Right now, everyone’s talking about electric cars, and it probably has a lot to do with the ever-increasing fuel prices. Sure, you don’t have to worry about gas with electric cars, but there are other costs to take into consideration such as electricity and insurance. When it comes right down to it, most of us don’t really understand the true cost of owning and maintaining an electric car, so isn’t it about time that we educated ourselves?
Yes, it’s true—most electric cards will cost more up front than your traditional gasoline-powered car. The Nissan Leaf, for example, has an MSRP of $32,780. However, if you decide to invest in an electric car, remember that many times you can utilize federal tax savings up to $7,500 for purchasing an eco-friendly vehicle. Therefore, your cost would be more like $25,280 for the Leaf.
And then there’s the fuel savings. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a gallon of regular gas today costs an average of about $3.90, as of the time that this article was written. You can say goodbye to those fuel costs if you go electric, but you will have to say hello to a charging station and the electricity costs.
So how much does it cost to charge up an electric car? First you need to purchase an in-home charging station, which can run you a couple thousand dollars. The charging station for the Nissan Leaf, for example, costs about $2,000. And then there’s the actual charging itself, which can vary depending on location and charge time. Plug In America estimates that it costs between $2 and $4 to fully charge an electric car.
But the question remains—how long will an electric car run on a full charge? The Leaf will travel approximately 100 miles on a full charge. On one gallon of gas, the Nissan Versa, a comparable gas-powered car, will travel approximately 30 miles. That means that it would cost about $13.00 to drive the Versa 100 miles, while it would only cost $2.75 to drive the Leaf 100 miles. You do the math.
Another way in which some electric cars help you to save money is by allowing you to select when they charge. You can set many electric cars to charge only during off-peak hours, which will help to decrease your electricity costs. You’re probably thinking back to that in-home charging station that will cost you a couple grand. Yes, the initial investment is a little high, but over just 18 months or so, the station will pay for itself in what you save in gasoline costs.
As you can see, an electric car really does seem to save you money in the long run, when compared to gasoline-powered cars. The question remains: Will you be investing in an electric car, or will you stick with a gas car?