Electric cars are more expensive to buy, but cheaper to service than gas-powered competitors
Electric carscost 31% less to service over the first three years than gas cars, a new study says.
- Electric cars had both lower maintenance and repair costs, according to We Predict.
Upfront, electric cars tend to cost more than gas-fueled vehicles. But they'll save you money on maintenance in the long run.
That's according to a study out Thursday from We Predict, a predictive analytics firm. The company found
We Predict's study contributes to a growing body of research confirming that battery-powered vehicles are cheaper to own than ones that run on fossil fuels. EVs have fewer moving parts that can go bad and don't need some of the routine maintenance required of conventional cars, like oil changes.
The firm analyzed the money manufacturers and owners spent to service more than 13 million 2018-model-year vehicles over their first three years on the road. Service costs included repairs, maintenance, diagnostics, software updates, and recalls. It found that although EVs were more expensive to service early on, by the three-year mark, they became more economical.
After three years, average service costs for gas cars totaled $749. For electric cars, it was $514, 31% less. Higher labor and diagnostic costs for EVs help account for elevated service costs in the first year, Renee Stephens, We Predict's vice president of North American operations, told Insider.
We Predict chalks up the disparity in service costs mainly to lower maintenance costs for EVs. In the first three years of ownership, gas cars needed $228 in maintenance on average, compared with just $77 for electrics. Repair bills were also 22% lower for EVs.
We Predict said that total three-year service outlays for EVs ranged from $202 to $2,247, with the top performers being the Honda Clarity, Chevrolet Bolt, and Volkswagen e-Golf.
The analysis echoes findings from other recent studies, including a June report from the US Department of Energy. That study found that EVs cost 6.1 cents per mile to maintain, compared to 10.1 cents per mile for combustion-engine vehicles.
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