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Study: Cost of Owning an EV Only Slightly Higher than Gas-Powered Cars

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cost of owning an EV
An electric vehicle doesn’t cost much more to own over the first five years compared to a gas-powered vehicle, a new AAA study shows
Photo: Porsche

If you’re considering upgrading to an EV somewhere down the line, cost may be one of the determining factors that leads you to pull the trigger or hold off. A new study from AAA has discovered that the cost of EV ownership is only slightly more expensive over the first five years.

AAA took the methodology it uses for its annual Your Driving Costs study and applied it to five compact electric vehicles. What it found was that the annual cost of owning an EV is just 8 percent higher per year for the first five years and 75,000 miles versus a gas-powered vehicle of the same size. That’s about $600 more to own an EV per year.

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What that doesn’t take into account is fuel costs and maintenance. Per AAA, drivers will pay around $546 to drive 15,000 miles a year, which is well under half the estimated $1,255 in fuel costs for a gas-powered vehicle. Because they don’t require oil and filter changes, EVs maintained in accordance to manufacturer recommendations cost $330 less than a gas-powered vehicle per year.

With fuel and maintenance factored in, the end result is that an electric vehicle would be around $400 cheaper per year than the total cost of driving a gas-powered car.

The study took into account the answers of over 40,000 electric vehicle owners, 95 percent of whom also responded that they had never once run out of battery life while driving and do the majority of charging at home.

Range anxiety has been synonymous with electric vehicles from the beginning,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Hearing firsthand from owners that this is no longer a worry may change the mind of those who have otherwise been skeptical to the idea of owning an electric vehicle.”

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