The electric vehicle (EV) renaissance is upon us and there is no doubt about it. What was once dismissed as a naive novelty is now recognized as the future of driving, with virtually every major automaker throwing their hat into the ring.
Despite a global pandemic orchestrated by the coronavirus scourge, EV pioneer Tesla just reported its best quarter ever, with a 40 percent increase in sales over the third quarter of last year. It’s been so successful it decided to split its stock, making it easier for ordinary people to invest in such a highly valuable company.
Buying an electric vehicle can be a daunting investment, too. However, a new study from Consumer Reports reveals just how worthwhile that investment can be.
Sticker shock is a common occurrence when shopping for an electric vehicle, since EVs can cost anywhere from 10 percent to over 40 percent more than similar gas-powered models.
But based on findings, the long-term ownership costs of an EV are $6,000 to $10,000 less than a vehicle with an internal combustion engine.
Depending on the size of your vehicle and where you charge up, electric vehicles can provide substantial savings over their gas-powered counterparts.
Here’s an overview of the cost to operate an EV compared to a vehicle with an internal combustion engine for 15,000 miles, which the Department of Transportation of the United States estimates is the approximate annual mileage for owners of new vehicles. These are gas-powered car $1,420, electric car $620, gas-powered SUV/crossover $1,800, electric SUV/crossover $780, gas-powered pickup truck $2,300 and electric pickup truck $990.
During the first year of ownership, electric vehicles cost around 60 percent less to fuel, with savings between $800 and $1,310 depending on the vehicle’s size.
Due to regional price differences in both gas and electricity, the fuel savings on EVs won’t be the same for everyone. However, EV owners who mainly charge their vehicles at home overnight when electricity prices are lower will see significant savings no matter where they live.
Findings by Consumer states that over a typical seven-year ownership of an electric vehicle, average fuel savings were $4,700 for a car, $6,300 for an SUV and $8,800 for a pickup, compared to similar gas-powered vehicles.
The cost to maintain and repair an electric vehicle over a 200,000 mile lifetime is roughly half as much as maintenance and repairs on a similar gas-powered vehicle, with an average savings of around $4,600.
This is due in large part to the fact that the motors and drive-train components in EVs have fewer moving parts than internal combustion engines and are less mechanically complex.
Gas-powered vehicles also require regular fluid changes. Most engines today have recommended oil change intervals of 5,000 to 7,500 miles, according to AAA and since EVs don’t use oil, they don’t require oil changes.
As the cost of lithium-ion batteries continues to fall each year, the driving range of electric vehicles keeps growing — and so does their resale value.
For the 2020 model year, at least 11 new EV models had a range of 200 miles or more. These long-range electric vehicles are holding their value as well as or better than similar gas-powered models, according to findings.
As with traditional vehicles, EVs depreciate in value differently based on their class, features and brand. Luxury models tend to depreciate less over time, while mainstream low-range models depreciate more.
Findings show that, after adjustments for federal and state tax credits, a luxury EV retained 48 percent of its value after five years, while a comparable vehicle with an internal combustion engine retained only 46 percent of its value.
How to manage the upfront cost of an EV. Even with these long-term savings, the upfront price of an EV can be intimidating for first-time buyers.
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