Eco-friendly. Quiet. Innovative. These are just a few words consumers use to describe the latest line of electric vehicles (EVs). But there’s one other descriptor shoppers use when they see the sticker price: expensive. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you might wonder whether it’s worth zooming past the rows of gas-powered cars in favor of an electric one. As with most major purchases, it’s wise to weigh the pros and cons before spending a sizable portion of your income on a single item.
CON: Higher List Price and Insurance Rates
Generally, EVs are more expensive than their gas-powered alternatives. The cost difference can be substantial and isn’t simply about the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Auto insurance coverage is about 25% pricier than for traditional rides. This is likely due to the greater repair and replacement costs of high-tech vehicles. These out-of-pocket costs can put the keys to an EV out of reach for many households.
PRO: Tax Breaks and Other Discounts
There are a variety of ways to make owning an EV more affordable. Federal tax credits, manufacturer rebates, and dealer discounts are available on qualified electric vehicles. It’s also possible to lower insurance premiums by factoring coverage rates into your vehicle selection process. For example, selecting a used standard EV over a new luxury EV could still allow you access to tax credits and cheaper insurance rates.
CON: Lower Driving Range
Modern gas-powered cars can run for hundreds of miles without needing to refuel. But the range of some EVs can be as low as 150 miles per charge. Depending on your driving needs, this might require more frequent recharging. Potential EV buyers with long-distance commutes should consider whether this is an acceptable trade-off. More expensive models have longer driving ranges – typically up to 400 miles.
PRO: Expanded Availability of EV Charging Stations
While you might need to recharge your EV more frequently, you could do so more conveniently compared to gas-powered models. There are over 50,000 public charging stations across the country. Many are in the parking lots of malls, individual retailers, and major employers. Plus, states are installing more charging stations along designated highways to accommodate the increase in EV ownership.
CON: Thousands of Dollars in Battery Replacement Costs
Repairs are another expense, whether you choose an EV or a gas-powered vehicle. A sticking point for many buyers is the estimated replacement cost of an EV battery. Actual costs vary but may range from $4,000 to $20,000. Fortunately, most batteries have a lifespan between 200,000 and 300,000 miles.
PRO: Lower Cost of Ownership
Once you drive your EV off the dealer lot, the actual costs of ownership kick in. But the lifetime maintenance and repair costs can be significantly less for gas-powered vehicles. Expect to save an average of $6,000 in maintenance costs alone. Couple these savings with tax credits, manufacturer rebates, and dealer discounts, and it’s easy to see why many car buyers are considering an EV purchase.
Electric-powered vehicles are energy efficient and environmentally friendly, with the bonus of being smooth to drive. Add the potential for long-term savings, and you might decide an EV puts you in the driver’s seat of your finances.
To get started and apply for a loan for your EV, visit us at www.PrinceGeorgesCFCU.org, text “AUTO” to 301.627.2666 or contact us to speak with a Member Service Representative today!