Electric car manufacturers have claimed their vehicles are finally less expensive to own than their gas-powered counterparts, and it now looks like this was not just classic advertising spin.
Consumer Reports has printed a study indicating that the most popular EVs are less expensive to have over their lifespans than the best gas cars in their respective classes. Among EVs under $50,000, you’d typically see prices drop between $6,000 to $10,000 versus a combustion engine car.
The Tesla Model 3 delivered the most value in CR’s findings. The entry-level luxury EV represented a $15,000 savings compared to not only the bestselling car in its class (the BMW 330i), but also the best-rated (the Audi A4). This was generally true across the board, including plug-in hybrids in addition to quotes for upcoming vehicles like Ford’s Mustang Mach-E. The savings might be particularly large if you purchase a used EV when it’s five to seven years old.
The savings on fuel unsurprisingly played a huge role. CR determined that EV drivers spend about 60 percent less to keep their vehicles paychecks, and owners whose cars have a selection of 250 miles or more may manage 92 percent of their charging at home instead of public fast chargers.
However, maintenance was also crucial — reliability reports indicated that EV owners were paying about half as much to keep and repair their cars as individuals with gasoline vehicles. While repairs could go up (such as fresh batteries) should you purchase a used EV, you still stand to reap a large chunk of the life savings.
CR also discovered that depreciation was zomparable to that for gas cars even after factoring in the incentives.
There are a number of caveats. The savings account for state and federal incentives. While federal tax credits no longer apply to brands like GM and Tesla, the value proposition clearly varies based on how much your state is willing to offer. CR warned that weather and electricity rates could play a role.
You might not see as many profits if you reside in a cold state (and thus get less mileage on a fee ) with higher utility rates versus someone who can drive in warm weather year-round at reduced prices. States like Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, and Texas even slap fees on EVs.
Nonetheless, this implies that you shouldn’t be put off by the higher upfront prices of EVs, at least so long as incentives tip the balance. However, that still involves overcoming public perception — which might not change until there are truly inexpensive EVs on the current market, which might take some time.