There are tons of consumer benefits to driving electric! We'll go through the top ones here.
Electric cars, or "EVs," are a great product for today's drivers. They're fun to drive, with instant torque, and much quieter than gas-powered cars. In addition, most models feature very advanced technology for safety, efficiency, and comfort. Read what current electric car drivers have to say about their vehicles here.
It is cheaper to drive a mile on electricity than it is to drive a mile on gasoline and electricity prices are much less volatile than gas prices. Though your electricity costs will go up if you're charging your electric vehicle (EV) at home, your gas costs will go down by more (check out our math). The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that EV fuel savings amount, on average, to $770/year.
Ultimately, the cost of driving an electric car for you will depend on (a) your electricity costs and (b) how much power your car uses, which will depend on a couple of things:
Some electric cars take you further on a kilowatt-hour (kWh) than others. The range from highest to lowest is not as wide as we see for gasoline-powered cars (i.e. the difference between a Prius and a Hummer).
More miles, more power required!
Driving fast will create more friction and that will increase your electricity usage, just as with a gasoline car. Using regenerative breaking or your electric car's eco-mode will increase the number of miles you get per kilowatt-hour.
To do the math yourself, we recommend the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center Vehicle Cost Calculator.
Electric cars require much less service than gas-powered cars, so switching from a gas guzzler to an EV offers significant savings in service. Electric motors do not require any regular maintenance. For pure electric vehicles, gone is the need for oil changes and maintenance of things like spark plugs, timing belts, or any of the other hundreds of moving parts of an internal combustion engine. Electric vehicles do require the replacement of worn out tires and brake pads, but you can expect brake pads to last much longer than on a comparable gas-powered car, thanks to regenerative braking.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists' 2017 Going from Pump to Plug report, maintenance of a Chevrolet Sonic will cost about $1,500 more than maintenance of a Chevrolet Bolt. The American Automobile Association estimated that the average electric car will save $2,100 compared to a similar-sized gas-powered car when driven 150,000 miles.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles require more maintenance than pure electric vehicles because they do still have an internal combustion engine. However, they are still cheaper to maintain than gas-powered cars because they are more efficient and use technologies like regenerative braking that minimize wear and tear of the system.
Learn more about EV maintenance on the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center's EV maintenance page.