Electric vehicles (EVs) can be a great way to get around, but they don’t come cheap. Even the most affordable electric car on the market usually costs thousands of dollars more than an economy car with a conventional engine. And once you’ve spent that much money on the actual vehicle, you’ll have to shell out even more for charging costs, insurance, and repairs. But that doesn’t mean that EVs aren’t worth it—after all, this investment will save you money in fuel costs. This post will detail which EVs are the cheapest to own over their lifetime and how they compare to their gas-powered counterparts.
What Are the Cheapest Electric Vehicles to Own?
Electric vehicles are usually more expensive than other cars. So, if you’re trying to save money, it might be a good idea to look elsewhere.
Electric cars are usually more expensive than hybrids, and electric cars are usually more expensive than compact cars. Electric vehicles cost about $10,000-$50,000 for the initial purchase price (before tax incentives). However, this can vary depending on which type of electric vehicle you get (whether made by Tesla or not).
These Cars Have the Lowest Maintenance Costs
If you’re looking for a car that won’t break the bank, consider buying one of these models. They have the lowest maintenance costs.
- Hybrid cars are known for their fuel efficiency and long-distance range, but they also require less maintenance than other vehicles.
- Compact cars: These small cars are popular among drivers who don’t want to spend too much money on gas or maintenance on their vehicles.
- Electric vehicles (EVs): EVs use less energy while driving than gasoline-powered engines, so they need fewer repairs and replacements over time—and you’ll save even more money if the vehicle doesn’t require any repairs at all!
- Fuel-efficient cars: If fuel efficiency is essential to you when selecting an automobile, consider purchasing an efficient model that will cost less per mile traveled than other vehicles, such as sports utility vehicles (SUVs) or pickup trucks. (You can find out more about what makes up this figure by reading our article “Car MPG: How It Works & Why You Need It.”)
How Much Does It Cost to Maintain an Electric Car?
You may have heard that electric cars are cheaper than gas-powered ones. While this is true, it’s also essential to look at the different types of electric vehicles and their respective maintenance costs.
The general rule is that any car without moving parts will cost less to maintain over time. Electric cars certainly fall into this category, as they have no internal combustion engine (ICE) or transmission and only use a few fluids for cooling and lubrication instead of oil changes every 3,000 miles or so. However, there’s still plenty of stuff to inspect and replace on an EV: tires, brakes, batteries, and more need regular attention. The good news is that having fewer moving parts means fewer things can fail over time—and when they do fail, they’re often easier or cheaper (or both) to fix than parts in ICEs would be.
The Cheapest Cars to Own Are Hybrids and Compacts
The cheapest cars to own are hybrids and compacts. Hybrids are more expensive than regular cars but cheaper than electric cars. However, they’re also more reliable and cheaper to maintain over their lifetimes. Compact cars like the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla are cheaper to buy than larger vehicles and tend to be less expensive on fuel costs. Smaller vehicles also typically require fewer repairs when they need repair work done. You’ll spend less time at the mechanic’s shop if you choose this type of car over something bigger and fancier-looking (but not necessarily better).
Electric Vehicles Are Usually More Expensive Than Other Cars
While electric vehicles are cheaper to operate and maintain, the cost of purchasing an EV is greater than that of a conventional car. An analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found that, on average, EVs cost about $5,800 more than their internal combustion engine counterparts. This is large because most electric vehicles have higher sticker prices than non-electric cars (about $2,300 more). The primary reason for this price difference is the cost of battery packs, which make up a significant portion of an EV’s total cost; however, other factors like design/aesthetic differences also contribute to higher prices for EVs.
Another factor affecting how much you pay at purchase time will be your local state tax incentive and applicable federal tax credits (more on these below). You may also get better financing rates with an EV because they require fewer maintenance costs over time than traditional gas-powered cars, which typically need regular tune-ups every 3-5 years or so depending upon mileage driven per year (and how often).
Repairs for EVs May Be Higher Than for Gas-Powered Cars
One thing that’s more expensive about EVs is the cost of repairs. While gas-powered cars have more moving parts, which means they need more frequent maintenance and repairs, EVs have fewer moving parts and hardly ever need any repairs. However, if you need to get your electric vehicle fixed, it will likely cost you much more than if your car were a gas-powered vehicle with many mechanical issues.
The reason for this difference is that while gas-powered cars have many different fluids to change regularly (oil changes) and many parts to replace when they break down (brakes), an EV has very few fluids to change (anti-freeze) and very few replacement parts needed when something breaks down on it. Most of these cars only require an inspection once every five years!
Electric Vehicles Can Be Cheaper to Own Over Time Than Gas-powered Cars, but Upfront Costs Can Be Higher
- Higher upfront costs: While you’ll save money on fuel and maintenance, you’ll have to pay more for the car itself.
- Lower maintenance costs: Electric vehicles don’t require much upkeep as gas-powered cars, so you won’t have to spend as much on oil changes or tune-ups.
- Lower fuel costs: Instead of paying for expensive gasoline, it’s far cheaper to charge your EV at home or at a charging station than to buy gas at the pump. You may even qualify for some tax credits if you charge your vehicle with solar power from your rooftop array!
- Lower repair costs: Because EVs do not use internal combustion engines (ICEs), they are less likely to break down over time compared with ICEs which can cost thousands of dollars per year in repairs alone when they do eventually break down due to wear and tear after many years/thousands of miles traveled.
We hope you enjoyed learning about some of the tips on electric vehicles on the market today and that it gave you a better sense of which options might be best for your needs. When it comes down to it, what’s most important is that you are an informed consumer who knows what you are buying before making a purchase. There’s no substitute for doing your research, so take these tips with you, and good luck finding the perfect vehicle!