Is an Electric Vehicle in your future? Have you been debating whether you should replace your gas guzzling SUV and opt for an EV?
Well, if you have been dreaming about owning such a vehicle, take note while they may save you money in the long run, they do come at a cost. Yes, you can get a nice-sized tax rebate for buying an all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, but even after deducting what could be a large rebate from the price, some say you’re still going to pay more initially for an electric than a gas-powered engine.
However, you might rationalize that you will make up for it in gas savings … Possibly — but it may take a long time.
According to the Office of Energy Efficacy and Renewable Energy: “Because the average U.S. household spends nearly one-fifth of its total family expenditures on transportation, saving on fuel can make a big difference in terms of the average family’s budget. Electricity is less expensive than gasoline and EVs are more efficient than gasoline vehicles. Electricity prices are also generally much more stable than gasoline prices. On a national average, it costs less than half as much to travel the same distance in an EV than a conventional vehicle. In addition, some utilities offer even cheaper rates at night, which can further reduce your electricity costs.”
Of course, these factors vary depending on your geographic region and your driving habits. In general, drivers who drive a high number of miles daily will save more money. To calculate the overall cost of EV ownership, customize it to your personal circumstances, and compare it to conventional vehicles, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center’s
Vehicle Cost Calculator.
Wisebread.com offers this example that might help you decide: The Kia Soul EV with quite a few bells and whistles costs about $34,000, while the Soul without an electric motor costs $20,000. So even after deducting the $7,500 tax credit, you would be shelling out $6,500 more for the electric version to start.
Another upfront expense, which when considering an EV, is the cost of buying a home charging station and having it installed in the garage. Wisebread.com suggests this could be about $1,200 again depending on where you live in the country.
However, you might be able to apply for a local rebate or credit to defray that cost.
Also, as mentioned above depending on where you live in the country and what the average price is per gallon, you might be paying a lot for gasoline over the course of an entire year. You must weigh apples to oranges in terms of which you would rather pay for gas or electricity.
If you live in California for example, the average price of gallon as of this writing was over $3 per gallon, electricity is also higher in the Golden State than the rest of the country.
Additionally, price is not the only consideration in whether to switch to electric, with vehicle range and driving experience often cited as barriers. But with battery prices dropping regularly, range anxiety often more imaginary than justified, and many manufacturers announcing big electric car plans, such considerations may or may not be on your checklist when considering a an electric car.
In the end, you the motorist must decide what is better for you an EV that may cost more upfront with the potential to save you in the end or stick with the traditional engine that could be the opposite.