There is a push for every driver to switch to electric, while almost every automaker has invested billions of dollars into expanding their electric vehicle lineups with hopes that you will make the switch.
Consumers need to do the math and see what works best for you and your budget -- and not be pressured in to what may or may not work for you.
What are the costs of owning an electric vehicle (EV) versus a standard car powered by gas? Many are debating between electric and standard cars, especially now that gas prices are rising so fast.
A close inspection of the cost of an EV versus a standard car, the tax breaks, the maintenance, the fuel ... may surprise you as to which is actually the better buy.
Let’s Look at the Numbers
When you compare the cost of gas and EVs, there are six factors that can fluctuate but that are critical to doing the math.
Most EVs still have higher-than-average starting prices, discouraging plenty of cost-conscious buyers. The cost of regular gas-powered cars don’t come with any tax credits. Then there are factors like auto insurance, general maintenance, and resale value to consider. You also have to weigh the costs of filling up the tank at the gas pump versus pulling up to your EV charger, either at home or at public charging stations. Here’s how everything breaks down.
The average price for a brand-new EV is about $55,000. That’s considerably higher than the average four-door sedan, which runs about $35,000, according to Kelly Blue Book. Tax credits and gas savings can save you money. However, it’s going to take a few years to make up a potential $20,000 difference.
The are some lower-cost EVs like the Nissan Leaf, KIA Soul, Hyundai Kona and Chevy Bolt EV. But keep in mind that the average EV is much more expensive -- and they still demand a larger financial commitment than gas-powered cars. The average cost of a home charger plus installation is $2,000
Tax credits can help lower the price of a new EV, and so, that is something to consider, too. The average federal tax credit through rebates vary from state to state and by brand, ranging from $2,500 to $7,500. Plug-in hybrids offer lower rebates, whereas there are no rebate for gas or diesel vehicles.
Insurance is a big factor to consider; the average cost of an electric car is 23% or more expensive because the car itself and parts cost more to repair and replace. Gas-powered vehicles cost less to repair, if in a collision.
As the price of gasoline rises, so does the the cost of electricity. The average cost of gassing up a car is $1,120 a year. The annual cost to operate an electric vehicle is about $485/year, although have a home charger can lower that figure.
What about maintenance? You'll hear some people say there is no maintenance needed for an EV, but that is not true. If there are moving parts, there is maintenance. Yes, there are less moving parts in EVs, so the annual cost of maintaining an electric vehicle comes in around $900 year. That's only $300 less than the $1,200 a year it costs to keep for gas or diesel engines running smoothly.
The Bottom Line: A $13k Cost Difference
The average length of time drivers own a car is about six years, with an average yearly total cost of $3,300 for EVs and $3,900 for gas-powered cars.
Totaling all factors in, an EV will set you back $71,770. A gas-powered car? $58,664. You will never make up the initial expense difference over the lifetime of your more-expensive electric vehicle.
Put another way, a gas-powered car will cost you $600 more a year to drive. But over an average six years of owning an EV versus a gas car, the EV will set you back $13,000 more.
Spending tens of thousands of dollars on any vehicle is a big decision for most people, so it’s worth digging deeper into the true overall cost of each vehicle.
No matter which kind of car you end up with, we at The Car Coach team have plenty of great tips on how to save money when buying a new car.
Additional articles on our website https://www.CarCoachReports.com
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Lauren Fix, The Car Coach®, is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and safety issues for both the auto industry and consumers. Her analysis is honest and straightforward.
Lauren is the National Automotive Correspondent for Newsmax TV, a conservative news net carried in 23 countries and in over 35 million U.S. cable/satellite homes. She is also The Weather Channel and Inside Edition’s auto expert. Lauren Fix serves as a juror for the esteemed North American Car & Truck of the Year Awards (NACTOY).
Lauren is The Car Coach columnist for Parade Magazine and eBay Motors and writes a weekly column. She also appears weekly on USA Radio’s DayBreak USA.
Lauren is the president and founder of Automotive Aspects, Inc., a consulting firm with a wide range of multi-media services, including media consulting, broadcast messaging strategy, public relations and television production.
Lauren is the author of three books: most recently, Lauren Fix’s Guide To Loving Your Car with St. Martins Press, Driving Ambitions: A Complete Guide to Amateur Auto Racing, and The Performance Tire and Wheel Handbook.
Lauren’s broadcast experience includes Oprah, Live! With Regis and Kelly, The View, TODAY, 20/20, The Early Show, CNN, FOX News, FOX Business, MSNBC, HLN, TBS Makeover and a Movie, Inside Edition, ESPN, TBS, Discovery, Speed and NPR, to name a few. Lauren previously hosted four seasons of Talk 2 DIY Automotive on the Do-It-Yourself Network (DIY), was the National Automotive Correspondent for Time Warner Cable and hosted Female Driven on Lifetime TV.
Lauren’s articles and advice have appeared in USA Today, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, eBay, Woman’s World, Esquire, First for Women, InTouch and Self. She has also contributed content to Motor Trend, Truck Trend, Hot Rod, Car Craft and many other automotive publications.
Lauren is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA) and is an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified technician. She inherited her love of all things automotive from her father, who owned a brake remanufacturing business and worked for many U.S. manufacturers. Lauren has been fixing, restoring and racing cars since the age of ten. She has been advising drivers almost all her life.
In addition to being a leader in positive consumer awareness and the automotive industry, Lauren is often asked to speak to groups around the world about her success in marketing, motivation, entrepreneurship, parenting and other lifestyle topics.
Lauren was named the 2015 WIN Award, 2013 SEMA Business Network “Mentor of The Year”; SEMA Business Network 2012 Woman of the Year; and awarded various Car Care Council “Automotive Communications Awards” in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Past awards include 2008 Automotive Woman Of The Year and 2010 Woman of Distinction – Entrepreneur winner. Lauren Fix was inducted into the National Women and Transportation Hall of Fame in 2009 – a very high honor for a hard working automotive professional.
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