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  • Writer's picturejoseph retcho

Electric car vs Gas car?

electric car charging

An increasing number of new car shoppers, approximately one in five, are now exploring the option of purchasing an electric vehicle or hybrid as opposed to a traditional gas-powered car. This growing interest in electric cars can be attributed to their potential cost savings and positive impact on the environment. Before making a decision, it is important to familiarize yourself with electric vehicles and carefully consider the associated costs. Will your new Tesla be covered under your current insurance? Can I charge my car using a house outlet? Let us take a look.


What is an electric car?

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become popular in recent years as people become more aware of climate change. Unlike regular cars that run on gas, EVs have a motor powered by a battery. There are three types of electric vehicles:


Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)

HEVs have both an electric motor and a regular engine. They are like traditional cars but have better fuel economy. You don't need to charge an HEV like you do with other electric cars because the battery charges while you drive.


Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)

PHEVs are hybrids that you can plug in to charge. They use a battery pack that you charge with a cable. PHEVs also use gasoline to power the engine when the battery runs out. Some popular PHEVs include the Ford Escape SE Plug-in Hybrid and the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid.


Fully electric vehicles (EVs)

EVs are powered only by an electric motor, with no need for gas. They have battery packs that you charge using a special outlet. Some popular EVs are the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Tesla vehicles.


How much are electric cars?

Electric cars can be more expensive upfront than gas cars, but they can save you money in the long run. The average price for an EV is over $50,000, which is similar to luxury cars. However, as more electric cars become available, prices are expected to go down.


Cost to own electric vs. gas cars

When you consider the cost of owning a car, you need to think about more than just the price tag. Electric cars can be cheaper to fuel than gas cars. In fact, EV owners spend 60% less on fuel than gas car owners.


Fuel

Charging an electric car can be cheaper than filling up a gas tank. There are different types of chargers that vary in speed and cost. Make sure to check for charging stations in your area before buying an electric car.


Financing

You can finance an electric car just like a gas car. Green auto loans are available for people buying electric cars and often have lower interest rates. You may also qualify for EV tax credits, which can save you money on your taxes.


Insurance

When you own a vehicle, it's important to have insurance to protect yourself and your passengers. Electric vehicle (EV) insurance works similarly to regular car insurance, covering things like collision, bodily injury, liability, and comprehensive coverage. The cost of your insurance will depend on various factors, just like with any other vehicle.

Keep in mind, that insuring an EV will be more expensive than a traditional gas-powered car. This is because the parts for electric vehicles, like the battery pack, can be pricey to replace. For example, a minor accident could result in a need for a battery pack replacement, which can cost over $12,000. It is always advised to speak with your agent to get an estimate of cost of different car models.


Pros and cons of electric vehicles

Pros of electric cars

There are some advantages to driving an electric car:

  • Less maintenance: Electric cars require fewer trips to the mechanic, saving you money on things like oil changes and brake system checks.

  • Lower cost over the vehicle's lifetime: While electric cars may have a higher upfront cost, they can be cheaper to own in the long run.

  • Better for the environment: Electric cars don't release harmful pollutants, making them better for the air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Advanced technology: Many electric car models come with advanced features like control panels and mobile apps for monitoring the vehicle.

Cons of electric cars

However, there are some downsides to driving an electric car:

  • Higher purchase cost: Electric cars can be more expensive upfront, costing around $15,000 more on average compared to gas-powered cars.

  • Range anxiety: Finding charging stations can be challenging in some areas, causing stress for drivers worried about running out of power.

  • Faster depreciation: Electric cars can lose value quickly due to battery deterioration and incentives for new models.

  • Cost of charging station installation: Installing a level 2 charger at home can cost up to $60,000, while slower charging options are more affordable.

  • Insurance: The cost of insurance will be significantly higher for electric cars.


Is an electric car right for you?

Deciding if an electric car is the right choice for you involves considering your lifestyle and needs. If your daily commute fits within the range of an electric vehicle and you value the environmental benefits, an EV could be a great option. However, if the upfront cost is too high, you might want to consider leasing or choosing a hybrid or plug-in hybrid instead.

When shopping for an electric car, consider factors like the vehicle's range, access to charging stations, and how an EV fits into your lifestyle.

The vehicle range

Make sure the electric car you choose has enough battery range to cover your daily commute without running out of power. Different models have varying ranges, so choose one that suits your needs.

Access to chargers

Check for charging stations in your area or consider the cost of installing a charger at home. Think about the different charging options available and how they align with your needs.

Your lifestyle

Consider how an electric car will fit into your daily life, both in terms of form and function. Electric vehicles operate differently than gas-powered cars, so be prepared for a unique driving experience.

The bottom line

Owning an electric vehicle can be cost-effective in the long run, despite higher upfront costs and insurance premiums. Consider the overall costs and benefits of owning an EV to determine if it's the right choice for you and your lifestyle.

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