Fact: Electric cars are cheaper to own and operate than comparable gas-powered cars.
Myth: Electric cars are expensive “toys for millionaires.”
Explanation: While EVs tend to have higher upfront costs to purchase, that premium is more than offset by savings on fuel and maintenance. A study published in the journal Applied Energy in 2018 compared the total cost of ownership (TCO) of conventional gas-powered vehicles, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all electric vehicles in Texas, California, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
Using model year 2015 vehicles of comparable classes, over a project 5-year span, the all electric vehicles were the cheapest to own and operate in all regions.
Fuel costs represent the largest operating costs of driving a vehicle, and the relative savings of switching from gasoline to electricity are considerable. Even when comparing gas prices in the low $2 range and above average electricity rates, the cost per mile for fueling an EV is considerably cheaper than fueling a gas-powered vehicle, according to analysis by the Idaho National Laboratory.
- Applied Energy: “Total cost of ownership and market share for hybrid and electric vehicles in the UK, US and Japan” (2018)
- Guardian: “Electric cars are already cheaper to own and run, says study” (2019)
- Idaho National Laboratory: “Comparing Energy Costs per Mile for Electric and Gasoline-Fueled Vehicles“
This post is one in a series produced to combat the misinformation campaigns attacking electric cars. To see all of the FACTS that combat the MYTHS perpetuated by the Koch network and Big Oil, check out EV Facts.
Feature image: EPA/DOE fuel economy and environment label for the 2012 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid by Mariordo on Wikimedia Commons.