diego Electric Vehicle Association.
“It’s almost one of those cases where the more you see it sort of happens again,” she said of why her neighborhood has so many electric cars.
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