How Much Cheaper Is It To Own An Electric Car?

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Buying an electric car isn’t just about the much-needed transition to clean energy. It can actually save some you some Benjamins too! How much? Mike Winters at CNBC Make It looked into it and says, “With gas prices up over 58% compared to last year, you might be thinking about switching to an electric car to save money.” But is it worth it?

According to Winters, “considering that electric vehicles tend to be more expensive than gas-fueled cars, and that electricity has its own costs, is it actually cheaper to go electric? The short answer is yes.”

A Tesla Model 3 and happy owners Zach & Julia Shahan.

“While EVs usually have higher upfront purchase prices, owners can save a lot on operating expenses. A 2020 Consumer Reports study found that EV owners, on average, spend 60% less on fuel compared to internal combustion engine vehicles,” writes Winters. And that was before gas prices really went through the roof.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy, believes gas prices could hit $4 nationally in 2022 (YouTube: CNBC Television)

“And since EVs have fewer parts than gas-fueled cars (there’s no oil to change, no spark plugs to replace), they tend to have lower maintenance costs as well. A recent report by the analytics firm We Predict reveals that after 36 months on the road, service costs were 31% lower for electric cars and light trucks when compared to similar gasoline-based vehicles,” reports CNBC.

It’s also reported that “when you factor in the price, maintenance, financing, repairs, the federal tax break and fuel costs. … The electric version of a small SUV costs $0.4508 per mile, $0.0219 less than the $0.4727 per mile rate you get with a similar gas-based model,” according to a U.S. Department of Energy report.

Electric Tesla taxi saves money. Image courtesy of Brendan Miles, NYC.

So, as New Year’s resolutions come into sharp focus (depending on how much champagne was consumed), it might be high time to save some cash. Buying an electric car, instead of another gas-guzzler, might be a powerful (and easy) way to achieve that noble goal.

Originally posted on EVANNEX.

Editor’s note: Note that total cost of ownership (TCO) calculations depend on many assumptions. For a more detailed and nuanced look at such matters, dive through some of our own analyses in our EV TCO archives.

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Matt Pressman

Matt is all about Tesla. He’s a TSLA investor, and he loves driving the family's Model 3, Model S, and Model X company cars. As co-founder of EVANNEX, a family business specializing in aftermarket Tesla accessories, he’s served as a contributor/editor of Electric Vehicle University (EVU) and the Owning Model S and Getting Ready for Model 3 books. He writes daily about Tesla and you can follow his work on the EVANNEX blog.

Matt Pressman has 332 posts and counting. See all posts by Matt Pressman