Electric vs. Gas Car: Which is Cheaper to Own?

Last Updated by Neiko Johnson on 
July 22, 2021
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Electric vs. Gas Car Which is Cheaper to Own

Are you interested in learning the differences between an electric vs. gas car?

We're sure you're hearing a lot in the news about the move to electric vehicles and climate change.

We made the transition to electric cars in 2018 and haven't looked back.

However, the real question most people want to know is, which is cheaper to own?

We will use data and simple math to try and answer this complicated question.

Regardless of the type of vehicle you own or are looking to purchase, there are several costs associated with car ownership.

Most importantly, you must understand the key differences when considering purchasing a new car and if you are looking at an electric vehicle.

There are different costs of an electric vs. gas car and can lead to your budget changing a little bit.

Currently, electric cars make up only about 2% of global car sales. However, this is expected to increase with more than 50% of new car sales being electric.

We were not shocked when we read this news.

So, let's talk about which option is actually cheaper.

Electric vs. gas car pricing

First off, most electric cars are more expensive than gas cars. However, that's mostly because automakers haven't fully invested in them yet and are still working on their plans to shift to electric.

The transition to electric cars is slowly coming around but there are only a few models on the market today.

Important to note, more automakers are deciding to make their fleet all-electric soon. Electric vehicles (EVs) are coming and will change the landscape of the auto industry.

The average cost of an electric vehicle is around $40,000, according to Kelley Blue Book. In comparison, the average cost of a gas car is around $20,000.

Certainly, there are high-priced EVs such as Tesla, that cost over $100,000.

Above all, you can save money when purchasing an EV by taking advantage of available incentives. You can receive a tax credit and even rebates in some situations.

Electric vs. gas car power bill

The main thing most people get confused about when it comes to EVs is how do they charge. In fact, there are associated costs with charging EVs the same way gas cars have to visit the gas station.

However, the costs are lower for EVs. On the other hand, you will spend more time charging your vehicle.

The charging networks are expanding rapidly in the United States and there are chargers around most cities.

We own two EVs and mainly charge at home. However, we have plenty of options to charge around the city if needed.

Currently, we charge each car 2-3 times a week. Charging at home increased our electric bill by about $15 a month. Roughly, it takes about 2-3 hours to charge at home.

The chargers around the city will charge EVs a lot faster than a home charger. Most chargers around the city cost money, but there are many free options at shopping centers, colleges, and university campuses. Roughly, a 30-minute charge will cost about $5.


In the long run, the maintenance of an electric vs. gas car is where you will find the biggest difference.

EVs don't have the routine oil and fluid changes like a gas car. There are no gasket leaks, oil changes, fuel pumps, etc.

However, not all maintenance is removed with an EV. You will still have your windshield wiper fluid, tire rotation, and alignment to take care of.

Most importantly, your routine maintenance costs will decrease dramatically and save you money and time.

Electric vs. gas car: final words

Certainly, moving to EVs will take some time. Change is always difficult when it's this drastic. There are environmental impacts to consider when thinking about an electric vs. gas car.

Most people who make the change to electric cars are doing it to help climate change and save money. Climate change is a big issue in the world today and electrification will help accelerate addressing the issue.

There are technology advancements that will help address the concerns most people have with the batteries in EVs. Many of the arguments people make about EVs are false.

Some people think EVs are bad for the environment, however, they will help change our environment.

When you compare the costs of owning an electric vs. gas car, you will save more money due less frequent maintenance. Also, you will never have to visit the gas station again!

Research has shown that EV owners pay about half as much to maintain and repair their cars as people with gas vehicles.

One thing to note, the electric vehicle experience is different for everyone. You may have higher electricity rates in your area than someone else or live in a colder state, which impacts your vehicle efficiency.

Nonetheless, you shouldn't be discouraged by a higher vehicle price tag of an EV since you can potentially receive tax credits and rebates.

Also, the cost of ownership savings will help offset the differences and help the environment along the way.

Automakers are rushing to decrease the price of electric vehicles so more people are interested.

Have you considered purchasing an electric vehicle? Why or why not?

Article written by Neiko Johnson
Neiko is a personal finance expert and Co-founder of Secret to Finance. Along with his wife Alexis, they learned how to get out of debt and paid off $400,000 in 4 years.

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