If you are interested in fully electric cars or plug-in hybrids there is a myriad of misleading information to wade through. One of the big questions is, ‘Is it is cheaper to run own and operate an electric car vs a gasoline powered car?’.
Before we get into the numbers, you need to be aware of two things:
- Most electric vehicles are plugged in at work during the day at no additional cost to the employee
- The price of electricity varies from city to city, so it is difficult to say definitively one way or the other
The most accurate, generalized, answer is to say electrified and gasoline vehicles are very competitive with each other and one does not (yet) have a major cost advantage over the other.
I drive a Cadillac ELR with a 60KM+ range (average of 55KM in winter and 65KM range in summer) before my gasoline engine generator kicks in. Because I used to track my expenses and my kilometers, I can say with certainty that the ELR save me:
- about $1700/year in fuel costs. Like many, I seldom plug it in at home and on the rare occasion that I do my solar panels provide about 50% of electricity. I do 95% of my car charging at work, at no extra cost.
- Nearly all electric vehicles have ‘regenerative braking’ which uses the electric motor to slow the car. The physical brakes are seldom used and I expect that the factory set of brakes will last the life of the car. That saves a few hundred dollars.
- Because the gasoline engine generator in my plug-in hybrid Cadillac ELR is seldom used I will only get an oil change every 18 months or so. If the car was fully electric, I would never get an oil change. This saves both money and time… which to me is more money.
- For the reasons above, I expect the exhaust system and other consumables (spark plugs, air filters…) will last dramatically longer than a regular car. All of this saving money.
We have two interesting sets of numbers for you to review. From the new for 2018 book ThePriceOfCarbon.com comes an interesting info-graphic: