A new study by AAA's national office concludes that compared to compact and midsize cars and SUVs, electric cars have a dramatically higher cost of ownership. Unlike many affordability studies that look at just the cost of certain aspects of ownership, the AAA study takes into account maintenance, consumable items like tires, insurance, initial price, depreciation, and the cost to fuel or charge a vehicle.
The study by AAA concludes that electric vehicles have a higher cost of ownership than compact sedans, hybrids, crossovers, and midsize sedans powered by gasoline. Torque News has covered the individual aspects of electric vehicle ownership, and our conclusions have always come out the same way.
Depreciation is the biggest hit to electric vehicles. Every car has its own market value, but electric vehicles, in general, have terrible depreciation. They lose value for many reasons, including, ironically, tax deductions and state incentives. In 2014, NADA reported that the Toyota Prius had a 42% better value retention than the Nissan Leaf.
Another misconception is that electric vehicles have a dramatically-lower cost for maintenance. AAA found that electric vehicles cost $ 982 per year to maintain, compared with all vehicle types' average of $1,186 per year. Which EV you choose has a big difference here. The BMW i3 includes three years of maintenance. The Tesla Model 3 costs $1,550 over that same period and that does not include tires. That makes the Tesla Model 3 one of the costliest vehicles in American to maintain. What does it cost for the annual maintenance on an affordable, proven EV like a Nissan Leaf? See our attached video below for the answer.
Finally, fuel costs are low in America right now and in many places EVs are popular, electricity is expensive. Electric vehicle owners often include huge savings for fuel in their budgets, but the reality is that gasoline-powered green cars can match, or even beat EVs' cost per mile for power.