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Do Electric Cars Really Save You Money?

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If you’ve been researching electric cars, you’ve probably heard a lot about how owning an electric car will “save you money at the pump.” Sure, you won’t have to spend money on gas — especially with the spiking prices — but with electric car sticker prices so high, does it really save you money in the end?

Well, that depends.


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This isn’t exactly a flat yes or no answer. Whether or not buying an electric vehicle is a cheaper option in the long-term depends on which car you choose, how often you drive, gas prices, and how long you plan to own the vehicle. If you spend $10,000 more for an EV, but you only own the car for a year and a half, you probably won’t break even. However, if you plan to own your car for the long-term — or you buy used and skip the steep depreciation costs — you may save a ton of money on gas, maintenance, and resale.

Keep in mind that while electric cars don’t require gas, they do still cost money to run – just not nearly as much as a traditional gasoline-powered car. According to a study from the University of Michigan, electric cars cost about $485 per year to power, compared to $1,117 for gasoline vehicles.

No matter what you decide, do some math before you sign on the dotted line. Try to calculate how much you spend annually on gas, and use that to see how long you need to own the car before you break even.


Shopping Used: Vehicles with a sticker price under $10,000


Sources: Forbes, Kim Komando, University of Michigan