Can Electric Vehicles Save You Money? When can you break even?
Electric vehicles are known for their environmental benefits, but can you also save money with an electric vehicle? A Consumer Reports study says yes.
MINNEAPOLIS – Whether it’s rising gasoline prices, falling electric car prices, or both, electric vehicles are the buzz.
Ford is expected to launch a new F-150 on Wednesday.
The best-selling iconic truck goes electric.
And according to Cars.com, Tesla is now the number one luxury car brand.
While electric cars can help save the environment, will they save you money?
The answer is yes, but it can take a while, depending on the make and model of the car you are buying and the cars you are comparing them to.
Chris Harto of Consumer Reports says electric vehicle owners can save hundreds of dollars a month.
He and his team recently conducted an in-depth study of several electric vehicles, comparing them to other gasoline vehicles on the market.
They found that electric vehicles required 50% less maintenance, were 60% cheaper to use, and retained their value.
“They are as valuable as a conventional gasoline vehicle,” says Harto.
However, they also found that most EVs cost more to start with, and buying and installing a charger in your garage can cost you anywhere from a thousand dollars to two thousand dollars.
“You see this high sticker price and it can put people off,” says Harto.
But Harto says there comes a point when you break even and start saving money.
When you compare apples to apples and look at other gasoline cars in the same class, EVs will start to save money in a few years.
For hatchbacks, like the Nissan Leaf, the study showed that owners can break even in about three and a half to five years.
For sedans like the Honda Clarity, it’s two years.
The crossovers are a little more varied.
Depending on the make and model you buy, as well as the make and model of the gasoline vehicle you are comparing it to, you can break even in as little as two years or as much as 10 years.
For luxury models, like the Tesla Model 3, compared to other luxury cars, you can break even in the first year.
The study showed that after breaking even, the savings rate only increases from there.
Over the life of the vehicle, most owners will save between $ 6,000 and $ 10,000.
The study also showed that the savings rate is 2-3 times higher if the owner buys a used electric vehicle.
The results of this study look promising, but there are some downsides to owning an electric vehicle.
Replacing the battery can cost thousands of dollars.
Several online sources suggest that replacing a battery in an electric vehicle can cost between $ 5,000 and $ 10,000.
But not all homeowners will need to replace their battery.
Online sources show that most batteries last between 10 and 17 years, which may be longer than the lifespan of the vehicle.
Melissa Anne Wenzel is a proud owner of an electric car.
She bought her used 2016 Nissan Leaf in 2018.
She says the car is five years old and the battery life has only dropped by a bar.
One bar out of twelve, then, says her drums still have a long way to go.
“For us, moral values and financial values are both important. It’s not an “or”, it’s an “and”. For us this makes sense from an environmental friendliness point of view and our pocket book, ”says Wenzel.
According to Consumer Reports, driving an electric vehicle in Minnesota will save you about $ 1,000 a year on gasoline.
However, one thing Minnesota drivers should be aware of is that range decreases dramatically during the winter.
Melissa says that in the summer her car travels around 110 miles on a charge, but in the winter it drops to around 70 to 80 miles.
Melissa’s electric vehicle is considered a “close range” vehicle.
Other “long range” vehicles have a much higher range.
Some makes and models can have a range of over 300 miles on a charge.
Some high-end Tesla models can also travel over 400 miles on one charge.