A new study from Consumer Reports (CR) indicates that the most popular electric vehicles are less expensive to own over their lifespans when compared to the best gas cars in their respective classes. But while you might think the price difference comes down to fuel savings, there is another huge factor at play: car maintenance.
The CR study found that EV owners are paying about half as much to maintain their cars as people with gas-powered cars. Sure, repairs such as getting new batteries might be pricy, but EVs were found to require less maintenance in general over their lifetime, helping owners save money. On top of that, CR found that depreciation was comparable to that for gas cars even after factoring in federal and state incentives.
Fuel, of course, remains a big saver for EV owners. The study found that EV drivers spend about 60 percent less to keep their vehicles topped up, and owners whose cars have a range of 250 miles or more can handle 92 percent of their charging at home instead of public fast chargers.
So, just how much savings are we talking about? Among EVs under $50,000, costs typically fall between $6,000 to $10,000 versus a combustion engine car. And out of all EVs, the Tesla Model 3 was found to deliver the most value, with an average $15,000 savings when compared to the best-selling car in its class (the BMW 330i) and the best-rated car (the Audi A4).
All in all, the new study shows that the claim that EVs are ultimately cheaper to own when compared to gas-powered cars is not just a classic marketing spin.