FAQs - EV Costs

Q:Will I save money by driving an electric car?
A:Generally, and over the long term, it has been shown that the costs involved in running a battery electric or hybrid electric car are lower. However, be prepared for a net cost somewhat higher than a new car.
There are significant cost savings from not having to perform tuneups and repairs to conform to Air Care regulations. Indeed, there is no continuing Air Care required. It is estimated that 80% of repair costs with cars have to do with engines and their support systems.
The daily electricty cost for an average 60 km round trip commute would be about 75 cents. if you include the amortized battery cost into the equation, the electric car will cost about 1/3 that of the gas car over the long term. This may one reason why the auto industry wants to keep the status quo.
If you think of the cost of electricity and batteries as being "fuel cost", the only cars that match the economy of an electric car are the Geo Metros, Priuses and Insights - except they need gas engine repairs somewhere down the line.

Q:I am concerned about the limited range. I might become stranded.
A:One would think so, but there have been very few EV owners that strand themselves somewhere. One quickly adopts a habit of careful trip planning when one gets to know the limitations for the battery powered vehicle. Many cities are now adopting guidelines for opportunity charging stations and the EV owner will soon be able to increase his travel radius significantly as a result. It becomes as second nature as parking a large van after a while where at first there is great trepidation.

Quite often the EV is the second car in a household, and the vehicle often chosen for short runs because there is no warmup period required.

Another alternative to the primary car is to join a car sharing cooperative. Now one can save not only on fuel, but on insurance as well, because it is a pay-as-you-go plan which is operated at cost.