Finally, an electric car makes economic sense

It almost never makes sense to buy a new car to save money on fuel, though. New cars cost more money than you would save on fuel, but if you’re already in the market for a new car, an electric vehicle can be a great option.

“Most of our analysis has shown that, from a financial standpoint, if you’re buying a new vehicle, it makes a lot of sense if most people consider at least one electric vehicle to fit their lifestyle,” Chris Hart said. , Senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports.

For example, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that it would cost about $ 2,900 a year for the average American to power a 2022 BMW 430i sedan. (The basic 4-Series sedan takes 28 miles per liter to drive in a combined city and highway, and uses premium fuel, which the EPA estimates is the national average of about $ 5.39 per liter.) Estimated cost to power a 2022 BMW i4 eDrive40, essentially the same car but it is powered entirely by electricity, which is about $ 600 a year. That’s one-fifth of the cost.

One big difference is that gas prices remain as high as they are today, which we don’t really know. (On the other hand, we can’t assume they won’t.) These costs also involve a certain rate of electricity, and the costs of electricity — although generally much lower per mile than gasoline — vary greatly from place to place. , as well as the time of day. Many electric cars, once plugged in, can be set to start charging only when the electricity rates are at their lowest, if you were to power the gas car a bit when the pump prices were at their lowest.

Gas prices and electricity prices vary, of course, and vary from place to place, but in general, electric cars are much cheaper than gasoline cars at the base of a penny. This is partly because electric motors are much more efficient than gasoline engines. More than 85% of the energy that passes through an electric motor is converted into motion. In the case of petrol engines, this figure is around 40%. So even though the costs of electricity and fuel are exactly the same, an electric car should, in theory, be cheaper than a gasoline car.

But of course, you don’t usually get a big discount on fuel costs for anything. The i4 costs about $ 10,000 more than the basic BMW 4 Series models with gas engines, but the electric BMW i4 is also eligible for $ 7,500 in federal credit, reducing the final price difference by $ 2,500. And that doesn’t take into account state tax rebates or other incentives that electric cars may receive. In some states, along with federal and state incentives, electric cars may cost less than gasoline, based on the price of the sticker. Not all electric cars are eligible for these federal tax credits, however. Cars from Tesla and General Motors, for example, are no longer eligible.

The new Chevrolet Bolt will be the cheapest electric vehicle in the US

So with the federal tax incentive alone, with the electric BMW going over the petrol BMW, you would be able to make up the difference in basic purchase prices in just over a year.

Electric cars cost more than gasoline cars mainly due to the high cost of the battery. That’s one of the reasons why there are more electric vehicle options among luxury brands. There are also major brand options such as the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5. The Chevrolet Bolt EV is also back on the market now, after battery recovery and at a lower price. Toyota recently unveiled its own EV, the BZ4X, which is similar to Subaru’s new EV SUV, the Solterra. These mainstream models also tend to cost slightly more in terms of the price of stickers than gas-powered siblings.

Please note that even car dealers do not need to charge the price of the sticker. In the past, customers were usually able to negotiate prices down, but due to the scarcity of cars due to the lack of parts, sellers often charge more. This is especially true for electric vehicles, said Ivan Drury, an industry analyst at Edmunds.com. It may not be enough to completely eliminate fuel savings, but increases can lead to potential savings.

Retailers are charging an average of $ 2,700 over the price of a Hyundai Ioniq5 electric sticker and an additional $ 3,100 for the Kia EV6 electric, for example. Mustang Mach-E electric SUVs cost nearly $ 1,900 more than the MSRP, according to Edmunds.com data.

Although many cars today are surpassing the price of stickers, electric cars are averaging twice as much as gas-powered ones, according to Edmunds.com. While internal combustion cars sell for an average of 1.4% of the MSRP, electric vehicles are selling for an average of 3.4%.

Insurance rates are similar between electric and gas cars, according to several experts. Electric can cars cost more as insurance is generally more expensive than cars.

Electric cars may cost less to maintain, but according to Consumer Reports, their findings are based on extrapolations from data from owner-occupied surveys. With fewer moving parts that wear out and need lubrication, maintaining electric cars can cost half as much as cars with internal combustion, Hart said.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it rarely makes economic sense to buy an electric car at home, or elsewhere if you can’t charge it at standard electricity rates. Public chargers are good for occasional use when you can’t charge them at home, for example, on long road trips. However, even with today’s high gas prices, charging on a public charger can cost much less than buying gasoline, Detroit office chief Aaron Bragman told Cars.com. It usually costs about $ 20 to $ 30 to recharge your battery compared to more than $ 60.

However, many automakers offer free public charging for a couple of years after purchasing one of their electric cars. In addition, some public charging providers, such as Electrify America, offer discount plans to regular users that can further reduce the cost, Bragman said.

The issue of the value of the resale has not yet been resolved. While Tesla maintains its value very well, other electric cars with a similar battery range have not been in the market long enough to know that they will perform similarly in the used car market, according to several experts.

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