Adapted from an article at Drive Electric Vermont
All-electric vehicles (AEVs) have a fraction of the moving parts of gasoline vehicles and are very reliable. That means no oil changes, no spark plugs, catalytic converters or other emissions equipment. They also use fixed gears instead of transmissions which further reduces maintenance. As a result they only need to be serviced once or twice a year to check vehicle systems and rotate the tires.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have internal combustion engines but still require less maintenance than typical gasoline cars, since the engines are used less often and regenerative braking systems save wear and tear on the brakes.
Below are links to several resources to help calculate estimates of cost savings with electric car ownership and potential long term issues associated with vehicle batteries.
Go Further with an Electric Car
The calculator tool below estimates how switching to an EV could save on fuel costs by estimating how far you can go for the same price as a gallon of gasoline. The default values reflect current average Vermont electric and gasoline prices from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. These are customizable to better reflect your costs and vehicle efficiency (www.bit.ly/GET-COO-2). Your electric utility may offer special off-peak rates for EV charging to help lower your costs even further!
A tool at www.bit.ly/GET-COO-1 can compare the cost of a gasoline vehicle with the cost of an electric vehicle, so visitors to the site can make the numbers relevant to their own situations. The example given at the site is based on real numbers and says that on a given set of fuel costs, the electric vehicle can go a bit more than twice as far for the same amount of money.
Estimated annual savings
The annual cost comparison shown below is based on the example cost and efficiency information combined with estimated annual vehicle use of 12,000 miles per year.
- Gasoline Vehicle: $1,700 a year
- Electric Vehicle: $775 a year
- Switch to electric and save big on fuel. Estimated annual savings is $925 for the electric car. Over five years, that savings adds up to $4,627.
EV Operating Cost History
A chart at the Drive Electric Vermont website compares the average monthly cost of driving electric versus gasoline prices over the past six years (www.bit.ly/GET-COO-1). On average, driving an EV is the equivalent of about $1.50 per gallon of gasoline. EV costs are also much more stable since the state regulates electric utility rates. Adding up the potential savings over the past five years, an average Vermont driver could have saved about $2,000 with an EV.
Use the U.S. DOE Alternative Fuel Data Center’s Vehicle Cost Calculator to compare the total cost of ownership for EVs and other types of vehicles: www.bit.ly/GET-COO-3.
The U.S. DOEhas a special calculator for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs): www.bit.ly/GET-COO-4.
The U.C. Davis EV Explorer offers a handy calculator to consider your commute costs for electric and gasoline vehicle options: www.bit.ly/GET-COO-5.
How much will I save with an EV?
In addition to the savings on fuel noted above, EVs also have lower maintenance and repair costs. A Consumer Reports study estimated EVs could cut typical maintenance costs in half when compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, with an average savings over the life of an EV of $4,600 (www.bit.ly/GET-COO-6).
Want more information? The Edmunds True Cost to Own calculator may also be helpful if you’re looking to figure out how much it costs to own a specific EV model (www.bit.ly/GET-COO-8).
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