Electric Vehicles Save You More Money vs Gas-Powered Cars: Consumer Reports

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As reported by Ars Technica, a new study conducted American nonprofit consumer organization Consumer Reports conclusively proves that electric vehicles are significantly cheaper than traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles over the course of their respective lifespans.

What deters most buyers from opting for an electric car — whether it’s a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) — is the relatively higher purchase price compared to ICE vehicles. However, Consumer Reports found that the lower lifetime maintenance costs of EVs and the strides being made in making electricity cheaper, combined, make up for the higher purchase price of EVs and even make them cheaper in the long run.

For the survey, Consumer Reports collected primary data through annual reliability surveys in 2019 and 2020. Among the primary data collected was estimates of total automotive repair and maintenance costs, and total mileage over the last year. Vehicles that were driven less than 3,200km or more than 96,560km, more than 322,000km in total on the odometer, or over $20,000 in maintenance costs were all ruled out of consideration.

Consumer Reports findings revealed that for the first 50,000 miles driven, the maintenance/repair costs for BEVs is just $0.012 per mile, whereas it’s $0.021 per mile for PHEVs, and $0.028 for ICE-powered vehicles. Average maintenance costs over the total lifespan were found to be $0.031 per mile for BEVs, $0.030 for PHEVs, and $0.061 for ICE.

Maintenance costs for EVs are definitively lower than those for ICE vehicles, and so are fuel costs — on average you save $790 on fuel over 24,000km with a BEV versus if you had an ICE vehicle. EV manufacturers also offer a plethora of different perks to those willing to convert.

CR estimates that if you’re buying an EV with a similar acceleration to an ICE vehicle, you will, on average, save $10,000 over your total time with the vehicle as its first owner. Lifetime savings on the same car will be anywhere between $16,000 to $23,000.

That being the case, CR also went on to conclude that buying a pre-owned Electric Vehicle, if one can get past the lack of those in the auto market, instead of a pre-owned ICE vehicle will result in two to three times the savings of buying a new EV instead of a new ICE vehicle.

“The future of cars can and will be electric if the entire industry starts making and marketing compelling EVs for everyone. And that’s a future consumers are getting a glimpse of today,” said David Friedman, VP of Advocacy at Consumer Reports.

Ask any Tesla owner about their gas and maintenance savings and you’ll know all about the differences versus a traditional ICE cars.

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