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8 minutes read. Published August 15, 2022

Written by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the details of borrowing money to purchase an automobile. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances with precise, well-researched and well-studied information that breaks down complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate guarantee

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There are money-related questions. Bankrate can help. Our experts have been helping you master your finances for more than four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to be successful throughout their financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and precise. Our award-winning editors and reporters provide honest and trustworthy information to assist you in making the best financial decisions. Our content produced by our editorial team is factual, accurate, and not influenced through our sponsors. We’re honest about the ways we’re in a position to provide quality content, competitive rates and helpful tools to you , by describing how we earn money. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services, or when you click on certain hyperlinks on our site. Therefore, this compensation may affect the way, location and in what order products appear within listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law for our mortgage or home equity products, as well as other products for home loans. Other factors, such as our own rules for our website and whether the product is offered in your region or within your self-selected credit score range may also influence the manner in which products are featured on this site. Although we try to provide the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit products or services. One in four new car shoppers now consider buying a hybrid or electric vehicle like they would a traditional gas-powered option According to (KBB). Making the switch to electric — or an alternative fuel vehicle could prove worthwhile for your pocket as well as the environment. But before setting out to the dealer, it’s sensible to consider electric vehicles and be aware of the differences in cost of ownership. What exactly is an electric car? The EV market has been growing in popularity in recent times, especially as the awareness of the environmental issues is growing. This, combined with and steep gas prices have all caused drivers to save money by going electric. Instead of the usual gas-powered vehicles that line the highways and parking areas, EVs have a motor that is powered by a battery. There are three types that are electric cars. Electric hybrid vehicles (HEVs) are powered by an electric motor as well as an internal combustion engine, HEVs are able to compete with the power of traditional gas-powered vehicles and the benefits of improved fuel economy. There is no charge for an HEV as you would with its EV-powered counterparts, but instead batteries are charged via the engine. There is a wide range of models and makes of HEVs on the market. Some highly rated options as per KBB include the Honda Accord Hybrid, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) Plug-in hybrids is exactly as it sounds it is a hybrid vehicle you plug in to charge. It’s powered by batteries inside the vehicle and recharged via the external cables. They also make use of other fuels, typically gasoline to power the internal combustion engine (ICE). This type of vehicle uses an electric battery until it is spent and then taps into it’s ICE capabilities. The options for PHEVs are less limiting, however KBBs standout options include the Ford Escape SE Plug-in Hybrid and the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid and the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid. Full electric cars (EVs) Fully electric vehicle is a step up and is powered completely by an electric motor -without ICE or an alternative fuel sources are required. These have a battery pack that powers the vehicle . It is charged in a similar way to a PHEV. Electric vehicles are charged using an outlet designed specifically for them. While charging stations can be accessible locally, it’s crucial to consider the additional costs for a station to charge when considering a full EV. KBBs favorite fully EV choices are the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Nissan Leaf and the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Price of electric in comparison to. gas vehicles Before you dive in the deep end of hybrid and electric vehicles, it is crucial to comprehend the price differentiation between electric and gasoline. Although driving an EV can come with lower overall costs, the upfront price tag is an obstacle for some. Lately, buying a new car is costly regardless of the power source. July 2022 saw record-breaking price for new cars of more than $48,000, as per . But the average price for an EV is higher than a gas-powered option. According to the KBB estimate for an EV exceeds $60,000which is in line with the average luxury car price. But it is forecasted the EV market will reach 40 % by the year 2031 according to . This estimate is backed by more vehicles hitting the market. This increase in EV availability is an equalizer. If more people are considering buying electric cars, the average cost will drop. This is evident in the number of new options that are being introduced to the market. The first quarter in 2022 4.64 percent of new car registrations were electric vehicles, while 7.18 percent of them were hybrids according to Experian’s report of automotive market trends. This made for a 60.4 percent growth for EVs in one quarter in 2022 and an 10.7 percent increase for hybrids. Cost of owning electric vehicles as compared to. gas vehicles While the upfront cost of the next car is crucial, it is also important to consider the expense of maintaining and keep the car for the lifetime of ownership. Take a look at the cost-to-own analysis for five years of two popular cars, according to Edmunds. The first is a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV, comes in at $31,955 MSRP . It offers a wide range, spacious cabin and an excellent handling rating. The secondmodel, a 2022 Mazda 3, is a well-known gas-powered model with a price tag of $24,115. Both offer a premium interior with a smooth and comfortable ride as well as turbocharged engines. Take into consideration how the costs accrued over five years of car ownership will affect the type of vehicle you would prefer. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2022 Mazda 3

Vehicle depreciation



Fees and taxes


















The true cost of owning


$31,277 Fuel On the most basic scale, driving an electric vehicle means the end of having to the gas station. A study conducted in 2020 discovered that EV owners will pay an average of 60% less to fuel their vehicles. The difference in cost of gasoline between Chevy or the Mazda is much higher than the average. However, getting the power you need for your electric vehicle isn’t so simple as picking regular, midgrade or high-end. The charging process for EVs is broken down into three choices that carry different costs and benefits. One charging. This is the most commonly used form of charging and is available through the same outlet that you charge your cellphone with. They are the least efficient charging options that provide up to five and two miles charge per hour. Level two charging. These chargers, typically installed and located in your garage utilize the same power that your washing machine would. You can gain up to 20 miles charge in just one hour. Level three charging. Also called DC charging, these are available in public settings. They are the quickest alternative and users can get an 80 per cent charge in only 20 minutes. Just as washing your machine multiple times in a row will cost you more electricity The additional expense from charging at home can add up. This cost per month is on top of the one-time average price to set up an at-home charging station — which can range from $300 to $50,000, depending on the level of charge. However, keep in mind that most communities now have access to chargers, meaning you might not have to shell out for installation right away. Visit a free map of EV stations to locate chargers within your region. Finance Although you are able to finance a careither gas or electric powered — apply online or in person with a few lenders before picking the best option, financing a green car can come with certain benefits. These loans are available to those looking to finance their electric vehicle. These types of loans are typically found through a credit union , and generally offer lower rates of interest than traditional auto loans. There is also the possibility of qualifying for a financial incentive which is offered in certain states in the U.S. You can benefit from a credit worth as high as $7,500, contingent on your home state. Insurance Insuring your vehicle is an essential part of owning a vehicle that safeguards you and your passengers. It follows the same method you would take to cover a conventional vehicle option. It will include bodily injury, collision liability and comprehensive coverage. Like any other vehicle the cost will be determined by various factors. However insurance for an EV will typically cost more than conventional gas-powered alternatives. One reason could be the price of the vehicle’s parts. A minor accident could cause, for instance having to pay for a battery pack replacement — something that can be priced at upwards of $15,000. Bankrate examined 12 car models supplied by Quadrant Information Serves and found that, on the average premiums are more expensive for electric cars. This is demonstrated by the increased insurance cost forecast for the Bolt as compared to Mazda 3. The pros and cons of electric vehicles electric vehicles may provide a drive that is better for the environment and your wallet over the long run, but they’re not without downsides. The advantages of electric vehicles Some advantages to driving an electric car are less maintenance. Electric cars require less visits to the mechanic, and that can result in savings on expenses, such as oil changes and brake system inspections. Lower cost over the life of the car. The cost of owning a vehicle can be high however EVs come with a lower cost. They are better for the environment. EVs do not release tailpipe air pollutants which is why they are better for local air quality as well as overall emission of greenhouse gases. Advanced technology is available. A lot of the latest electric cars come with advanced control panels as well as mobile applications to manage and monitor the car. The cons of electric cars A few disadvantages of driving an electric car include: higher cost of purchase. In the average, purchasing an EV has a more expensive upfront cost, close to $12,000 more, according to KBB’s July 20, 2022 average transaction prices. The fear of range. Charging stations can be few and far between in some locations, leaving motorists feeling anxious when looking for a location to charge their power. Faster vehicle depreciation. The deterioration of batteries and incentives for vehicles result in a rapid loss of value for electric vehicles. Cost of installing the charging station. If you prefer being able to charge at your own home, installing a charging station could cost as much as $50,000. Is an electric car right for you? if your next set of wheels is electric, it should be thought of similarly to how you’d choose the model or design of a traditional car is the best fit for yoube aware of your lifestyle and needs. If your commute fits with the available range an EV offers or if you like the sleek design and environmental benefits, then an electric car might be the best option. However, if committing to a full EV is too much of a financial commitment, you might want to look into an alternative, such as an electric or hybrid if you’re set on buying. Hybrids and PHEVs typically cost less upfront and still carry some of the money-saving advantages that a fully electric car can offer. Be aware of these factors when shopping to ensure that an EV is worth your investment. The range of your vehicle If you have a long commute to work , and don’t have access to charging stations along the route as well at the destination you are heading to, think about the vehicle range that the new vehicle you’re considering purchasing. The typical battery’s range will differ greatly based on the type of car. Be sure you do not buy a vehicle that isn’t able to easily charge for your regular outings. Chargers available before heading to the dealership to shop, check for access to chargers in your area or look into the cost of installation and upkeep of an on-site charger. This is a way of weighing the levels one, two, and three options based on your requirements. Your lifestyle It is not only important to consider your way of life in terms of style but also as a function. Electric vehicles operate in a different way from what you are used to. Due to its reliance on regenerative braking, as an example, you can expect a slower brake but a more smoother overall experience. The final word: the cost of owning an EV can be less expensive than an alternative powered by gas. Even with a higher rate of depreciation and potentially higher insurance and financing, the less maintenance cost and the five-year period to own an EV can make it a viable option. If you are a prospective car owner it is essential to consider which costs are important the most to you and whether EV is compatible with your lifestyle. FAQs What is the time it takes to take to charge an electric car? Depending on the size of your car’s battery, charging can take as little as 30 minutes or as long as 12 hours. It is recommended to recharge your electric car in smaller amounts instead of all at once to reduce the charge time. How much does it cost to charge an electric car? While the exact price for charging will vary based on region due to the different electric costs, the charge is based on the available range and price per Kilowatt (kWh). In California for instance the average electricity price is 18 cents for every kWh, therefore an electric vehicle with a 150-mile range would be around $7 for a full charge. How long do electric car batteries last? The batteries in an EV can last between 10 to 20 years, until they require a complete replacement.


The article was written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers in navigating the details of borrowing money to buy a car. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances with concise, well-researched and well-organized information that breaks down complex topics into manageable bites.

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