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Will an Electric Car Save You Money?

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Many drivers wonder whether buying an electric or hybrid-electric plug-in car will save them money. Electricity costs less than gasoline but electric vehicles cost more than gas-powered ones, so what gives? To find the answer to the question, you need to determine how much you currently spend on automotive expenses like fuel, insurance and other items. In short, the truth is that buying an electric car can be a money-saving move for some consumers, but the final verdict for a specific consumer depends on various factors. Check out the following pros and cons to determine whether an electric car is a wise decision for you:

Con: Electric Cars are Expensive

Electric cars cost more than gasoline-powered vehicles, across the board. However, some of the plug-in electric hybrids like Chevy’s Volt, the Toyota Prius PHEV and others are coming down in price. As of 2019, expect to spend about $7,000 more on the total cost of buying an electric car.

Pro: Your Fuel Expenses Will Probably Decrease

Smart fuel shoppers always seem to know the local Sam’s Club and Costco gas hours so they can pay rock bottom prices for fuel. What if you didn’t have to go anywhere to obtain fuel for your car? Plugging in a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt’s cord into the wall outlet in your garage is a hassle-free way to “fill up.” That means you’ll spend less time traveling to and from service stations, will never have to wait in line for gasoline and will be able to supply your own car’s fuel.

What does that mean in terms of raw money? On average, depending what part of the world you live in, using electricity to power your car costs about 1 to 2 cents per mile, while gasoline travel costs at least twice that. You can ballpark annual savings by looking at your yearly gasoline expense. If it’s currently $1,000, then an electric car will save you about $500 per year in fuel costs.

Con: Electric Cars Can be Hard to Sell

Think about the future. When you go to trade in or sell your electric car five or so years from now, will there be a ready market for it? Experts offer conflicting opinions on this topic, but reselling an electric car might be a difficult task. Already, “early adopters” of electric vehicle technology are finding it tough to sell their 2011 Chevy Volts in some cities, especially in small and medium-sized towns. If you live in New York City, Tokyo or London, there likely won’t be a problem. But if your hometown is a small, cozy little place in the Midwest U.S. or a farmland area of Europe, reselling your electric car might not be easy.

Pro: You’ll Save Money by Making Fewer Convenience Store Stops

Many electric car owners say they were surprised about one “hidden” area of savings: fewer stops at convenience stores to buy gas also eliminated a lot of impulse buying of snacks, soft drinks and coffee. It’s hard to quantify this advantage of going electric, but one informal survey of California drivers who own Chevy Volts revealed that owners of the hybrid plug-in spent about $40 less per month, on average, than owners of non-electric cars.

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  1. Marcia Cox says:

    having had both an Electic car and now a petrol Hybrid. I know what is best for me. I no longer have the anxiety of the long journey. the electric power would not get me onto the motorway network so there was nowhere to charge up so no long journey. Fine for shopping, but that’s about all.
    The hybrid I fill up 3 times a year costing about £45 a time. That includes shopping,regenerative braking, a few longer journeys and getting lost!
    What would really tick all the boxes would be a duel fuel hybrid. Recharge
    free from our solar power or the local main dealer. No sun, fill wih alternative fuel, petrol, hydrogen a fuel cell —- take your pick.

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