Electric cars seem to be springing up everywhere lately. From TV ads to car dealer showrooms, we’re starting to hear about the benefits of owning an electric vehicle. With rising gas prices, Minnesotan drivers, like you, are starting to wonder if electric cars are worth the hype and can really save you money in the long run. If you’ve been asking yourself if now is the time to invest in an electric car, keep reading as we’re talking about 3 ways electric cars can really save you money.
What are they and how do they work?
Before we get into ways an electric car can save you money, it’s a good idea to start with the basics. Electric cars, also referred to as battery electric vehicles (BEV) use a large battery pack to power an electric motor. They are not fueled by gas, but must be plugged into a wall outlet (120V) or charging equipment known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE). We’re seeing more and more charging stations built for electric vehicles, but you can also work with your utility company to get one installed in your garage. Most cars have at least a 200 mile driving range when charged.
Electric Cars vs. Hybrids
So what’s the difference between an electric car and a hybrid? Hybrid cars use an electric motor, like electric vehicles, but combine that with a gas engine. Hybrids run on gas and use the electric motor to help you go farther on one tank of gas. They can save you money at the pump with more time between fill ups, but you’ll still feel that hit to your budget when you do fill up. In the end, electric cars can save you money in at least 3 ways.
The biggest way an electric car can save you money is on fuel costs. You can say goodbye to frequent trips to the gas station as they run on electricity. How much can this really save you? On average, it costs $0.05 per mile to run an electric car and $0.15 per mile to run a gas-powered car – and these costs can add up. Typically, drivers can save up to $ 4,000 per year just by skipping the gas pump and going electric.
Over and above fuel costs, electric car owners can also save on maintenance costs. With fewer moving parts, electric cars don’t require oil changes, new spark plugs, or fuel filters which saves on regular maintenance over the life of the car. In addition, electric cars use regenerative braking – using the electric motor to decelerate the vehicle, which leads to a longer lifespan on your brake pads. One more area of savings is the electric battery. Most models use a lithium battery which can last up to 10 years. These lower overall maintenance costs will lead to increased savings and more money in your pocket.
Did you know that there are tax credits and rebates available to those who purchase an electric vehicle? There is a federal tax credit available for electric battery and plugin hybrid vehicles depending on the battery capacity. The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) provides rebate savings for eligible electric vehicles as well.
Additional benefits beyond the savings
Electric cars can not only save you money, but also offer many other benefits. For starters, they are cleaner in the environment. Because they have no tailpipe and don’t consume gasoline, there are no exhaust emissions which are cleaner for the environment. They also run quieter than a gas-powered car and boast better handling. With better handling, most drivers report higher performance. They have quick acceleration, and produce peak torque from a standstill. Since the battery pack is positioned in the center of the car, electric cars have superior weight distribution and stability. One last benefit? Higher resale value. Electric cars retain more of their value than their gas-powered counterparts and a 2nd hand electric vehicle could provide a more affordable option for those in the market.
If you’re looking for ways to save in our current economic market, electric vehicles are one way to save on gas and maintenance costs when it comes to your car.