Why Electric Vehicles May Have the Edge When It Comes to Cost of Ownership and Operation

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Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf

An even greater area of savings is the cost of powering the vehicle.

The average electric vehicle needs 30 kWh of electricity to power the vehicle for 100 miles (160 kilometers). This is expressed in EPA ratings, such as the Nissan Leaf’s 30 kWh per 100 kilometers. The Chevrolet Bolt is one of the most efficient EVs with an EPA rating of 28 kWh per 100 miles, while the larger and heavier Tesla Model S 60D is rated at 32 kWh per 100 miles.

The EPA also rates the car’s fuel economy in MPGe, which represents the number of miles a car can travel using electricity with the same energy content as one gallon of gasoline, roughly 33.7 kilowatt hours of battery power.

A Tesla Model S sedan at a charging station

A Tesla Model S sedan at a charging station

The BMW i3 is rated at 124 MPGe (combined) while the Leaf is rated at 112. The larger Tesla Model S is rated at 98 MPGe while the new Tesla Model 3 comes in at 126.

While someone driving a smaller sedan 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) per year would pay an average of $1,640 per year (calculated using fuel economy figures of 30 mpg or 7.84 l/100 km) while powering a similarly-sized EV would cost roughly $540 for the year.


While EVs aren’t necessarily for everyone, they are increasing in popularity and, while their claim of operating costs on clean energy may be subject to dispute based on what powers your local electric company, they are unquestionably far less expensive to own and maintain and drivers will undoubtedly save money when compared to the cost of owning and maintaining a gasoline-powered automobile.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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