Blog Post

Cost Analysis: Electric vs. Gas Powered Cars

Date Published: Mar 7, 2024

Split image. On the left is an image of an electric car and a charging station. On the right is an image of a gas gas at a fuel pump

Cost Analysis: Electric vs. Gas Powered Cars

One of the big crazes in the automotive world is the rise of electric vehicles or EV. As car manufacturers are starting to pump them out, they are becoming more popular amongst car buyers for a variety of reasons. While it is still relatively early in their development, electric cars show quite a bit of promise, despite more people still buying gas over electric cars (Yahoo Finance).

With this new jolt to the car world, you may or may not find yourself wondering, which option is more cost effective? Which is cheaper in the long run? Which is cheaper in the short run? All of these are great questions to be asking, so let's hit the road, and by road I mean blog, to try and discover which vehicle option is right for you.

Purchase Price

Looking at the short run is the current purchase cost difference between EV and gas cars. A study done at the University of Michigan found that, currently, gasoline vehicles are typically less expensive to purchase. However, as the development of electric cars improves and the market for them grows the price of EV may drop and become closer to the purchase price of gas powered vehicles.

Currently, on average, an EV car costs about $2,800 more than a gas powered vehicle. This may not be a big difference, but as we sit, gas powered cars are still cheaper to buy (Cox Automotive).

Winner: Gas

Powering Price

The next stop on the journey is to look at which car will cost you less to power or fuel up regularly. At the current rate, charging an EV at home can cost around $0.12 to $0.24 kWh, which is about $3 to $6 for a full charge that can take you on a 200+ mile adventure without having to recharge. Public chargers are at around $15 to $25 for a full charge.

This is quite a bit cheaper than gas powered cars. For example, take a gas powered car 200 miles at 24.9 miles to the gallon, with say an 8 gallon tank and gas costing $3.77, this will cost you around $30 to fuel up. Another study done by the University of Michigan found that the average cost for fuel for an electric car was around $485 per year and a gas powered car was at $1,117. Other studies found that EV drivers are likely to spend almost 60% less on fuel costs, which is a pretty significant difference.

Winner: Electric

Maintenance Price

With fewer parts and not needing such things as spark plug replacements and oil changes, EV cars have a bit of an edge over gas powered cars. Also because of regenerative braking, brake systems will last longer. According to a study done by AAA, it costs about $950 annually to service an electric car, where with gas it costs about $1,279.

The big kicker is when it comes time to replace the battery of an EV car. While a brand new EV car may not need a new battery for several years, a used one may be a different story. Estimates for a new EV battery are at around $5,000 to $15,000, and that doesn't include labor costs.

However, on average a gas powered car can be expected to last around 200,000 miles and this comes with an average maintenance cost of $20,000, where an EV would be about $12,000.

Winner: Electric

Depreciation Price

Depreciation is how much something will lose value overtime and a new car's value can depreciate by up to 20 percent in the first year alone. An electric car tends to depreciate more than gas powered cars.

One factor to plug in with electric cars is you have this thing called battery degradation, meaning that as you use the battery and re-charge it, it begins to loose juice every time you charge it. This isn't something that you do not get with gas powered cars because the gas tank doesn't shrink overtime. Basically, with an electric car, the amount of miles you can drive after a re-charge decreases with time. This also can be made worse due to factors such as improper charging to cold weather conditions, which Michiganders know all about.

Winner: Gas

Which Option Should I Get?

At this point in time with current factors and situations, it is really a personal choice on which car suits you. If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, potential savings on maintenance and fueling costs, and it will benefit your lifestyle than an EV car is for you.

On the other hand, if you like the reliability of gas cars, which have been found to have 80% less problems than current electric cars, the speed of fueling up your tank, and if charging options are limited around you, then gas powered is the route for you.

If you are on the fence about both, then you could always go with a hybrid car, which is a great option and gives you the best of both worlds. Whatever you choose, we will be ready to light the way for you to get it with our car loans.