charging gas vehicle

What costs more to own, gas or electric?

Today, the price of electric vehicles have gone down thanks to advances in technology, but they still generally appear more expensive to purchase or own than their gas-guzzling counterparts.

In this post, we’re going to look at the cost of maintenance and fuel in both vehicle types and show you how electric vehicles can end up saving you money in the long run, even considering the more expensive purchase price.

Cost

According to Forbes, the purchase price for an average electric car decreased by 11% between 2016 and 2017, hopefully only decreasing further as we move forward. The Tesla Model 3 costs around $45,000 CAD, and up until this year in Ontario, the provincial government was offering an electric vehicle rebate program for cars priced below $75,000. Many other provinces still grant incentives for new electric vehicle purchases which go on to offset this larger purchase price.

Though this was unfortunate news for people in Ontario looking to purchase an electric vehicle and receive a nice discount on the price tag, there are still some costs that you dodge during the lifespan of an electric car.

Maintenance

Gas-powered automobiles require parts replacement as components of the vehicle break down over time. Electric vehicles do not need as many components or parts to operate as gas vehicles do.

For example, an electric motor only has one moving part, while traditional automobile engines contain dozens. Some electric vehicles will have less than 175 moving parts in total, and typical internal combustion engine cars have around 10,000. That’s 10,000 chances of something going wrong and needing repair versus 175.

Keeping an electric car running costs less too; you won’t have to replace the oil, any fan belts, air filters, timing belts, head gaskets, cylinder heads or spark plugs. Because electric motors are able to slow themselves down without dedicated reliance on brake pedals, their brake pads and rotors last longer.

Not all car maintenance will be eliminated through the purchase of an electric vehicle, however. You’ll still need to replace windshield wipers, address suspension issues as they come up and rotate the tires seasonally. But, these routine maintenance items will occur less frequently, saving you both time and money.

You’ll also have to buy an at-home vehicle charger up front, but with all the savings on unpredictable gas prices, it should start to pay for itself over time.

Gas

The true cost of your electric vehicle will depend on where you live and your local hydro rates. According to Forbes, the average electric driver spends about $650 CAD driving just under 25,000 km per year. Some drivers could spend that amount of money on gas in two months.

Further, electric drivers can take advantage of power stations in parking lots they frequent, charging their vehicle with the cost of parking.

Insurance

Insurance works by determining the value of a car and the risk it has of experiencing a loss. Electric cars tend to be valued a bit higher than gas-powered ones, and depending on its model, can make it a somewhat of a risk to the insurance company.

To save money on insurance with electric cars, consider an affordable purchase price and shop around for insurance companies that offer any green incentives or rebates for your vehicle choice. Take advantage of government rebates in your province as well, which can go towards covering your insurance premium.

Electric is more cost effective in the long run

The bottom line is that buying a gasoline-powered car is not the smartest move in this day and age. Over the lifespan of you electric car, you’re saving a lot more money on gas and maintenance, plus you can help reduce carbon emissions in the process.