Electric car owners likely have no regrets saying goodbye to the ups and downs of gasoline prices. But how much does an electric car really save you? A recent study from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found that electric vehicles cost less than half as much to operate as gas-powered cars. However, the exact savings depends on a variety of factors. Here are a few that may help you estimate the cost of ownership for an electric car.
Maintenance and Repairs
You can save some significant cash by no longer needing oil changes and other forms of routine maintenance required by a gasoline engine. According to some calculations, this amounts to around 2-3 cents saved per mile.
Because of the simplicity of the electric car motor, expensive repairs are also less likely. The big potential expense is your battery, which can cost $6,000 or more to replace. Thankfully, federal regulations require that EV batteries be covered under a warranty of at least eight years or 100,000 miles.
The maximum federal tax credit is $7,500, but it will be up to you to determine how much of a benefit you will reap, depending upon your own financial situation.
Price of Fuel vs Electricity
Like the cost of fuel, electric rates vary, depending upon where you live and drive. While you are likely to save significant money on fuel over time with an electric car, the amount may fluctuate. Remember to look at free sources for charging, such as at work or at a shopping center.
Home Charging Equipment
For most electric car owners, the cost of having a good 240-volt charging station at home is well worth the cost of $1,000 or more for parts and installation. If you agree, you’ll want to figure this into the cost of ownership.
Some insurance companies offer small discounts for electric vehicles. However, you may also end up paying more. It helps to consult with an insurance agent to get the full picture and perhaps shop around for an electric vehicle-friendly insurance company.