RICHARD CRAVER Lee Journals
The purchase of a new electric vehicle remains a major financial effort, even prohibitive, for most Triad consumers.
According to consumer automotive research group Edmonds, the retail price of a base 2023 EV model – such as a Smart EQ, Nissan Leaf, Mini Hardtop 2 and Chevrolet Bolt – can range from $23,900 to $31,000, while that a base Tesla Model 3 costs around $47,000.
Meanwhile, a “super luxury” electric vehicle, like a Porsche Taycan 4A, costs $187,000 – a big down payment on a three-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family home in the Triad.
Still, several banks and credit unions serving the Triad offer EV loan deals with interest rates as low as 1.99%.
For example, True Financial Corp. recently launched an email campaign aimed at customers with the tagline “Always Up-to-Date EV Financing” at 3.38% APR for those “with great credit.”
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The bank hook is appealing to consumers who are “tired of high gas prices” with the benefits “of going electric…it’s better for the planet and great for your wallet.”
Truist said in a statement that “As demand for and production of electric vehicles continues to grow in the United States, electric vehicle loans continue to be a proportionate but growing segment of direct auto loans (online, in-branch) and indirect (concessionaires) of Truist”.
Truist said it “uses the same underwriting criteria for electric vehicles as we do for traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.”
“The new marketing campaign aims to raise customer awareness of available financing, low interest rates, quick loan decisions – including same-day financing in many cases – and an easy user experience so our customers can get an EV auto loan when and how they prefer.”
Meanwhile, Bank of America Corp. offers car loan rates of 4.24% APR for a new EV, 4.44% for a used EV – both through a dealership – and 5.19% for refinancing.
“Driving an electric vehicle means you will contribute to environmental sustainability since electric vehicles emit fewer harmful carbon dioxide emissions,” Bank of America said on its website.
“Electric vehicles can even be charged using renewable energy, which can help increase energy independence.”
Bank of America said part of its campaign reflected the fact that electric vehicles “have become more affordable as technology improves and automakers meet increased demand with additional electric vehicle models on the market. the market”.
There are approximately 60 different electric vehicle models available in the North American market.
“Additionally, the number of charging stations is growing every year to provide more options for your travel needs,” Bank of America said.
Wells Fargo & Co. said its Wells Fargo Auto unit “is the leading lender of new electric vehicles.”
“We work with non-profit organizations to help raise awareness and understand the benefits of electric vehicles.
“This support comes in the form of sponsorship of special events like National Drive Electric Week, as well as educational webinars for consumers and dealers.
“This is one of the many ways Wells Fargo is working to deliver on its commitment to sustainability,” the bank said.
According to Argonne National Laboratory, Americans bought a record number of hybrid and plug-in vehicles in February, with hybrid purchases up 10.2% year over year, while plug-in purchases rose 11.7%. %.
The main impetus for emphasizing electric vehicle production and auto loans appears to be an executive order President Joe Biden signed in August 2021 declaring that half of all new vehicles sold in the United States should be electricity by 2030.
The executive order prompted automakers, such as Ford, General Motors and Stellantis (which owns Chrysler and Fiat), to invest in electric vehicle production plants to meet the 2030 goal.
The Triad and Carolina Core economies and workforce will benefit significantly from the push for electric vehicles following two recent economic development announcements.
Toyota Motor North America Inc.’s planned $1.29 billion electric battery production plant is expected to have 1,750 employees when production begins in 2025 at the Greensboro-Randolph megasite.
Toyota Battery Manufacturing NC will build lithium batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. A second phase of production could generate 4,500 to 5,000 additional jobs.
At $4.7 billion, the second phase could become the largest economic development project in state history.
Meanwhile, North Carolina’s decades-long quest to secure an automaker has finally come to fruition with Vietnamese electric vehicle startup VinFast’s plans for a $4 billion campus in a 1,977-acre megasite. near Sanford.
The first phase will represent a capital investment of $2 billion. The manufacturer would create at least 7,500 jobs from 2023 to 2027 at an average annual salary of $51,096.
VinFast would produce a seven-passenger full-size SUV and a five-passenger midsize model – and electric battery components at the factory.
The plan is to start production in July 2024 with the goal of building around 150,000 vehicles per year in phase 1 and around 200,000 per year at full production.
Elsewhere in the Southeast, Volkswagen last week began production at a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, of its first U.S.-assembled electric vehicles.
According to the Associated Press, the plant is expected to produce 7,000 cars per month of its ID.4 electric compact SUV by the fourth quarter. Volkswagen has hired more than 1,000 production employees where it already employed more than 4,000 people.
On July 22, Georgia and local governments in Savannah agreed to give Hyundai Motor Group $1.8 billion in incentives to build electric vehicles in the state.
According to AP, the company announced in May that it would invest $5.5 billion in its first US factory dedicated to electric vehicles. It is the largest economic development agreement in Georgia’s history, with the promise of creating 8,100 direct jobs.