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These EVs are cheaper to own than their gas-powered counterparts
Not buying gas saves you quite a bit of money over the lifetime of a car.
[Photos: Ford, pagadesign/Getty Images, arsa35/iStock/Getty Images Plus]

BY ADELE PETERS2 MINUTE READ
Ford’s new F-150 Lightning—the electric pickup that can double as backup power for your house in a blackout—is 17% more affordable to own than the gas-powered version of the vehicle. That’s according to a new analysis that looks at some of the most popular cars and trucks in the U.S., and then compares the cost to the closest electric equivalent.

“If you’re buying a vehicle, it’s really hard to know what the total cost is going to be over the lifetime of the vehicle,” says Tom Taylor, a policy analyst at Atlas Public Policy, the organization that did the analysis. “So this is part of giving people better data to help people think through that decision. And then also to just challenge a prevailing notion that EVs are more expensive.”

Others had looked at the cost difference between electric and gas vehicles in the past, but this is the first calculation to look at specific models, comparing the costs over an expected eight years of ownership. The gas version of the Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the country, and has been for more than four decades. The F-150 Lightning might become the best-selling EV. (When Ford stopped taking reservations last December as it began production, 200,000 people had signed up.) The base model starts at $39,974, which is around $10,000 more than its gas twin. But the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs brings the cost down. The analysis didn’t look at state incentives, which can help more. In Maine, for example, there’s a $2,000 rebate for electric vehicles, and low-income customers can get a $5,500 rebate.
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The real cost advantage happens over time, since charging the truck costs less than buying gas, and maintenance will also be less expensive because EVs have fewer moving parts. The same is true for other EVs. “The fuel cost is where there are significant savings for EVs,” Taylor says. “It depends a little bit on which vehicle and which class we’re talking about. But if we look at a light-duty sedan, for instance, that’s a very low-cost sedan, and the fueling cost is effectively 50% of the fueling cost for an [internal combustion engine] vehicle. So that’s a really significant savings.” (The calculations assume that someone charges their vehicle at home most of the time, and the public charging costs come from Electrify America data.)

The analysis also compares the Honda CRV, one of the most popular SUVs, to Volkswagen’s electric ID.4. The electric SUV has a total cost of ownership that’s 15% lower. Owning a Tesla Model 3 is nearly 5% less expensive than a similar Lexus. Chevy’s electric Bolt is 6% less expensive than a similar Toyota Corolla. (The cost savings is smaller for the cars because Tesla and Bolt have used up their share of the $7,500 tax credit for EVs.)

The real tipping point for EVs is likely to happen when the initial sticker price is also lower. That’s likely to happen relatively soon: One projection from Bloomberg NEF suggests that EVs could be cheaper to buy than their gas-powered counterparts, without any subsidies or consideration of fuel savings, in less than five years.
 

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That's interesting. 17% cheaper to own but 40% more expensive to buy...... lol
Point taken but 40% is an exaggeration when you build out a comparable ICE F-150 to what comes standard on the Lightning. Base MSRP for each trim just isn’t a fair comparison. Lariat ER is much closer to an ICE Lariat with the same options added. Granted you don’t have the option to go basic with how they’ve paired packages/features - for probably the next few years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's interesting. 17% cheaper to own but 40% more expensive to buy...... lol
You miss the point. Overall cost of ownership is cost too but, operate, and maintain. Costs more to start but estimated overall ownership cost in the long run is less.
 

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As an experienced EV owner... cost saving is mostly a bogus argument. You buy an EV because you like tech and they accelerate fast as h***.
are you sure??? I am honestly shocked you'd say this, but I guess it is possible you live in a state with high energy prices. Where I live, hydro is 0.09kwh....an EV represents significant savings over gas and one can quickly recoup the cost #....gas goes for about $5.60/gal
 

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You'd have to drive a heck of a lot of miles for fuel savings to be an appreciable factor. I can drive a 15 mpg pickup for a year on less than $2000 of gas. Vs a $15000 premium price for a comparable BEV.
 

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You'd have to drive a heck of a lot of miles for fuel savings to be an appreciable factor. I can drive a 15 mpg pickup for a year on less than $2000 of gas. Vs a $15000 premium price for a comparable BEV.
Makes no sense. None. I really think people should be considering the ICE.... especially if they are ahead of me in the queue for the Lightning :p
 

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Vehicle lifetime cost is a significant factor for me. At our current BC fuel price of CAD 1.50/L, I'm spending CAD 6000 annually on gas and oil changes. With our hydro power at just 10 cents/kWh I'm estimating my at-home charging costs to be under CAD 2000, plus whatever I spend on charging on the highway (about 10% of my annual mileage).

I did a build on an F150 XLT with the 3.5 EcoBoost powertrain and the other features that come with the Lightning XLT, it priced out at CAD 59,000. Lightning XLT is CAD 68,000. So I'd be in front by end of year 3 and will have saved approx. 20,000 by end of year 8 - assuming gas stays at $1.50/L over those eight years.
 

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Vehicle lifetime cost is a significant factor for me. At our current BC fuel price of CAD 1.50/L, I'm spending CAD 6000 annually on gas and oil changes. With our hydro power at just 10 cents/kWh I'm estimating my at-home charging costs to be under CAD 2000, plus whatever I spend on charging on the highway (about 10% of my annual mileage).

I did a build on an F150 XLT with the 3.5 EcoBoost powertrain and the other features that come with the Lightning XLT, it priced out at CAD 59,000. Lightning XLT is CAD 68,000. So I'd be in front by end of year 3 and will have saved approx. 20,000 by end of year 8 - assuming gas stays at $1.50/L over those eight years.
We are very likely to also get access to the $5k EV rebate in Canada - the Feds indicated back in December they were planning to revise the $$$ so more vehicles - like EV trucks - are included in it.

and yeah…gas prices will shoot up l, we’ve got another carbon tax (depending on where you live) + a ‘hidden’ one that will kick in December.
 
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