Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Electric Vehicles Shown to Be Cheaper to Operate and Maintain than Fueled Ones

Image: Wikimedia.

Recharging. Image: Wikimedia.

Many people know that driving an electric vehicle (EV) is good for the planet. But new UCS analysis has determined that American drivers can also save thousands of dollars in fuel and maintenance costs over the life of their cars by switching from a gasoline-powered vehicle to a new EV.

UCS senior engineer David Reichmuth surveyed standard and off-peak electricity rate plans in more than 50 cities across the country to record annual costs for each one. The savings from driving on electricity ranged from $443 for Houston drivers paying CenterPoint Energy’s standard rate to $1,077 for San Francisco drivers charging their EVs with off-peak power from

As the report (online at explains, these savings are only part of the story. Industry experts predict gasoline prices will rise in 2018. In addition, EV motors don’t require routine maintenance so are likely to spend less time in the repair shop than comparable gasoline-powered vehicles. According to the American Automobile Association, the average EV driven 150,000 miles will save its owner $2,100 in maintenance, repairs, and tires compared with a medium-sized gasoline-powered sedan.

“It’s an opportune time to buy an electric vehicle,” says Reichmuth. “For many Americans, EVs are cheaper to fuel and cheaper to maintain—and they are now becoming cheaper to buy as well.”

Reprinted with permission from the Union of Concerned Scientist’s newsletter Catalyst, Volume 18, Winter2018. Learn more at

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