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Washington's rising gas prices may push some to pursue electric vehicles

While gas prices will continue to fluctuate experts maintain that electric vehicle prices will only continue to go down.

SEATTLE — The spike in gas prices is slowing but experts believe the ceiling has not been reached. 

So is it time to trade in a gas guzzler for an electric vehicle? Some experts say the answer may be more complicated than you think.

Some car dealers say the interest in electric vehicles is there but the buy-in is still too high for the general public. Xavier Cortes of Northwest Chevrolet in Bellingham tells customers to expect to drop about $40,000 on a new fully-electric vehicle. Getting your hands on one is another challenge.

“Inventory is not available. Everything that is coming in, the majority of it is compromised. They either have a deposit on it or it’s already presold,” Cortes said.

New vehicles are already on backorder due to on-going supply chain challenges. Combine that with a high price point and the recent bump in gas prices may just be sparking the buyer's imagination.

“I think it’s going to drive interest. I think we’re unlikely to see any spike in sales because production values are so baked in right now,” said Dr. Don MacKenzie.

MacKenzie is a transportation engineer for the University of Washington’s Sustainable Transportation Lab. He remains confident that electric vehicle prices will continue to drop in coming years and points to the newly signed $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed by the president that sets aside $70 million for Washington state to develop electric vehicle framework – such as adding charging stations along major highways.

“We’re unlikely to see big shifts in the volumes but we might see a big shift in the price people are willing to pay for EVs and an interest in EV’s that in the longer term could translate into a stronger market,” MacKenzie said.

While gas prices will continue to fluctuate, experts maintain that electric vehicle prices will only continue to go down. It's something that may be helpful the next time gas prices spike to historic levels.

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