Published on January 29th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Chevy Spark EV Lifetime Cost vs Chevy Spark Gas Lifetime Cost (California & Oregon Scenarios)

January 29th, 2014 by  

Originally posted on EV Obsession.

I was decided I would finally perform and write up a cost comparison of the Chevy Spark EV and the Chevy Spark gas drinker. Notably, reviewers such as those at Consumer Reports have concluded that the Chevy Spark EV is a nicer car overall. But let’s look at some lifetime cost comparisons to see how they compare financially.

As always, the lifetime costs are based on numerous assumptions that will be either slightly or wildly different for different owners. Here are some examples of how they sway the relative attractiveness of these two Chevy Spark options:

  • the longer you own the vehicle, the cheaper the Chevy Spark EV will be compared to the Chevy Spark gas drinker (with a short-term downshift in savings after the battery warranty expires and the battery needs replaced)
  • the more you drive, the more you will save with the Chevy Spark EV (fuel costs for the Chevy Spark EV are several times lower than fuel costs for the gas drinker)
  • where you drive (city vs highway) will also have an effect — the EV performs even better in the city
  • where you live also has a huge impact on the results — in some places (like California) you can get another $2,500 rebate from the state; gas prices and electricity prices (including TOU electricity price options that can allow for very cheap recharging) are also critical factors in the lifetime cost of each of these vehicles

For fun, and to give some examples based on different scenarios, I’ve run 5 sample comparisons. Check them out here:

California, Avg US Driver, Current Price of Gas

Key assumptions:

California, Drive a Lot, Current Price of Gas

Key assumptions:

California, Drive a Lot, Higher Price of Gas

Key assumptions:

Oregon, Avg US Driver, Low Electricity Prices (off-peak charging), Current Price of Gas

Key assumptions:

Oregon, Drive a Lot, Low Electricity Prices (off-peak charging), Higher Price of Gas

Key assumptions:

So, in a handful of scenarios in California and Oregon, the Chevy Spark EV is cheaper within 2–4 years. Plus, it’s a nicer drive! Who in their right mind would purchase the Chevy Spark gas drinker rather than the Chevy Spark EV in these markets?

Note that the Chevy Spark EV is only available to residents of California and Oregon right now.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Nope

    Comparison seems to ignore the cost of battery replacement (once every 5-7 years).

    • Bob_Wallace

      Sure. Why pay attention to a myth?

      I’m afraid you confuse battery warranty with battery lifespan.

      Do you realize the Toyota Camry has a 36 month, 30,000 mile warranty? Do Camrys have to be replaced after 36 months or 30,000 miles?

  • mike_dyke

    Why is there a jump in the Chevy EV at 8-9 years?

    • A Real Libertarian

      “with a short-term downshift in savings after the battery warranty expires and the battery needs replaced”

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