Published 10:07 AM EDT Sep 17, 2019
U.S. gas prices could be on the rise after drone strikes in Saudi Arabia shut down roughly 5% of the world’s supply of oil over the weekend.
With the threat of price hikes looming, some drivers may consider going electric.
Electric vehicles are much less likely to be affected when oil markets are disrupted and fuel prices surge. Even when gas prices are low and stable, it costs about half as much to drive an EV compared with a gasoline-powered vehicle, according to government estimates.
“While the operating costs of EVs are substantially lower, EVs can be more expensive to purchase than their conventional counterpart,” according to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. However, the federal government and several states offer tax credits and other incentives to EV buyers that can lower the upfront cost.
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When factoring in fuel, maintenance, depreciation, insurance and borrowing costs, the average American pays about $9,282 per year to own a new vehicle according to a recent study by AAA. EVs, on the other hand, have lower maintenance and repair costs, so the average owner pays about $8,320 per year to own one.
It costs the average American about $9,282 per year, or $773.50 per month, to own a new vehicle when factoring in fuel, maintenance, depreciation, insurance and borrowing costs, according to AAA. That’s up from $8,849 in 2018.
The average cost to fuel a car on gasoline is $2.56 a gallon, according to AAA. The average cost to fuel an electric car is $1.21, according to the Department of Energy, which uses eGallons to measure electricity costs per state.
If you’re in the market for an EV, the automotive research website Edmunds.com offers annual guidance on the top-rated electric cars of the year based on extensive road testing.
Before making the list, cars are put through a 120-mile “real-world” testing loop, Edmunds says. The company then assigns scores to specific characteristics and features before arriving at an overall rating for the car.
The automotive website lists its top-rated affordable options under $38,000 and pricier options with upscale designs.
“While a gasoline car can be refueled in just a few minutes, electric cars take longer to recharge, making them less than ideal for long-range driving,” Edmunds says. So, the annual list takes into consideration how many miles each car travels on a single charge.
The lower-end segment is home to various models; however, the luxury lineup is dominated by Tesla. Edmunds says as more automakers enter the EV area, “stiffer competition is right around the corner.”
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.