Consumer Reports: most popular electric vehicles cost less to own than the best-selling gas-powered vehicles in their class
Owning a plug-in electric vehicle today will save consumers thousands of dollars compared to owning a gas-powered vehicle, according to a new analysis by Consumer Reports comparing electrics to CR’s top-rated vehicles, as well as the best-selling, most efficient, and best-performing gasoline-powered vehicles on the market.
The analysis found lifetime ownership costs for the most popular EVs on the market under $50,000 are typically $6,000 to $10,000 less than the best gas-powered vehicles in their class (defined by vehicle style, size, interior volume, and cargo space). Tesla’s Model 3, the best selling EV on the market, delivered the biggest savings: at least $15,000 compared to both the BMW 330i (best selling) and Audi A4 (top rated).
Lifetime savings of EVs versus comparable gasoline-powered vehicles
The overall out-of-pocket-costs for many consumers who finance will be lower in their very first year of ownership, despite the fact that the upfront cost of electric vehicles remains higher today than their gas-powered counterparts.
Where the savings come from:
EV drivers are paying half as much to repair and maintain their vehicles—averaging $4,600 over the life of an EV.
EV owners are spending 60% less to power their vehicle with electricity instead of gasoline. Owners of EVs with a range of 250 miles or greater will be able to do 92% of their charging at home, needing only six stops at a public fast-charger per year.
Mainstream EVs, those with at least 200 miles of range or greater, are projected to hold their value as well as comparable gas-powered vehicles. New data obtained by CR from ALG, a data and analytics subsidiary of automotive pricing and information website TrueCar, shows that when adjusted for federal purchase incentives, both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are expected to depreciate at the same rate as ICE vehicles in the same class over the first five years of ownership.
Consumers in the market for a used vehicle, which make up 70% of car purchases, are poised to benefit significantly as they get access to these mainstream EVs over the coming years. Since previously-owned vehicles cost less upfront but have greater maintenance and repair costs, consumers in the market for a used vehicle are in line to pocket a significant portion of an EV’s overall lifetime savings potential, according to Consumer Reports.