One research report from Consumer Reports and a Ph.D. thesis from the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, in Stockholm, Sweden both show you should not only look at the cost of buying the car, but how much it costs to own.
Electric vehicles have lower fuel costs and lower maintenance costs than gas cars, which plays a big part in driving down the total cost of ownership.
Most consumers only look at the cost of buying the car; only four percent calculates the total cost of ownership, according to Jens Hagman at KTH.
On average an electric vehicle has a ten percent lower cost of ownership, according to Hagman.
Consumer Report has compared best-selling gas cars to a comparable electric vehicle.
The analysis found lifetime ownership costs for the most popular EVs on the market under $50,000 are typically $6,000 to $10,000 less than the best gas-powered vehicles in their class. Tesla's Model 3, the best selling EV on the market, delivered the biggest savings: at least $15,000 compared to both the BMW 330i (best selling) and Audi A4 (top rated).
A Tesla Model 3 or Y gives the largest lifetime savings, but other brands also offer significant savings. A Nissan Leaf or Chevy Bolt owner saves $6,000 compared to if the bought a Honda Civic Hatchback. If you buy a Ford Mustang E-mach instead of a Toyota RAV-4 you save $3,000 over its lifetime.