After homes, cars are the largest purchase most people make in their lifetime. That’s why drivers think carefully about how to spend their dollars.

Gas-powered cars have been on the road for more than 100 years, but many consumers are less familiar with how newer cars like electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles affect their pocketbooks. Is the initial price tag higher? How much does charging cost? What about battery maintenance? Chase Auto is here to help you with your EV cost questions.

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Upfront electric vehicle costs

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Electric vehicle price tags

Just like traditional cars, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles come in a wide range of price tags—from $30,000 up to $100,000, and more for luxury models.

Excluding the luxury models, the average cost of a fully electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is about $56,000. Same page link to footnote reference 1 This compares to $47,000 for the average price of a new car purchased in the U.S. in 2021. Same page link to footnote reference 2 This gap is expected to close in the years ahead as more car companies come out with more affordable options to meet consumer demand.

Electric vehicle rebates, discounts & other incentives

Helping to close the electric vehicle price-gap, the federal government currently offers a $7,500 rebate off the cost of a fully-electric car, and plug-in hybrids are eligible for a portion of that rebate, depending on their electric driving range. This rebate is available for the first 200,000 qualified EVs sold by each manufacturer, and then winds down over time.

There may be additional rebates and discounts offered by your state, local municipality, or local electricity provider.

Discover the savings you may be eligible for using this incentive look-up tool.

Electric vehicle home charging systems

The most convenient way to charge an electric or plug-in hybrid car is to have access to an electrical outlet near your regular parking space.

Standard wall outlets will work, Same page link to footnote reference 3 but the charging time is typically too slow to be practical. Same page link to footnote reference 4 That’s why most EV drivers work with an electrician to install a 240-volt outlet—the same kind that clothes dryers use. Same page link to footnote reference 5 Learn more about chargingopens in same window.

Rebates may be available to decrease the cost of home charging equipment – use this incentive look-up tool to discover what’s available in your area.


Ongoing electric vehicle costs

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Electric vehicle maintenance

All cars require maintenance, but the maintenance needs of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are different.

Fully electric vehicles don’t require oil changes, spark plugs or timing belts. Also, unlike gas-powered engines, electric motors require no routine maintenance. Same page link to footnote reference 6 These reduced maintenance needs can save an EV owner $4,600 over the life of the vehicle compared to a gas-powered car. Same page link to footnote reference 7

Maintenance needs that are unique to fully electric vehicles include battery maintenance and a faster rate of tire degradation. Same page link to footnote reference 8

Importantly, plug-in hybrid vehicles require both gas-powered and electric-powered maintenance needs.

 

Electricity to charge your electric vehicle

Traditional vehicles require gas. Electric vehicles (EVs) require electricity. Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) require both. All come with expenses.

There are two costs associated with charging an EV or PHEV—at-home charging and on-the-road charging. At-home charging expenses become part of your monthly utility bill, just like turning on the lights or running the dishwasher. Just as gas prices vary from city to city, so do electricity prices. Same page link to footnote reference 9 On average, it costs about half as much to fuel a vehicle with electricity compared to a similar vehicle that runs on gasoline.

On-the-road charging is somewhat similar to filling up at the gas station, but it’s important to know that some public EV charging stations offer membership rates. Members pay an annual fee in exchange for a discounted price-per-kilowatt when they charge-up, but non-members can often access the same stations at a higher per-kilowatt rate. Learn more about public chargingopens in same window.


Tools and resources

A graphic of an electric vehicle charging station

Calculate your total
lifetime costs

This tool from the U.S. Department of Energy calculates total lifetime costs of owning an electric vehicle. It factors in both up-front costs, including tax credits and charging station installation, as well as normal daily use, including mileage and localized gas/electricity costs.

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Find electric vehicle rebates and incentives in your area

This database provides information on all federal, state, and local EV incentives available in your zip code. Incentives may include rebates and tax breaks on the car itself, support for home charging equipment, discounts on electricity pricing and driving perks.

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Sources

This content is for educational purposes only and provides general auto information. The material is not intended to provide legal, tax, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. product or service. Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results. Chase is not responsible for, and does not provide or endorse third party products, services or other content. For specific advice about your circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.