A gray 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is shown parked off-road.

Plugging In: How Electric Vehicles Save You Money

In recent decades, the thought of an electric vehicle seemed far-fetched. Today, however, many automakers have set their sights on a full lineup of electric vehicles. You might be surprised to learn that this curious concept dates back to the 1830s when a Scotsman invented a carriage powered by galvanized batteries, causing many people to double-take and wonder where the horses were when it rolled by. In 1888, an electric carriage utilizing rechargeable batteries was featured in a parade in Des Moines, Iowa; this carriage had four-wheel drive and traveled at 20 mph, needing to be recharged every 50 miles.

Today, electric vehicles (EVs) are getting more attention than ever as an alternative to traditional gas-powered vehicles. Among the benefits of EVs is that they’re thought to be more sustainable and better for the environment—but there are many more benefits you might not be aware of. The higher initial investment of an EV may deter some people before they’d learn that an EV, over time, costs less to fuel and maintain than a gas-powered vehicle. Read on to learn how EVs will save you money, and become familiar enough to start a dialogue with your local EV dealer.

A 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E is shown parked at an EV dealer.

A Closer Look at the Efficiency of Today’s EVs

There are various ways that electric vehicles save you money, but you might not have taken the time to consider each one. As moving from gas-powered to electric requires a shift in thinking, this thought experiment might seem overwhelming to many. If you’re curious to know how the savings stack up, consider the following…

Fuel Cost Savings

One of the most obvious benefits of electric vehicles is the cost savings on fuel compared to gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. Electric vehicles are powered by electricity, which, on a mile-by-mile basis, is typically more cost-effective than fossil fuels. The cost of charging an EV can be considerably lower than the cost of refueling a conventional car, which can result in significant savings over the long term.

The price of electricity in your area will determine the exact amount of money you will save. However, research has shown that the cost per mile of operating an electric vehicle is significantly cheaper than the cost of operating a conventional vehicle powered by gasoline. In fact, EV drivers have been shown to spend up to 60% less on fuel than those driving conventional vehicles.

Decreased Maintenance and Operating Costs

EVs have a simpler mechanical design than traditional vehicles, with fewer moving parts and no internal combustion engine. Because of its inherent simplicity, this system will require less upkeep over time; this results in fewer and lower maintenance costs for drivers of EVs.

With an electric vehicle, you won’t have to worry about changing the oil, replacing the air filter, or maintaining the transmission. In addition, electric vehicles typically feature regenerative braking systems, which reduce the wear on brake pads, extending the pads’ usefulness. EV owners can save money on maintenance and repairs because fewer components in their vehicles are susceptible to wear and tear.

Additionally, operating costs are lower because electric motors are more energy-efficient than internal combustion engines. Electric motors transfer a greater percentage of the energy stored in the battery into motion for the vehicle. Because of this higher efficiency, electric vehicles are able to drive further on a single unit of energy, which results in reduced running costs. EV drivers also have an advantage in forecasting and allocating funds for their transportation costs because electricity is typically more consistent in price than gasoline.

You can save even more money on your overall charging costs by charging your vehicle when power rates are lower (for example, at night) to take advantage of greater savings. This allows you to optimize your refueling budget and reduce the impact on your electric provider by charging your vehicle during off-peak hours.

A red and white 2023 Volkswage ID.4 Pro Plus is shown parked near a shop.

Financial Incentives

Financial incentives, such as tax deductions and rebates, are a big perk for drivers. To jumpstart the move toward electric vehicles, the federal government—as well as several state governments—has been providing tax deductions and rebates to purchasers and owners of electric vehicles. These incentives can take the shape of tax credits, refunds, grants, or exemptions from certain fees or taxes.

This benefit helps EV owners lower the initial cost of purchasing an electric vehicle, making the possibility of owning one more accessible for a wider range of drivers. According to the IRS, EV drivers can qualify for a credit of up to $7,500 with the purchase of a new, qualified plug-in or fuel-cell electric vehicle.

Decreased Depreciation

Despite the fact that the initial expense of buying an EV may be higher, studies have shown that electric vehicles typically have higher resale values in the long run when compared to conventional vehicles. The market value of used EVs is expected to stay reasonably high as the demand for them increases and technology progresses.

This indicates that you may be able to reclaim a larger amount of your initial investment in your electric vehicle when the time comes to sell or trade it in. When deciding which EV model to buy, it is critical to consider the anticipated depreciation rate and the vehicle’s worth once it is sold.

Which EVs Should You Consider?

There are more EVs than ever to choose from, with some automakers exploring a future that consists of only electric vehicles in their lineup. EVs to consider purchasing include the following…

Volkswagen ID.4

This electric SUV option offers a few different motors, with its all-wheel drive model cruising for 295 miles per charge. The base trim has a smaller battery but still offers 208 miles per charge. The Volkswagen ID.4’s highest trim gives you a sense of luxury with heated front and rear seats, a tri-zone climate system, 20-inch wheels, and more. There is also generous cargo space in the back, with room for eight carry-ons with all the seats up.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

This EV is fun to drive, with responsive handling and a quick start. It also offers the backing of a Hyundai warranty, which is five years/60,000 miles basic, ten years/100,000 miles powertrain. The Ioniq 5 is one of the first EVs to be listed on Car and Driver’s 10 Best Trucks and SUVs list. This model gives you a range of 220 miles when choosing the single-motor option or up to 266 miles when opting for an all-wheel drive dual-motor. Additionally, the Ioniq 5 offers plenty of room for passengers and is considered one of the fastest-charging SUVs available.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

This zippy option from one of the most tenured automakers is a great option for an electric vehicle. The Mustang Mach-E is at the head of its class regarding technology, with hands-free driving options and a customizable ride experience. You can even sync your phone to your car to monitor charging, unlock or lock the vehicle, and more. Even better? There’s plenty of room for five people. As far as range capabilities, the Mach-E Select gives you 250 miles on a single charge.

A gray 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is shown driving on a road.

Consider an EV When Shopping for Your Next Vehicle

Although it could appear to be an overwhelming expense initially, buying an electric vehicle can result in significant savings throughout ownership. It is essential to remember that the extent to which you will save money on operating costs may change based on factors such as your geographic location, the cost of energy in your area, the way you typically travel, and the particular model you decide to purchase.

One thing is for sure, though, when you opt for an EV: you save money, and you contribute to a more eco-friendly and sustainable future.