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Are Electric Cars Cheaper to Run? Pros and Cons

We all know how popular the gasoline engine is but with a new breed of alternatively powered vehicles being offered to us we are finding it hard to shift from what we know best. We all know that the fuel that runs our cars is bad for the environment and will one day run out so a shift to electric vehicles — otherwise known as EV — is something being pushed to us by our governments and the big automakers.

We are told that these are friendlier to the environment and that they are cheaper to run. The first fact is true for the most part but the second we are not so sure off. The fact that they are cleaner for the environment is correct in the end result — that means that when we get them and driving them around. But what about the manufacturing process — the batteries alone are not that friendly when they are produced and neither are the manufacturing plants where these EVs are made.

The understanding that these greener vehicles are cheaper to run is flawed as well; yes they can be cheaper to run — only in the long term. Take the Chevy Volt for instance; the new electric car will have a higher price tag, as we have to pay for the privilege of this new technology.

I would estimate that it would take you about ten years or sooner to get your money back from the high premium that you paid to purchase the vehicle. Please do not hold be to that statement, this is only a rough guess on how much you pay for the vehicle and how much you will save over time. Although I would like to point out that you will make a greater saving on an EV than you would a Hybrid — although the former does not have the range like the hybrid does.

However, do not let that put you off, as the price of an EV will come down over time. We are still dependant on gasoline and it is the mass production of these engines that help to keep these prices down. As the likes of Ford, GM, Nissan and others work hard over the next few years we can see other car makers following — this in turn will lead to greater production of the electric vehicle and could then start to push their prices down.

Written by Peter Chubb

Peter has been writing on Product-Reviews since 2007 and in that time much has changed for him, like his hair having more grey than brown now. He loves gadgets and cars, and gets excited when big events come up, such as CES and the big auto shows.

Contact Peter Chubb: peter@product-reviews.net

He started out working in a factory and dreamed of the day when he could become his own boss; That happened back in 2002 and he has never looked back since. Things have changed so much on the Internet in that time, but he has adapted well.

Contact Peter Chubb: peter@product-reviews.net

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Sam McWilliamPaul ScottLee BTom G.Ken Recent comment authors
Tom G.
Tom G.

Right on Sam – good post. I often wonder why things like our blog entries never seem to make it to the news outlets or if they do, they seem to fall on mostly deaf ears. Makes we wonder – are the American people even aware of what is coming at them like a freight train? It seems to me the American people are totally unaware. IF or when Cap & Trade/Tax passes, do they realize that electric rates will go up 50%? Are people preparing for this? If 'peak oil' is true; and it could be; do the American… Read more »

Sam McWilliam

Cost of upkeep is very important. The EV wins convincingly. No lubes , no tune-ups.etc.
Plus, we have enough capacity on the grid for all the electric vehicles we can sell in
the near future. Re-charging can be done at non-peak hours to use excess capacity.

Tom G.
Tom G.

Hi Lee B: You make some good points and yes the cost of electricity is going to go up. Also some additional electrical grids work will be needed but not for several years except for certain areas of the country. Most electric ONLY vehicles or PLUG IN hybrid vehicles will be charged at night. Using the excess nighttime capacity we have should allow us to use our existing electrical grid for several years. And yes, there are several areas of the country were grid upgrades are being done now because of a lack of capacity. About coal. If you live… Read more »

Lee B
Lee B

What about the cost of the eletric and the all the new eletric grids they are going to have to build. we have black outs in summer time because of to much eletric use. That will drive cost up and how much more coal are they going to use to make more power. we are going to take a 1000 mile trip how long will that take stopping to charge every couple of hundred miles. All the car companys need to come together with combinded together and come up with a better. hybrid and eletric are just bandaids

Tom G.
Tom G.

When I first read the title of this article I though o.k. here we go; another negative review of electric vehicles. Sure glad I was wrong since it is well written and touches on some of the problems we are going face in the near future. Electric vehicles have been around for a long time but we just haven't been building them. J. Leno has one from the early 1900's I think. GM built the EV-1 in the 80's if I remember correctly and then of course scrapped it. We haven't been building electric vehicle lately because oil is so… Read more »

Ken
Ken

Why are all the car companies shying away from telling you what the cost is to recharge these vehicles after every use? If electricity is expensive in your area now, the cost could be substantial. If more electric vehicles are produced, that means more charges, subsequently more electricity used, which brings us back to burning oil ! Beware of the lack of operating cost info. We all can get 600 miles between fillups, just put in a larger fuel tank, detroit and Europe are doing it now, and claiming their cars can now go further ! They can, but at… Read more »

Roy Wilson
Roy Wilson

Sorry, but there is no way that an EV is cheaper to run in the long run – at least at this stage of development. The thing that most people overlook is the actual cost of that high price tag. For example, the extra initial cost leads to higher depreciation, sales taxes, insurance, license fees, etc., and that doesn't include the looming increase in "road fees" to replace the $70 Billion the government now collects in gasoline taxes. Another cost that EVERYONE overlooks is the "opportunity cost" of the extra up-front cost. That extra $10,000 could be earning income (or… Read more »

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