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What’s the real cost of owning and operating an electric vehicle?

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 8:06 PM CDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - Gas prices are ticking up again and with little hope for relief in sight, some of you may be considering making the switch to electric vehicles.

Going electric may seem like the next logical step with local gas prices well above $4 a gallon.

But experts said you may want to pump the brakes and make sure you understand all the cost involved with owning and operating an EV.

Before you head out and purchase that new electric vehicle, Edgar Barron, with Long-Lewis Ford said there may be a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

“On the average, your electric vehicle is going to cost you a little more compared to a gas vehicle,” Barron said.

He said the average new electric vehicle will run you somewhere in the $60, 000 to $70,000 range.

That’s about $30,000 more than a regular 4-door sedan.

“You’re talking about a lot of electronic components, batteries along those lines. Prices are starting to come down on some of the smaller electronic vehicles, but still on the average comparing a small EV to a normal car, gasoline powered car it’s going to run you a little bit more for sure,” Barron explained.

It’s unclear how often you’ll need to change the battery in an EV, but mechanics recommend getting a new battery for your gasoline powered car about every five years or so.

Those can run you about $300.

But for an electric vehicle…

“You’re looking at anywhere from $10,000 and way up because prices for rechargeable batteries are really expensive,” Barron said.

But in the long run, Barron said you’ll save money on repairs with an EV because you won’t have to worry about oil changes and getting up tune ups as often.

You’ll still have to maintain your brakes, tires and other fluids, though.

But there’s one more thing you may not have considered.

“Insurance. Insurance on an electric vehicle is costly. You’re basically driving a large PC around with an electric motor. So, if anything goes wrong with your electric vehicle…programming issue, modules can go bad, if the electric motor goes bad, your batteries fail, all those are expensive repairs,” Barron explained.

And what if you’re planning a long trip?

Barron said the average EV can go about 250 miles on a charge, but you’ll have to wait a couple of hours to fully recharge, so you’ll want to factor that in on a road trip.

But Barron said the overall experience of driving an EV is pretty cool and may be worth all the added costs.

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