The lifetime ownership cost of electric vehicles (EVs) is between $6,000 to $10,000 cheaper than gas-powered cars, a recent Consumer Reports study found. So, not only are EVs better for the environment, but they’re also significantly more affordable. If you’re budgeting for an EV, it’s important to take lifetime ownership costs, in addition to upfront costs, into account, to make sure it’s a wise investment and the right choice for you.
How much can you afford upfront?
EVs cost around $10,000 more than the industry average, which covers both electric and gas cars. That said, the price is expected to drop steadily within the next few years as demand for affordable electric cars grows and traditionally-costly battery technology improves. Cheaper models like the Mini Cooper SE or Hyundai Ioniq currently cost around $30,000, while luxury models like the Porsche Taycan and Mercedes-Benz EQS cost around $100,000. Keep in mind, you’ll also have to install an EV-charging system, which costs around $2,000 (although financial incentives are sometimes offered by utility companies to help offset this). Federal EV tax credits (up to $7,500) also exist to help you save money on your purchase, while many states similarly offer tax incentives.
What about maintenance costs?
EVs generally cut maintenance costs in half compared to gas-powered cars. Basic maintenance, such as, service checks and tire rotations are usually all that’s needed. Regenerative braking is also a handy feature that extends battery range, as well as greatly reduces maintenance costs. It essentially slows the EV motor down and saves 70% of the energy that would usually be lost and uses it to recharge the battery. Regenerative braking also saves your brakes from unnecessary wear and tear, which further cuts maintenance costs as you’re able to drive the EV for more miles before needing to replace the brake pads.
Calculating charging costs
With EVs, drivers spend around 60% less on fuel per year, the Consumer Reports study found. Keep in mind, at-home charging will increase your electricity bill — the exact price depends on where you live and how often you charge your EV. If you live in Washington, for example, you can save over $14,400 in lifetime fuel costs with an EV, whereas in Hawaii, on the other hand, it can actually cost you at least $2,494 more in total. To find out monthly charging costs per 100 miles driven, multiply the EV’s kilowatt-hour (kWh/100) miles rate by your current electricity rate. Then, work out how many miles monthly you usually drive, and you’ll get an idea of what you can expect to pay for EV charging costs each month.
EVs aren’t just better for the environment, they’re also an affordable option, particularly compared to gas-powered cars. By calculating lifetime costs, in addition to upfront costs, you can get an idea of how much you should budget for an EV and determine whether it’s the right financial choice for you.