How Much Does an Electric Car Cost?


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Jul 11, 2023

How Much Does an Electric Car Cost?

We provide a breakdown of some of the most common costs associated with EVs. Since the first electric cars became available to the general public over a decade ago, the number of consumers buying EVs

We provide a breakdown of some of the most common costs associated with EVs.

Since the first electric cars became available to the general public over a decade ago, the number of consumers buying EVs has increased drastically. Electric vehicles, including hybrids and plug-ins, accounted for 10% of automobiles sold in 2022. As manufacturers continue to offer more mileage and faster charging options with zero emissions, the popularity of electric vehicles continues to rise.

To find the true cost of owning an electric vehicle, you'll need to consider several factors, including sticker price, maintenance and repairs, insurance, and the cost of charging your EV. If you're thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle or just want to learn more as you consider your options, understanding the costs involved in running an EV can help you make an informed decision.

How Much Does an Electric Car Cost?

Electric cars range in price depending on the size of the vehicle's battery, the motor's abilities to power the vehicle and increase range, the vehicle's charging capabilities, and any additions like infotainment or interior and exterior features. Here's a look at some of the main factors that affect the overall costs of owning or leasing an electric car:

Depending on the make and model you want to drive, electric cars typically come with a higher price tag than gas-powered vehicles. However, some compact electric vehicles with adequate range for city driving or small commutes typically retail for a lower sticker price than many gas-powered SUVs or mid-size sedans.

Compared with gasoline-powered automobiles, electric vehicles typically require less maintenance, erasing the cost of oil changes every three to five thousand miles. Electric parts are often more expensive to replace or fix in the event of an accident or vehicle malfunction, but the lithium-ion battery is typically covered for 10 years. Like gas-powered vehicles, electric cars also require new tires after normal wear.

It's also worth noting that the cost of insurance differs between an EV and a gasoline-powered vehicle. On average, EVs cost more to insure, due to their unique structure and higher cost for repairs in the event of an accident. With an average premium of $2,280 per year, accounting for the increased cost of insurance is another important factor in your monthly payments and overall cost as an EV owner.

Costs of Powering an Electric Vehicle

What makes EVs so attractive to drivers outside of the eco-friendly emissions is the ability to power a vehicle solely on electric battery power. Electric vehicles run on the energy generated by an electric motor, which is measured in kilowatts. Higher kilowatt outputs equal more power to accelerate and sustain the EV.

Similar to the concept of an internal combustion engine, the more power you feed your car, the more speed and handling you get from the vehicle. Instead of looking for a more powerful engine fueled by gasoline, EVs carry power based on the vehicle's battery capacity in kilowatt-hours (kWh), which tells you how much energy a vehicle stores in the battery pack.

Basic Charging Costs

The cost of charging your EV based on kilowatt-hours will also impact the overall price of an electric vehicle. The most expensive charge comes from public fast-charging stations, but if you plan out your charging schedule to regularly recharge at your home, you'll incur minimal energy costs.

You can get an idea of the true cost of running an EV based on how much it costs to recharge the battery. For example, using a typical 120-volt outlet (the same one you'd use to plug in your toaster) takes an average of 40-50 hours to fully charge an electric battery at the lowest power level. With the average cost of electricity at 15 cents per kWh, you're still only paying $7.50 max to charge your vehicle.

Most EVs offer a level 2 charging adapter you can outfit for your house. These typically run 240 volts, channeling more charging power to the battery. Level 2 charges refill your battery power in an average of 4-10 hours, taking your costs down to $1.50 or less. Kilowatt-hour rates vary widely by state, but using the national average helps you calculate a rough estimate of how driving an EV adds to your electric bill.

Costs for Fast Charges

As an EV driver, you're likely spending a lot less to power up instead of fueling your car. But pulling into a fast-charging station increases your energy costs.

That's because the convenient fast charge costs more per kilowatt-hour, often double or more than the average price you'd pay at home. For example, EVgo, a nationwide, fast charging station, charges non-members 34 cents per kWh or 29 cents for basic-level members plus fees.

To avoid paying more for a battery recharge, plan to power up overnight, saving fast charges for times when it's absolutely necessary, such as unexpected traffic or during a long road trip.

Here's a look at some of the pricing for popular electric cars in this class:

2022 Jaguar I-Pace: $69,900

Luxurious styling throughout and an all-wheel drive with 394 horsepower make the new I-Pace an exciting electric ride. The I-Pace's attractive infotainment package offers a complimentary 4G data plan, 360-degree camera system, and wireless charging. With a range of 222 miles, the new I-Pace takes less time to fully charge than its previous iteration thanks to an upgraded onboard charger.

2022 Tesla Model S: $96,590

With a 375-mile range, the 2022 Model S comes with semi autonomous driving capabilities and plenty of speed for a luxury sedan. Offering all-wheel drive in all versions of the vehicle, the Model S ranks high for electric efficiency in a luxury EV.

Upgrade to the Plaid Model S trim for extended range and power. At $127,590, Plaid offers plenty of zip with 1020 horsepower, which slightly compromises the range, bringing it down to 348 miles on a single charge, still much higher than many an EV in its class.

Read below to compare prices for compact EVs:

2023 Chevy Bolt: $25,600

The lowest-priced EV on the market, the Chevy Bolt delivers a lot in a little package with a 259-mile range and 200-horsepower motor. The 2LT trim adds about $3,000 to the price tag but comes with a heated steering wheel, heated leather seats, and a 360-degree camera. The Bolt's standard dual-level charging cord powers levels one and two with an available fast charging adapter.

2023 Nissan Leaf: $27,800

One of the first EV options marketed to the general public, the 2023 version of the long-produced Nissan Leaf comes with new exterior styling on the front bumper and grille, upgraded lighting, and multi-spoke wheels. Available in two trims, the S offers a base model with a range of about 212 miles, while the SV plus extends the vehicle's range and adds a larger motor.

2021 BMW i3: $38,600

BMW's stylish EV offers a smooth ride and posh interior styling in a compact vehicle. With a surprising amount of room for cargo, once you fold down the back seat, the i3's rear doors are hinged in the back so there's no center pillar between the doors. The i3 only offers 153 miles of range compared to other compact vehicles, but if all you need is a comfortable commute, this BMW offers a solid choice.

Read below for pricing on various electric Sedan models:

2022 Tesla Model 3: $40,390

A more accessible Tesla model based on the price, the Model 3 combines an extensive range with smooth steering and acceleration. The long-range trim offers even more miles, topping out 358 from a full charge. Tesla's Model 3 also gives you heated front seats, autopilot semi-autonomous driving, and navigation as standard features on any trim level.

2023 Polestar 2: $48,400

A subsidiary of Volvo, the Polestar 2 electric sedan offers 270 miles of range with a convenient power-operated lift gate for cargo. A sleek and minimalist interior provides touchscreen controls and comfortable seating. Choose the dual motor all-wheel-drive option with slightly less range but 476 horsepower for snappier acceleration.

2023 Audi A6 e-tron: $70,800

The sporty A6 e-tron sedan features high-tech options complemented by a powerful all-wheel drive with two motors. With an estimated range of over 226 miles, Audi's newest A6 vehicle also offers 402 horsepower with 490 pound-feet of torque for a sporty ride.

With some of the most popular types of models sold in the U.S. car market, SUVs and crossovers also tend to dominate the electric offerings of vehicle manufacturers. Here's a look at the sticker price for prominent models:

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric: $34,000

An electric version of the popular Kona vehicle, the Kona Electric comes equipped with a 201-horsepower electric motor capable of driving up to 258 miles on a single charge. Exterior features new to the 2022 model include a redesigned front and rear bumper and new wheels, while the interior includes a 10.25-inch digital gauge display. Like all Hyundai vehicles, the standard warranty and complimentary maintenance package are hard to beat.

2023 Volkswagen ID.4: $37,495

After discontinuing the e-Golf, the ID.4 is the newest ID iteration from VW with standard fast charging, lots of cargo space, and an estimated range of 208 miles. With 201 horsepower from its single motor, the American-produced ID.4 VW comes to you from Chattanooga, Tennessee, making it a likely contender for the new tax credit.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5: $39,950

Once a hybrid, the new all-electric, fast charging standard Ioniq 5 offers an adequate 168-hp, single-motor, rear-drive with a range of 220 miles. Opt for the all-wheel drive Ioniq 5 for 320 horsepower and more range, or Ioniq's top-of-the-line trim level, which offers a single motor with 303 miles of range, the highest for a vehicle under $60,000 in its class.

2022 Tesla Model X: $112,590

Tesla's luxury crossover SUV offers standard dual electric motors with 670 horsepower and all-wheel drive. The family-friendly EV packs Falcon-wing rear doors and three rows of seats.

Sleek digital touch displays in the front cabin make this clearly a tech-forward Tesla design in a crossover vehicle. Tesla's Model X travels up to 348 miles on a charge with plenty of acceleration for a run of zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds.

Read below for more about the price and features of electric trucks:

2024 Chevy Silverado EV: $39,900

The electric truck market is just waking up, and lots of models are coming in the near future. Though you'll have to wait a bit for Chevy's take on a battery-powered truck, the new Silverado EV comes loaded with power and features.

With towing capabilities up to 10,000 pounds, the Silverado's dual electric motors offer up to 660 horsepower and standard all-wheel drive. Coincidentally, the Chevy Silverado EV shares an electric powertrain with the new Hummer EV.

2022 GMC Hummer EV³×: $104,650

The revived Hummer turns from mega gas user to EV in a new edition to the emerging electric truck market. With removable roof panels and a four-wheel drive that allows you to steer diagonally, the new Hummer also delivers up to 830 horsepower from its three-motor version. Two dual motor versions of the Hummer EV are set to come out in 2023 and 2024.

Learn more from commonly asked questions and answers about EVs:

What is the cost of electric cars versus hybrid cars?

Generally, hybrid cars cost less than their fully electric counterparts, depending on the make and model. However, some compact EVs like the Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf retail for less than the cost of a hybrid Honda Accord, priced at $30,000. If you're looking for a durable truck option, the Ford Maverick gasoline-electric hybrid with standard 191 horsepower in a compact pickup is a downright bargain at $20,995.

Hybrids can help alleviate some of your gas costs, with plug-in models giving you electric power for more miles. Consider the type of car you want, then price out the advantages of fully electric versus a fuel-saving hybrid model that goes further on a tank of gas.

Deciding whether to buy or lease a car depends on your budget, whether or not you can put money down, and how long you plan to keep the vehicle. Some contracts allow you to buy the car outright at the end of the lease for the value locked in by the lease terms.

The buy-out option gives you the chance to decide if you really like the vehicle or if you want to shop again for a different type of EV. Purchasing the vehicle with a trade-in or down payment may lower your monthly car bill and allow you to drive the EV as long as you want.

Another big advantage of purchasing an EV is the incentives. When you purchase a car, you're guaranteed the full value of any incentives from local or federal tax credits or other incentives from the dealership.

A lease may not include the full value of incentives at the lease owner's discretion. However, if you don't have a trade-in or the amount of cash to defer a loan into reasonable monthly payments, leasing may be the best option.

The EV lease market is strong, with models holding their value and plenty of demand from buyers. Finding the right pre-owned EV may be difficult, as demand is so high, but lots of drivers are also on waiting lists to purchase a new electric vehicle for popular models. Shop diligently through dealerships and private sellers to find the best option for your budget.

Electric car batteries come with a standard warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles. Though the body of the vehicle itself can last for many years beyond that, after so many miles, you may need to replace the battery, just as gas-powered vehicles typically need a new engine over a long lifespan. Some car makers offer a longer warranty lasting 10 years, or in the case of Hyundai, for the vehicle's lifetime.

Consider all the factors affecting the cost of EV driving against your budget. This gives you an idea of the type of EV you can afford, or if you want to go luxury. You might also want to think about energy consumption and mileage.

The more energy an electric car stores, the more power the car can draw from the battery. However, larger motors also eat up more battery power, leading to a shorter range. So, you really need to determine what you want most for your money in an electric vehicle: range or power.

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How Much Does an Electric Car Cost?Cost of Electric Cars Compared to Gas-Powered CarsCosts of Powering an Electric VehicleBasic Charging CostsCosts for Fast ChargesLuxury Electric Car Prices2022 Jaguar I-Pace: $69,9002022 Tesla Model S: $96,590Compact EV Prices2023 Chevy Bolt: $25,6002023 Nissan Leaf: $27,8002021 BMW i3: $38,600EV Sedan Prices2022 Tesla Model 3: $40,3902023 Polestar 2: $48,4002023 Audi A6 e-tron: $70,800Electric SUV and Crossover Pricing2022 Hyundai Kona Electric: $34,0002023 Volkswagen ID.4: $37,4952022 Hyundai Ioniq 5: $39,9502022 Tesla Model X: $112,590Electric Truck Pricing2024 Chevy Silverado EV: $39,9002022 GMC Hummer EV³×: $104,650EV FAQsWhat is the cost of electric cars versus hybrid cars?Is it better to buy or lease an EV?Should I buy a used EV?How long do electric cars last?How do I know which EV to choose?