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Are Electric Cars Really Worth It?

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Tips

Electric cars almost seem like they are out of a fictional world. You get up to go to work, unplug your car, and off you go. Thanks to recent technological advances, electric cars are no longer just a thing of fiction. There are thousands of people charging their cars just like they do their phones. While electric cars definitely have their pros, are they really worth all of their hype and anticipation? That is yet to be determined.

Will I really save money?

The biggest draw to electric cars for most people is the financial benefits. If you don’t have to pay for gas you will undoubtedly save money, right? Well, not necessarily. Currently, the two main electric vehicles on the market are the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. The Leaf costs about $35,000 and the Volt about $40,000. That is not chump change. If you are considering another car in the same price range, then yes, you should go electric. But if you are just looking to save money, there are some great cars on the market today that get decent gas mileage and come in under $20,000.

To see if the electric car is cost efficient for you, you need to calculate how much driving you actually do. So let’s just consider a $15,000 retail price difference to see how it adds up. If you drove an average of 15,000 miles per year, getting an average of 30 miles per gallon (at $4/gallon) in your traditional gasoline vehicle, you would need to own your electric vehicle for 7-1/2 years to break even. And that does not even take into account the increase in your energy bill for charging your car.

How far can I drive?

Even if you drive a crazy amount of miles and you plan on owning your car for seven or more years, there is another factor to consider: How far do you need to drive on any one occasion? The Leaf is an all-electric vehicle that will only take you about 100 miles on a charge. That can make it very hard to do much of anything except go to and from work. The Volt does offer a back-up tank just in case you run out of energy, but if you plan on using that a lot you may as well just buy a traditional gasoline vehicle.

So is it worth it?

It depends. If you are looking for a way to save money, an electric car is probably not your best choice. However, if you want an extra commuter car that will be better for the planet, then absolutely! An electric car is the perfect option.


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