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Switching from a gasoline-powered vehicle to an EV is better for our air, health and climate.
EVs are also affordable – especially for the people who are driving the most and using the most gasoline.
The cost of electric vehicles continues to drop as the cost of the main component, their battery, continues to plummet with advances in technology.
Use this checklist to help look into the many ways driving an EV instead of a gasoline vehicle can save you money.
- 1. Save Money on Fueling Your EV
- 2. Electric Vehicle Maintenance Cost
- 3. Federal Tax Deduction for Electric Vehicles
- 4. Lower the Cost of Your EV with State and Local EV Incentives
- 5. Lowering The Cost of EVs for Lower-Income Households
- 6. Searching For The Most Affordable EVs
- 7. Lease Deals For Electric Vehicles
- 8. Buying A Used EV Can Lower The Price
Haven’t Yet Made The Switch to An EV?
In addition to the checklist below, our nonprofit's free EV Cost-Savings Calculator can help you learn how much you can save by switching from a gas car to an electric car.
1. Save Money on Fueling Your EV
For most Americans, electricity is significantly cheaper than gasoline – across the country, on average less than half the price.
It’s only going to get cheaper as prices for renewable electricity sources like solar and wind continue to drop.
The fuel cost savings can depend on the size of your vehicle, the length of ownership and where you live. According to this study, Washington state is at the high end of the savings spectrum - up to $14,480 could be saved in fueling costs over the anticipated 15-year lifespan of a vehicle.
Fueling Electric Cars - Cost Per Mile
In many states EV drivers spend 3 to 6 cents per mile on fuel, compared to 10 to 30 cents per mile in a gas car.
This can add up to savings of up to $800 to $1,000 a year or $6,000 - $10,000 over your car’s lifetime!
Check out Coltura's EV cost savings calculator to find out how much you could save by going electric.
Fuel on your own time: at home, at work, or while you sleep and enjoy never having to fill up at a gas station again.
How To Save On The Cost of Charging your EV
Unlike gasoline cars, which can only be fueled at gas stations, EVs can be fueled wherever there’s electricity.
Most people simply plug their vehicle in at night and wake up with a full charge every morning. With today’s typical EV ranges of 200 miles or more, for most people that’s all the charge they need daily.
While EVs can be charged to add 4 to 6 miles of range per hour by plugging in to a regular household wall outlet, many EV drivers opt to install a faster charging station at home. Called a “Level 2” charger, this type uses a 240 volt outlet like the ones that serve most electric clothes dryers. It provides about 25 miles of range per hour of charge – more than enough to completely recharge an EV overnight.
There are many incentives for installing a home EV charger depending on where you live (read more below).
Electricity rates are generally cheaper than using public charging, however you can also find free and inexpensive public charging stations.
Download the Ultimate EV Home Charging Cheat Sheet
We put together this free cheat sheet to help people learn about EV charging and how to purchase the right home charger. Simply enter your email to access the cheat sheet as well as sign up for other EV news and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.
The EV Home Charging Cheat Sheet is brought to you completely free of charge by Coltura, an award-winning nonprofit.
2. Electric Vehicle Maintenance Cost
How Maintaining An EV versus Gas Car Can Save You Money
EV maintenance costs are roughly half those for gas cars. You can expect to save an average of $4,600 in repair and maintenance costs over their lifetime by purchasing an electric car versus a gasoline car.
EVs only have 20 moving parts vs 2,000 parts to break down in a gas-powered car.
One more benefit driving an EV - you’ll never have to make another oil change.
Cost of Replacing Your EV Battery
According to one study, outside of big recalls only 1.5% of EV batteries have been replaced.
Most replacements also occur under warranty. Automakers warrant the EV’s battery for at least 100,000 miles or 8 years.
EV batteries in newer vehicles will likely last much longer. If your EV battery lasts 400,000 miles, it's like getting 2 cars for the price of one, assuming a gas car would last 200,000 miles.
3. Federal Tax Deduction for Electric Vehicles
A Significant Way To Save On Your Electric Car’s Cost
To help with the cost of EVs, the US federal government offers a one-time, nonrefundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for purchasing a new EV. Starting 1/1/2024, eligible buyers of eligible electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids will receive the tax credit at the time of purchase as an “on the hood” discount, rather than having to wait to take the credit at the time of tax filing. Even better, taxpayers who don’t owe enough tax to be offset by the credit will still be eligible for the full $7,500 credit.
The new rules were proposed in October 2023 and are expected to be finalized as they are.
There’s also a new federal tax credit for USED EVs priced up to $25,000, The discount is up to $4,000 or 30% of vehicle cost, whichever is lower.
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit
Another U.S. Federal Tax Credit gives individuals 30% off home charging stations plus installation costs up to $1,000.
You must purchase and install the charging station by December 31, 2032, as well as claim the credit on your federal tax return.
Looking to Save Money on Purchasing or Leasing an EV?
We collected some of the best resources on purchasing or leasing an EV and put them into an easy-to-use cheat sheet.
Simply enter your email to access the Purchasing An EV Cheat Sheet as well as sign up for other EV news and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.
4. Lower the Cost of Your EV with State and Local EV Incentives
How you could multiply your electric car savings
Many states incentivize driving an EV. You may qualify for state tax rebates, special loans, low-cost electricity rates, charging port rebates, and other benefits.
Your local area/city might offer additional incentives.
The federal EV tax credit often stacks with these state and local EV incentives.
There are many great tools to check the incentives where you live. It’s worth investing a little bit of time as some of these incentives can mean thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.
Local Incentives for EV Home Charging
In addition to the federal incentive for purchasing a home EV charger, there are local incentives as well. For example, the Chugach Electric Association in Alaska offers a discount of $200 off your electric bill if you install a Level 2 charger at home.
The California EV Rebate
The standard rebate for most Californians for the purchase or lease of an electric vehicle is $2,000.
The rebate can increase to a total of $7,500 if your household income is less than or equal to 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
Combined with the federal tax deduction of up to $7,500, the cost to purchase an EV could be significantly lower.
Local EV Incentives in California
On top of state-wide incentives, there are also local incentives. For example, San Mateo county offers up to a $4,000 rebate for purchasing a used EV.
With the Pre-Owned Vehicle Rebate Program, customers of Southern California Edison (SCE) could qualify for up to a $4,000 rebate on used EVs.
Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) could provide up to $2,500 in financial incentives for income-eligible PG&E customers.
Discounts on tolls, special loans, low-cost home charging rates, electric utilities incentives and more could also be available depending on where you live in California.
“Time is Money”
Some areas allow EV drivers to use the HOV lane, saving you time.
Check Your State and Local EV Incentives
You can head directly to the Department of Energy and look up incentives state by state.
Or by adding your location on Plugstar.
5. Lowering The Cost of EVs for Lower-Income Households
Depending on your household income, you might be eligible for even more incentives.
Use the tools in the section above to check out incentives in your location. You might find additional incentives based on income level such as Oregon’s recent up to $7,500 cash rebate for low- and moderate-income households.
Help In California For Making Electric Vehicles More Affordable
The Clean Vehicle EV rebate in California can increase by an additional $5,500 for low and moderate income Californians.
California also offers income-qualified drivers loans and grants from the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program.
Cities and areas can offer additional incentives too. For example, low income residents in the California Bay Area may also be eligible for funding to replace older polluting cars with clean electric vehicles.
6. Searching for the Most Affordable EVs
EV prices are falling. Many electric vehicles cost less than the average, including the Nissan Leaf ($28k), Mini Cooper SE (30k), Mazda MX-30 (33,500), Chevy Bolt EV ($26,500), Hyundai Kona Electric SUV ($33,550). A Chinese EV is available for order online for just $1,200.
Keep in mind that different incentives only apply to certain vehicles. When calculating the total price of your EV, ensure you also apply the incentives that you and your vehicle are eligible to include.
7. Lease Deals For Electric Vehicles
EV leases in some states can be found for as little as $10 per day.
While leases are not eligible for some EV incentives such as the federal tax credit, dealerships can pass on those savings. Ensure your dealership is passing these savings on to you by asking for an itemized price.
Thank you for considering an EV!
You now have plenty of great resources on how you can save money on making the switch to an EV from a gas vehicle.
In addition to being affordable, driving an EV is also better for our health and climate. This is why many of the EV incentives exist. It’s also why we, as a nonprofit, care so much about making sure consumers like you are well informed about the many benefits of EVs - including their lifetime cost.
Please share this checklist with family and friends thinking about a vehicle change. You could be doing their wallet, health, and our climate a favor.
We hope the EV Cost-savings Checklist has been helpful for you
If you have benefited from it, we invite you to consider supporting our efforts to move the country beyond gasoline, by donating to Coltura.