Comparing the total cost of ownership for EVs and gas cars


A common misconception around electric vehicles is that they’re too expensive for average Americans. Here, we compare the true costs of driving an EV compared to gas cars.

Sticker price

According to Kelley Blue Book, the average price of a new car in the United States in September 2019 was $37,590. As outlined in Plug In America’s Electric Vehicle Guide, 19 of the 40 electric vehicles on the market today have an MSRP less than $37,590. Of those, nine are all-electric and 10 are plug-in hybrids, so there are many cost-effective EV models available.

Incentives

These sticker prices don’t include the many tax credits, rebates, and other incentives that are available for electric vehicles. The federal EV tax credit of up to $7,500 can bring the price of many of those vehicles under $30,000, a significant savings for families. Additionally, many state and local governments and utilities offer additional incentives. Visit PlugStar.com and Plug In America’s incentives map to find incentives in your area.

Fuel costs

Generally, electricity rates are much lower and more stable than gas prices. Many EV drivers report that their fueling costs with electricity are just 1/4 to 1/3 of what their gas costs were. According to fueleconomy.gov, most all-electric vehicles have a fuel cost of approximately $50/month and most plug-in hybrids have a fuel cost of approximately $80/month. This compares to gas vehicles, which often have a fuel cost of $160 to $250/month. Switching from a gas car to an EV could save up to $200/month in fuel alone!

Examples

On PlugStar.com, our online EV shopping tool, you can compare the estimated total costs of driving an EV compared to a similar gas vehicle in your area, including net depreciation, fuel costs, maintenance, and insurance. We used these tools to show some comparisons.

Leasing an all-electric SUV in Portland, OR
Hyundai Kona Electric: $505/month
Hyundai Kona gas only: $580/month
Savings: $75/month

Leasing a plug-in hybrid sedan in Los Angeles, CA
Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid: $552/month
Honda Accord Hybrid: $622/month
Savings: $70/month

Purchasing a plug-in hybrid minivan in Atlanta, GA
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: $540/month
Chrysler Pacifica gas only: $585/month
Savings: $45/month

Five-year loan on an all-electric hatchback in Boston, MA
Nissan LEAF: $451/month
Nissan Rogue Sport: $525/month
Savings: $74/month

Five-year loan on a plug-in hybrid crossover in St. Louis, MO
Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid: $459/month
Kia Niro gas only: $502/month
Savings: $43/month

Driving electric isn’t just good for going green, it can also help you save some green in your wallet!

To do your own comparisons and explore vehicles, incentives, and charging, visit PlugStar.com!

All prices are estimates and may vary. See PlugStar.com for details.