Electric cars were
Upfront costs of gas vs. electric cars
Electric vehicles have come down in price, but you're still usually going to see a higher number on the sticker for an electric car compared to a gas-powered car. Kelley Blue Book reports that in November 2021,
Another consideration is that if you go electric, you'll probably want to purchase an upgraded charger for it. Most electric cars come with a level 1 charger, which is a cord that can be plugged into an ordinary wall outlet. These can take
Which type of car costs more to maintain: Gas vs. electric
Maintenance costs are
In terms of cost per distance traveled, an electric car typically incurs scheduled
Car warranties reflect the difference in repair needs. It's common for the warranty on an electric car's battery to extend for 8 to 10 years or cover 100,000 miles. In comparison, the warranty on a gas car is usually three years or 36,000 miles.
But in the event that an electric vehicle needs a major part replaced, the bill can be high. According to Consumer Reports, putting in a new battery pack costs about $5,500, and a new electric motor may be priced at $6,000 to $9,000. That's quite a bit higher than the $2,500 to $4,000 it takes to
Electric cars can offer dramatic savings compared to gas-powered cars. To see how, it helps to look at the numbers.
Examples of fuel expenses for gas-powered cars
Let's consider the 2021 Kia Rio, a fuel-efficient subcompact sedan that gets
The U.S. Department of Energy offers
Assuming you're going to drive 27 miles most workdays plus an extra 4,000 miles a year on other trips, for a total of 10,615 miles a year, and you're paying $4.10 per gallon, you can plan on buying 285 gallons of gas a year for this vehicle and spending $1,169 on gas annually. That's just over $97 a month, and it works out to about 11 cents a mile for fuel.
For a second gas-powered example, consider an SUV like the 2021 Toyota 4Runner, which gets only
Examples of fuel expenses for electric cars
On the electric side, let's look at the 2021 Nissan Leaf, which has a
As another electric vehicle example, consider the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt. It has a range of
One thing to be aware of, though, is that if you're not charging at home but instead buying electricity at public charging stations, you could end up paying significantly more. You're likely to pay about
As you can see, it costs much less to charge an electric vehicle than to buy gas as long as you're using your own charger. Your exact savings will depend on factors like the current prices of gas and electricity, your vehicle's efficiency, and how far you're driving. But overall, the
Taxes and credits for gas vs. electric cars
If you drive a traditional car, you pay taxes on gas when you fuel up. If you drive an electric car, you're not paying for gas or those taxes, but you may owe an extra registration fee, depending on your state. You can look up your state's fees on the
You might qualify for a tax credit or other incentives to help offset the cost of a new electric car. The U.S. Department of Energy offers a
Do gas or electric vehicles have a better resale value?
If you're concerned about being able to sell a car later, there's no clear answer on whether gas or electric is better.
In the past,
If you expect high gas prices to persist and electric vehicles to grow in popularity, you might be optimistic about an electric car's resale prospects. On the other hand, if you want a car with a track record of holding value over time, you may prefer a model with a combustion engine.
Which car is better for the environment: Gas vs. electric
Both gas and electric vehicles have some negative implications for the natural world. If you look at different points in a car's lifetime, you might reach different conclusions about which option is better for the environment.
But as these two types of vehicles head out on the roads, gas-powered cars take a greater toll on the planet. Gas cars contribute to air pollution with the exhaust they let out while electric cars don't produce any tailpipe emissions. And the gas that goes into a car comes from oil that first has to be taken out of the ground then processed and transported, adding emissions at every step of the way.
Of course, the electricity used to power an electric car is also usually produced from fossil fuels. But on average, the emissions generated by driving an electric car are well below those generated by a gas car. In the U.S., driving a gas-powered car typically releases
The balance shifts back toward gas after vehicles reach the end of their useful lifetimes and are scrapped. The parts that make up a gas car can largely be reused, but spent
All in all, electric vehicles usually come out ahead in terms of environmental impact because the benefits from their fuel efficiency outweigh the emissions from manufacturing and disposing of them. But there's still work to be done to reduce harm to the Earth.
Which do you choose?
Whether you decide on an electric car or a gas car, consider applying for preapproval with
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