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Are Electric Cars Cheaper To Own than Gas: An In-Depth Look

by Amy Halsey- 04/14/2021

The climate crisis has been a major driving force behind finding cleaner energy solutions, and the car industry is no exception. Electric powered cars (or EV’s) are becoming more and more commonplace, yet many wonder are they cheaper to own and maintain than gas cars? The answer, as in most cases, isn’t as straightforward as you think. There are many factors that need to be considered carefully. From the sticker price to the way in which you refuel your electric car can have a major impact on whether owning an EV saves you money.

Buying price of the car

It’s no secret that electric cars cost more to purchase than their gas-powered counterparts. The average sticker price for an EV is $19,000 higher than a gas car.  One of the reasons for the price discrepancy is that many of the models of electric car on offer are considered luxury EV’s, such as the Tesla. To combat the upfront cost of EV’s, there are many federal and state rebate programs aimed at making EV’s more financially feasible for buyers. There is one rebate which offers a $7,500 tax credit for owning an EV. California runs the Clean Cars 4 All program, which helps low—income families afford EV’s. This is accomplished by turning in your old gas-powered vehicle in return for a $9,500 stipend to put towards an EV.

Where you live matters

When it comes to owning EV’s, where you live makes a huge difference. ‘Certain states have cheaper electricity prices, more expensive gas prices and offer better incentives when you buy an electric car than others do’ explains Kathryn Stanton, a car blogger at Writinity and Researchpapersuk. For example, charging your electric car won’t cost you as much in Louisiana, where electricity is $0.0897 per kW, whereas cost of electricity in Hawaii is $0.3244 per kW. Owning an electric-powered vehicle in Washington can save you around   $14, 480 over 15 years, due to their low electricity costs, where in Hawaii it can lose you money.

It’s not just the variation in the cost of electricity that varies but the price of gasoline as well. On average, people on the West Coast of the United States tend to pay 46% more for their gasoline than gasoline car owners who live near the Gulf Coast.  So, where you live plays a significant role.

Refuelling your EV’s

How you refuel your EV also has an impact on the overall running cost of your vehicle. You are likely to pay a lot more-in fact, 70% more if you are using the superfast charging stations, rather than charging at home. Also, when you charge your vehicle at home affects the fuelling price. If you charge your car up during the day, you will pay a higher price than if you charged your car overnight.

Maintenance Costs 

‘Most experts agree that there are fewer costs associated with maintaining an EV as there are fewer moving parts’ says Betty Miller, an automotive industry writer at Draftbeyond and Last Minute Writing. Cars that use gasoline as fuel have more fluids that need topping up, unlike EV’s. Not only that but, electric cars are much easier on the braking system, which means less replacing of brake parts over time. In 2019, New York City reported on average that they spent between $204 to $386 maintaining each of their electric cars, compared to a whopping $1,600 for their gas-powered cars. That is a lot of savings over the years!

Looking ahead for the future

As electric vehicles become more common, it is likely that the price of charging equipment will drop, as there will be increased supply and demand for it. EV’s could also become more cost-competitive with gas-powered vehicles due to greater demand.

There is a lot of information to consider when deciding between owning an EV or a gas vehicle. EV’s in most cases over a long period of time can be more cost-effective, but it really depends on where you live and the prices of gas and electricity there.  It is clear we are paving the way for EV’s to become a better and smarter long-term purchase.

About the Author:

Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at Law Assignments and Gumessays.com. Ashley has been involved in many countrywide projects. When she is not chasing her two children, she enjoys reading, traveling, and attending business courses.