Posted on August 30, 2018 by Matt Pressman
Sure, charging a Tesla is cheaper than filling the gas tank of a BMW. However, that savings can vary depending on where you live. Jim Gorzelany (via Forbes) reports, "Just as the price of gasoline varies from one part of the country to another, so too does the cost of running an electric vehicle."
Above: Tesla's Model S (Image: Tesla)
It turns out that Crescent Electric recently conducted a study of electricity costs in the 52 largest cities in the United States. So where is it least expensive (based on the typical daily commute) to drive an electric car? According to the study, here are the top five cheapest cities to drive an electric car...
1. New Orleans, LA: $54.03/year
2. Salt Lake City, UT: $59.47/year
3. Louisville, KY: $60.70/year
4. Seattle, WA: $61.50/year
5. Cincinnati, OH: $64.00/year
Gorzelany notes that "the above estimates are limited to an average resident’s daily commute, which can vary by city. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation it’s a national average 15 miles each way. Those estimates don’t include weekend driving, running after-work errands, and such, so the aggregate savings of owning an EV can be greater depending how much it's driven."
Above: According to the study, New York City is the costliest city to drive to work each day for EV drivers, at an average $157.16/year (Image: Teslamondo)
In contrast, paying a hefty price for fossil fuels at the Shell station can hurt. Compare that with an inexpensive infusion of electrons at the EV charger. Many Tesla owners actually get free lifetime supercharging. And this trend holds true with other EV vs. gas guzzler comparisons. Gorzelany compared an all-electric Chevy Bolt with an all-gas Toyota Corolla using the EPA's fuel cost calculator. Sure enough, the Bolt was estimated to save about $4,000 over a five-year ownership period when compared to the Corolla.
And, it's not just gas costs that can save you cash as an electric vehicle owner. Gorzelany says, "Electric cars can further save an owner money with lower maintenance costs. Driving an electric car means being able to avoid oil changes, cooling system flushes, transmission servicing and replacing the air filter, spark plugs, and drive belts. Regular service visits are typically limited to rotating the tires and checking brake pads and other components."
And then there's the "$7,500 federal tax credit [which] remains in place to help sweeten the deal for EV buyers... However, because these credits are limited to a set number of units sold per automaker, they’ll begin phasing out this year" for models sold by Chevrolet and Tesla. So if you're interested in the best-selling electric cars (see below), it's best you snap one up soon.
Above: The top 5 best-selling pure electrics in the U.S. as of July 2018, ranked according to numbers from InsideEVs (Youtube: Roadshow)
Regardless, whenever you get your first electric car, you probably won't miss that ATM-like feeling at the gas pump. Sliding in your credit card before you pump gas can leave you feeling queazy. After all, that regular trip to the gas station allows Big Oil to drain your bank account every week. Save that money by driving electric instead. Your wallet will thank you.