The Hidden Costs of Owning an Electric Vehicle
It's obvious lately that TV channels, even the internet, are flooded with ads pushing electric vehicles. Here are some of the costs unique to that type of car (or truck).
Hidden costs not found in gas-powered vehicles
In an article published June 29, 2023, Kelly Blue Book took a look at EV-only 'hidden' costs, ones not found with what they refer to as ICEs or internal combustion engine vehicles.
Due to deep cuts made especially by Tesla, KBB says EV vehicle prices have "tumbled" since the beginning of 2023. KBB says according to Cox Automotive the average price of a new gas-powered vehicle is $48,528 in May, compared to $55.488 for an EV. KBB says that's before rebates. If you qualify for the Federal $7,500 rebate, it brings the prices closer. However, not everyone qualifies.
Charging your vehicle
Most public charging stations charge to replenish your battery. KBB says if you search online, you can sometimes locate what is called Level 2 free government charging outlets in your area. But not all communities have them. Edmonds estimates the average home cost to recharge an EV is around $11. Nationally, most charging stations will cost you anywhere from $20 to $40. In some communities, charging stations are in short supply.
Rapid-charging, over time, can shorten the life of battery
Level 2 is rapid charging, Leve 1 chargers are what many EV owners use at home. However, a Level 1 charger can take as much as 36 hours to fully load a battery. Level 2 is much faster, but KBB says repeated rapid charging can noticeably reduce the life of the car's battery.
With rising electricity prices in many states, including Washington, in some areas, plugging in an EV to recharge can significantly raise your power bill.
KBB says according to multiple sources, over time, the battery of an EV will gradually lose its ability to hold a full charge, especially if it's been exposed to repeated rapid-charge usage. The average replacement cost of an EV battery is around $13K. Most EVs come with an 8-year warranty on the battery, CA law requires 10 years or 100K miles. Hot and cold extreme weather can also limit a battery's capabilities. Some studies estimate extreme cold temps below 20 degrees Fahrenheit can reduce battery power by as much as 20 percent.
Insurance premiums and resale value
Because they are more expensive, insurance costs on EVs are higher than on gas-powered vehicles. Also, depending on the model, EVs can depreciate, or lose their resale value, up to twice as fast and twice as much as gas-powered models.
Estimated range of EV? You will probably never achieve what the sticker says
KBB says the mileage range estimates for EVs (as well as gas-powered vehicles) are determined under ideal driving conditions. Flat roads, good weather, etc. Extra luggage and passengers, uphill climbs, poor road conditions and aggressive driving can cut as much as 30 percent or more off the range of an EV.
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