Cost Of Ownership

All Electric Vehicles (AEVs) have a fraction of the moving parts of gasoline vehicles and are very reliable. That means no oil changes, no spark plugs, catalytic converters or other emissions equipment. As a result they only need to be serviced once or twice a year to check vehicle systems and rotate the tires. 

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) have internal combustion engines but still require less maintenance than typical gasoline cars since the engines are used less often and regenerative braking systems save wear and tear on the brakes.

Save More Later

Driving in electric mode provides the equivalent of paying a little over $1 per gallon of gasoline. EVs guard against rising fuel prices since gasoline prices are much more volatile than Vermont electric rates. The chart (left) shows how an average Vermont driver could have saved $3,700 over five years starting in 2011.

Further Compare

Use the U.S. DOE Alternative Fuel Data Center’s Vehicle Cost Calculator to compare the total cost of ownership for EVs and other types of vehicles.

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/calc/

The U.C. Davis EV Explorer also offers a handy calculator to consider your commute costs for electric and gasoline vehicle options.

http://gis.its.ucdavis.edu/evexplorer/

Costs Overview

How much will I save with an EV?

In addition to savings on fuel noted above, EVs should also have lower maintenance costs. Ford has provided estimates of avoided routine maintenance expenses owners of the Ford Focus EV would benefit from by choosing it over the gasoline powered Ford Focus—to the tune of about $1,200. 

EVs use “regenerative braking” to increase vehicle efficiency. This technology uses the electric motor’s ability to convert moving (kinetic) energy back into electric energy which is stored in the battery. EVs also have mechanical brake systems similar to gasoline powered cars, but they are rarely needed if EV drivers use techniques to maximize the use of regenerative breaking, such as more gradual stopping.

Learn more about the total cost of ownership advantages of plug-in vehicles on our blog, where we use the Edmunds True Cost to Own calculator to compare several EVs and conventional gasoline vehicles.


Think of your time as money

You can save a considerable amount of time when you no longer need to drop your gas guzzler off at the shop for regular maintenance. Gas powered vehicles require about 25 more maintenance events in their lifetime.


Replacing your EV battery system

If you intend to keep your car for longer than 8- to 10 years (after your manufacturer warranty expires), there may be an additional cost to owning an EV: replacing your vehicle’s battery system. Currently the estimated cost of replacing a 23kWh lithium ion battery (similar to what you'd find on an All Electric Vehicle) is $5,000-$10,000. This will likely be the largest maintenance expense an EV owner will incur. Here’s the good news:

You might pay much less than that:

Battery prices are expected to drop considerably in years to come as EVs become more mainstream. As producers of lithium ion batteries invest in improving technology and manufacturing processes to compete in growing markets for EV components, many industry analysts are predicting prices to drop substantially over the next decade. 

You might be able to sell your old battery:

EV batteries will still have substantial energy storage capacity beyond their useful life in vehicles—and markets may emerge for their use in alternative venues. Duke Energy, General Motors, and grid hardware producer ABB, for example, recently teamed up to experiment with repurposing used Chevy Volt batteries to provide power backup service on the electric grid.

You might be able to lease your battery:

Some EV manufacturers offer lease programs for the entire vehicle or just the battery. Leasing will generally place the battery repair or replacement burden on the manufacturer if the battery life decreases below acceptable thresholds.

Purchase Incentives

See our incentives page for details on any federal or state incentives currently available to Vermonters.

Financing or leasing an electric vehicle

Financing an EV purchase

Most electric vehicle automakers have options available for financing and leasing through their dealerships. In addition, you can obtain an auto loan from credit unions, banks and other sources if you would like to handle financing separate from your dealership transaction.

VSECU, a statewide credit union in Vermont, offers a special financing program for electric vehicles. The Green Vehicle Loan offers lower rates and extended terms to help make financing electric, alternative fuel or high fuel economy vehicles easy. Learn more about the Green Vehicle Loan at VSECU.

Lease through a dealer

There are excellent lease options for many electric vehicle models and currently about 60% of Vermont electric car owners choose to lease. A two or three year lease can help you take advantage of the latest developments as they are available while also reducing concerns about resale value and long term battery performance. An added bonus is the federal tax credit usually gets immediately passed through the lease agreement instead of your annual income tax filing. Our blog has additional considerations of leasing versus purchasing and dealers and automaker websites can provide more information on leasing options and pricing.

Find an EV Dealer Near You.

Have a Question?

Drive Electric can help you with any cost or ownership questions you might have. Get in touch!

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