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Electric Vs. gas vehicles: Which is better? Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make better financial choices by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators that provide objective and unique content. We also allow you to conduct research and compare information for free and help you make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers such as, but not limited to American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make Money The offers that appear on this site are from companies that pay us. This compensation may impact how and when products are featured on this website, for example for instance, the sequence in which they appear within the listing categories and other categories, unless prohibited by law. Our mortgage and home equity products, as well as other products for home loans. However, this compensation will have no impact on the content we publish or the reviews you see on this site. We do not include the entire universe of businesses or financial deals that might be open to you. Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

8 minutes read. Published August 15, 2022

Authored by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers to navigate the ways and pitfalls of taking out loans to buy an automobile. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are committed to helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances with precise, well-researched and well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated subjects into digestible pieces. The Bankrate promises

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There are money-related questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your finances for more than four decades. We continually strive to provide our readers with the professional advice and tools needed to make it through life’s financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict policy, therefore you can be confident that our information is trustworthy and reliable. Our award-winning editors and reporters provide honest and trustworthy content that will help you make the best financial decisions. Our content produced by our editorial staff is factual, accurate and is not influenced through our sponsors. We’re honest about the ways we’re capable of bringing high-quality information, competitive rates and useful tools to you by explaining how we make money. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for the promotion of sponsored goods and, services, or through you clicking specific links on our website. So, this compensation can impact how, where and when products are displayed within the categories of listing and categories, unless it is prohibited by law for our mortgage or home equity products, as well as other home lending products. Other factors, such as our own website rules and whether or not a product is available within your area or at your own personal credit score may also influence the manner in which products are featured on this site. We strive to offer the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include details about every financial or credit products or services. One in four consumers who are considering buying a new car is purchasing an or hybrid like they would gasoline-powered vehicles, according to (KBB). Making the switch to electric — or an alternative fuel vehicle — could prove worthwhile both for your pocket as well as the environment. However, before you go to the dealer, it’s wise to electric vehicle options and know the difference in cost of ownership. What is an electric car? Electric cars have seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years, especially as the awareness of climate-related issues continues to evolve. This, along with the high cost of gas has led to drivers looking to save money by going electric. In contrast to the gas-powered cars that are commonly on the roads and in parking lots, EVs have a motor that is powered by a battery. There are three types of electric vehicles. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) Powered by both an electric motor as well as the internal combustion engine, HEVs are able to compete with the power of traditional gas-powered vehicles but with the added benefit of better fuel economy. There is no charge for an HEV as you would with its EV-powered counterparts, but instead the battery is charged via the engine. There is a wide range of models and makes of HEVs that are available on the market. A few of the top choices according to KBB include those like the Honda Accord Hybrid, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) A plug-in hybrid is just as it sounds it is a hybrid vehicle can be charged by plugging it into. It is powered through a battery pack inside the vehicle that is recharged by another cable. They also make use of another fuel, usually gasoline to power an internal combustion engine (ICE). This kind of vehicle utilizes the electric charge until it is used up and then taps into it’s ICE capabilities. The options for PHEVs are smaller, but KBB’s most popular choices are the Ford Escape SE Plug-in Hybrid and the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid as well as the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid. Full electric cars (EVs) The fully electric vehicle ups the ante and is powered completely with an electric motorthere is no ICE or alternative fuel source involved. They have a battery that powers the vehicle . It is charged in a similar manner to PHEVs. EVs are charged through an outlet designed specifically for them. While charging stations can be found locally, it is essential to be aware of the extra costs of a charging station, if you are contemplating a fully electric. KBB’s top fully electric choices are those like the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Nissan Leaf and the Ford Mustang Mach-E. The cost of electric vehicles in comparison to. gas cars Before diving deep into the world of electric and hybrid cars it is essential to know the differences in price between gas and electric. While driving an EV will have less overall cost, the upfront price tag can still serve as an obstacle for some. Recently, purchasing a brand new car is costly regardless of the source of power. July 2022 saw record-breaking average transaction prices for new vehicles of over $48,000, according to . However, the price of an EV is higher than a gas-powered option. According to the KBB estimates for an EV is over $60,000 -that’s in line with an average luxury vehicle price tag. But it is forecasted by the EV market will grow to 40 percent by 2031 according to . This estimation is supported by the increased number of vehicles that are entering the market. It is a good thing that this growth in EV availability acts as an opportunity to equalize. When more consumers are looking into buying electric cars and electric cars, the cost of them will decrease. This is evident in the number of new models entering the market. For the quarter that began in early 2022, 4.64 percent of new vehicle registrations were electric vehicles, while 7.18 percent were hybrids, according to Experian’s report on automotive market trends. This resulted in 60.4 percent increase for EVs over first-quarter 2022 and a 10.7 percent growth for hybrids. Cost to own electric in comparison to. gas cars While the upfront cost of your next vehicle is vital, you should also consider the cost to maintain and maintain the car over the life of ownership. Take a look at the cost-to-own analysis for five years of two popular sedans , as per Edmunds. The first is 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV, comes in at $31,955 MSRP and offers a wide space, a spacious cabin and an excellent handling rating. The second, the 2022 Mazda 3, is a popular choice for gas powered vehicles with a price tag of $24,115. It comes with an elegant interior, a smooth ride and turbocharged engines. Think about how the costs accrued over five years of ownership will affect the type of vehicle you’d like to purchase. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2022 Mazda 3

Vehicle depreciation



Fees and taxes


















True cost to own


$31,277 Fuel On a basic level, driving a fully electric vehicle means that there will be no need to fill up at the gas station. In a 2020 study, discovered that EV owners will pay an average of 60 percent less for fueling their vehicles. The difference in cost of fuel between the Chevy or the Mazda is more significant than that average. However, getting the power you need for your electric vehicle isn’t as simple as choosing regular high-end, mid-range or premium. The charging process for EVs can be broken down into three different options that come with different costs and advantages. One charging. This is the most common type of charging that is accessible through the same outlet you charge your smartphone with. They are the most slow charging options and provide between two and five miles of charge per hour. Level two charging. These chargers, typically installed and located in your garage, use the same power as your washing machine. You can gain up to 20 miles charging in just an hour. Level three charging. Also known as DC charging These are accessible in public areas. They’re the fastest option and drivers can receive an 80 per cent charge in just 20 minutes. As washing your machine multiple times in succession will add to your electric bill and the extra cost from charging at home can be significant. This cost per month is added to the one-time average price for installing an at-home charger that could range between $300 and $50,000, dependent on the capacity of charge. But keep in mind that most communities have access to chargers, which means you do not need to pay to install it right away. Visit a free map of EV stations to locate chargers within your area. Financing Although you can -either gas or electric powered — just by applying online or in person with a few lenders before picking the green car may come with certain benefits. These loans are available to those looking to finance their electric vehicle. These kinds of loans are typically offered by a credit union and generally offer lower rates of interest than conventional auto loans. You could also be eligible for a financial incentive that is available in certain states of the U.S. You can benefit by a credit of up to $7,500, depending on the state in which you reside. Insurance Insuring your vehicle is an essential aspect of ownership that protects yourself as well as your family members. This policy follows the same route you would take to cover the traditional vehicle option. It will include bodily injury, collision insurance coverage, and liability. Like any other vehicle, your exact price will be based on several aspects. But, the insurance cost for an EV will typically cost more than gas-powered options. 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 which could cost upwards of $15,000. Bankrate looked at 12 models of vehicles provided by Quadrant Information Serves and found that, on average, premiums will be higher for electric vehicles. This is evident in the increased insurance cost forecast for Bolt over the Mazda 3. Bolt as compared to Mazda 3. Pros as well as cons for electric cars electric vehicles may provide a drive which is healthier for the planet and your pocket in the long run However, they do have disadvantages. Advantages of electric cars A few benefits to driving an electric vehicle include the following: less maintenance. Electric cars require less trips to the mechanic which means savings on expenses, such as oil changes and brake system checks. Costs are lower over the lifetime of the car. Vehicle ownership can be expensive, but EVs have a lower life cost. More sustainable environmentally. EVs do not release tailpipe air pollutants, making them better for local air quality and general emission of greenhouse gases. Modern technology is available. The latest models of electric cars come with advanced control panels and mobile apps that allow you to control and monitor the vehicle. The cons of electric cars A few disadvantages of driving an electric car are: Higher cost to purchase. On average, buying an EV carries a steeper initial cost, which is close to $12,000, as per the average KBB July 2022 transaction costs. Range anxiety. Charging stations can be a bit scarce and far-fetched in some locations, leaving drivers stressed while searching for a place to get power. Faster vehicle depreciation. Vehicle incentives and battery degradation result in a rapid loss of value for electric vehicles. The cost of installing the charging station. If you prefer charging at home, installing a charging station could cost you up to $50,000. Are electric cars the right choice for you? If your next set wheels should be electric should be thought of similar to how you would pick the model or design of a traditional car is right for you — focus on your lifestyle and needs. If your commute is compatible with the available range and the range of options an electric vehicle offers, or if you like the sleek design and environmental benefits, then an EV could be an excellent choice. If however, jumping into an all-electric EV is too big of a financial investment, you might want to look into , or opt for the hybrid or plug-in option when you’re planning to purchase. Hybrids and plug-ins generally cost less upfront and still provide the savings benefits that a fully electric vehicle does. Be aware of these aspects when shopping for a car to make sure that an EV is worth your investment. The range of your vehicle If you’re on a long commute to work , and do not have access to chargers along the route and at the point you want to go, consider the range of the new vehicle you’re considering purchasing. The typical battery’s range will vary greatly depending on the type of car. Be sure you do not purchase a car that can’t be easily charged for your regular outings. Chargers available before heading to the dealership to shop make sure you have access to chargers in your neighborhood or look into the cost of the installation and maintenance of an in-home charging station. This means weighing the level one, two, and three options with your needs. Your lifestyle It is not only important to consider your life style in terms of appearance but also function. Electric vehicles tend to function differently than the ones you’re used to. Because of its dependence on regenerative braking, for example, you can expect a slower brake but a more comfortable overall driving experience. The final word: the price of owning an EV can be less expensive than a gasoline-powered vehicle. Even with higher depreciation rates for vehicles and possibly higher insurance and financing, the lower maintenance and five-year cost to own an EV makes it a promising option. As a car buyer it is essential to consider which costs are important most to you, and if EV fits the rest of your lifestyle. FAQs What is the time it takes to take to charge an electric car Based on the size of the battery, charging can be as short as 30 minutes or as long as 12 hours. It is recommended to fill up your EV by smaller portions rather than all at once in order to lessen the amount of time required to charge. What is the cost to charge an electric vehicle? The exact cost for charging will vary based on location due to varying prices for electricity, the cost is determined by the range of available options and the price per Kilowatt (kWh). In California for instance electric power is typically 18 cents per kWh therefore an electric vehicle that has a range of 150 miles will cost around $7 for a full charge. What is the length of time 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 specializes in assisting readers to navigate the ways and pitfalls of borrowing money to purchase an automobile. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances by providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down complex topics into manageable bites.

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