Electric Vehicle Cost to Drive

If you’re looking to cut costs and are on more of a budget, then cost of ownership will likely be an important factor to you when shopping for your next electric car.

Finding out what it would cost to own a specific car can be difficult and frustrating for a car shopper to figure out, so our goal is to simplify cost of ownership into four main categories… maintenance, insurance, tire replacement, and electricity or charging costs.

In general, the higher the cost of the electric vehicle, the higher the cost of ownership will be, for the simple reason that parts and tires are more expensive, and insurance premiums will be higher on a more expensive vehicle.

But, the primary costs to consider for electric vehicles will be charging costs, unless you pay more up front to install solar panels, and save on future charging costs.

Electricity Costs for Electric Vehicles

Unlike an internal combustion vehicle that can only be refueled at a gas station, electric cars have more recharging options. Typically most electric car owners do most of their charging at home, which also happens to have the cheapest electricity rates. Electricity is typically purchased from your electricity provider, and prices vary depending on what state you live in.

We at electric driver use state utility rates and look at the annual miles driven as well as how many miles each electric vehicle can drive on a kilowatt to give you an estimate of what your electric car costs to charge.

Note that electric vehicle owners can buy electricity from commercial chargers located throughout cities and towns. But, electricity rates through commercial chargers are higher than charging at home.

Tire Replacements for Electric Vehicles

Even though tires are replaced once every few years, they are expensive once it is time to replace them. This is because electric cars generate no engine noise and therefore use special tires with noise dampening features to limit road noise. We look at the original tires of your specific electric vehicle model, as well as the expected or warranted tread life, to determine an estimate of what it would cost to replace your electric car tires.

Maintenance Cost for Electric Vehicles

When considering the maintenance of an electric car versus a gas vehicle, the analogy I like to use is one of a digital versus analog watch. The average gas car has over 2,000 moving parts, while an electric vehicle has about 20 moving parts. Less moving parts and a simpler drive train means electric cars will have less frequent maintenance and cheaper procedures vs gas cars.

We look at the annual miles driven, the average cost to drive an electric car, and the factory in an adjustment for a vehicle’s expected reliability to determine an estimated cost of maintenance for each electric vehicle model.

Insurance Costs for Electric Vehicles

Another consideration of owning an electric vehicle is insurance costs. Insurance costs for electric cars used to be more expensive but now are par or less than what you would expect to pay for a gasoline vehicle. As part of figuring out the cost of owning a specific electric vehicle, we provide estimated insurance costs based on the state you live in. With insurance, many factors include your age, driving record, and other considerations that determine price, but our estimate provides a general starting point.

We at electric driver look at electricity, tire replacement, insurance, and maintenance costs based on the specific electric vehicle you are looking at and where you live to provide you a relevant estimate of what it would look like to own an electric car.