Buying a car can be a major financial purchase for most individuals. When shopping for cars nowadays it is hard to avoid exploring Electric Vehicles (EV’s) and what they have to offer. 2018 was a record year for electric car sales. Sales in 2019 surpassed that. They topped 2.1 million globally in 2019, to boost the stock to 7.2 million electric cars. In 2019, electric cars account for 2.6% of global car sales and about 1% of global car stock. They registered a 40% year-on-year increase. (https://www.iea.org/reports/global-ev-outlook-2020)
Telsa's growth and addition to the S&P (standard and poor’s) 500 makes it hard to avoid talking about EV's and their future. During the Presidential debates, there was discussion about moving away from coal. Achieving this would be difficult without the electrification of road transport. It is difficult to not believe that EV’s are here to stay and, some may say, the future of all car companies.
The biggest difference between EVs and ICE’s is their fuel source. What is used to power the vehicle. ICE’s run on gasoline, while EVs run on electricity.
Some people believe that EV’s are a rich persons vehicle. This is not true at all. In fact, several studies have shown that EV’s are a cost savings over ICE’s. The savings advantage can be compelling. The EV value continues to improve the longer you own the vehicle.
Studies shows that fuel savings alone can be $4,700 or more over the first seven years. An EV owner who fuels mostly at home can expect to save an average of $800 to $1,000 a year over a gasoline-powered car. This is just the fuel savings.
Let’s take a look at maintenance, repair, and depreciation. Maintenance and repair costs for EVs are about half that of gasoline-powered vehicles. (https://www.consumerreports.org/car-repair-maintenance/pay-less-for-vehicle-maintenance-with-an-ev/) ICE vehicles need regular fluid changes and are more mechanically complex. The average dollar savings over the lifetime of the vehicle is about $4,600.
Analysts also found newer, long-range EVs, such as Tesla’s, hold their value as well as or better than ICE vehicles. Most new models can travel more than 200 miles on a single full charge. As with ICE vehicles, not all EVs will lose value at the same rate as they age. Class, features, and the reputation of the manufacturer all impact depreciation. (https://www.consumerreports.org)
EV’s do have some maintenance cost. The largest possible expense for an EV is replacement of the battery pack. EV’s have large, complex rechargeable batteries which drain and recharge constantly. This can lead to degradation and range loss over time. Replacing your EV battery is an expensive bill. But, to date, the vast majority of EV owners do not have to replace their EV battery.
Also, consider what state and federal rebates are available for “going electric”. Depending on where you live, a wealth of federal and state incentives might be available for owning an EV. These rebates can help offset the cost of buying an EV.
As innovations fueled the rise of the Ford Model T, developments in battery technologies and manufacturing are transforming EVs from a niche vehicle. They are now the “rational, economic choice” for many. EVs are more efficient and cheaper to maintain and operate than ICE vehicles. They are also very powerful while high performing. Most major manufacturers are planning a future where EVs are the norm and not the exception. Perhaps the time is right for you, too, to consider joining the wave of the future.
But the question is, have you driven an EV? As my father would say, this is where the rubber meets the road, and this is how you will decide if an EV is for you. Our house has gone full EV with the purchase of the Tesla Model X and Model Y cars. We have not regretted these purchases. The comfort, technology, and enjoyment our EV’s have provided us has solidified our choice in going electric now and forever. So next time you look to make a major car purchase will you explore all your options?