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So, you want to go electric. Your next vehicle is going to be an all-electric vehicle (EV.) You’re going to fight climate change and help save the planet. Well, you better save some money first, because the true cost of owning an electric vehicle may shock you.


First, compare the upfront price of an EV vehicle with a comparable gas-powered car. Electric vehicles run from $5,000 to over $10,000 more. For example, a gas-powered Hyundai Kona SE costs $21,500 vs.an electric Hyundai Kona SEL – MSRP $37,390. When you factor in a federal tax credit of $7500 – the Kona EV is $29,890, so you’re still paying nearly $10,000 more. It’s the same across the board. Even with tax credits, an EV has a much higher buying cost.


Here’s where it can get pricey. You need a charger to power your EV and an electric car charger costs anywhere between $500 and $1500, depending on how fast you want to charge it. There are 3 levels of charging options. Level 1 gives you up to 50 miles of driving range in about 10 hours.  Level 2 provides you up 200 miles of driving range in 8 hours. And level 3 fast chargers give you about 250 miles in one hour.

Fast Chargers cost tens of thousands of dollars. So even if your home has 400-volt electricity service, the cost to install the charger would probably cost more than your EV.

Next, you need to install the charger. Installation ranges from $200 to $800 and if your home requires a service upgrade, it could go into the thousands. Plus, charging an electric car at home will typically add $40 to $60 a month to your utility bill.


Although EV advocates are quick to say maintenance and repairs are less expensive because they have fewer parts. But the fewer parts are more expensive. A new battery for a Tesla typically costs between $5,000 and $7,000, pricing it well above a gas-powered car. An EV will be on its third battery after 12 years.


Electric vehicles cost about 15% more to insure than gas-powered vehicles. EVs have higher insurance premiums because of the expensive parts and equipment like lithium-ion batteries and power inverters. All the advanced technology costs more to repair or replace.


Electric cars and hybrids hold a resale value of less than 40% of their original value. Gas-powered cars hold about 50% to 60% of their original value, according to Bloomberg News.


The biggest complaint with EVs is the time spent trying to find a charger and the time spent charging it. It’s great if you’re charging it at home overnight, but if you’re on the road, or on a road trip, it can be a major headache. The enormous burden of time and energy finding chargers and getting EV’s charged is not worth it for many people.

As technology improves, prices will come down, charging will be easier and EVs will be more affordable. But as it stands today, after you factor in all the costs – and ignore all the spin – gas-powered vehicles are still a better buy.

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