You might think that switching to an electric vehicle—also known as an EV—is a surefire money-saving solution in the long run. However, the actual savings you’ll reap may not be as significant as you think.
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From battery replacements to limited service options, electric vehicles have their own set of costs that could actually make them more expensive than gasoline-powered vehicles.
To find out more, GOBankingRates interviewed a mechanic and an automotive expert. Here’s what they had to say about why an EV can end up being more expensive than a traditional car.
John Lynn, mechanic and co-founder of JB Motor Works, said: “Despite the long-term cost-saving benefits of electric vehicles compared to gas-powered ones, due to factors such as lower fuel costs and fewer moving parts , requiring maintenance, may be cases that can lead to an increase in the price of electric cars.
Expensive battery replacements
“Batteries are the heart of electric cars, and although they typically have a long lifespan of eight to 15 years, replacing them can be expensive, sometimes up to several thousand dollars,” Lin said.
Limited service options
“At the moment, specialized training is required to service EVs, and not all mechanics are equipped to handle them,” Lin said. “This often means you have to resort to manufacturer-approved shops, which can be more expensive than independent gas vehicle shops.”
High insurance rates
“According to some studies,” Lin said, “electric cars may be more expensive to insure. This is due to high repair costs and the relatively high price of the vehicles themselves.”
Initial purchase price
Lin also mentioned, “Perhaps the most obvious cost is the initial cost. Although the gap is narrowing, electric vehicles often have higher sticker prices than most comparable gas cars.”
“Depending on where you live,” Lin added, “setting up a home charging station can involve significant upfront costs.”
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Cost breakdown from an automotive expert
Lauren Fix, “Car Coach” and founder of Car Coach Reports, said: “There are many factors to consider – careful consideration of the cost of an EV versus a standard car, tax benefits, maintenance, fuel…”
Fix said that by researching these costs, the results might surprise you as to whether an EV or a standard car is actually the better buy.
Costs of an EV vs. a traditional car
“The average price for a brand new EV is about $65,000,” Fix said. “That’s significantly higher than the average four-door sedan, which costs about $49,000, according to Kelly Blue Book.”
However, Fix said the tax credits and gas savings associated with electric vehicles can save you money.
Cost of gas vs electricity
“As the price of gas goes up, so does the price of electricity,” Fix said. “The average cost to gas up a car is $1,120 per year. The annual cost of running an electric vehicle is about $485 per year, although having a home charger can lower that figure.
Maintenance costs of an EV vs. a traditional car
Fix said: “You’ll hear some people say that EVs don’t need maintenance, but that’s not true. If there are moving parts, there is maintenance. Yes, EVs have fewer moving parts, so the annual maintenance cost of an electric vehicle is around $900 per year. That’s just $300 less than the $1,200 a year it costs to keep gasoline or diesel engines running smoothly.”
$13,000 cost difference
“Adding all the factors together, the EV will cost you $71,770,” Fix said. “A car with a gas engine? $58,664. You’ll never make up the initial cost difference over the lifetime of your more expensive electric vehicle.
“Put another way, a gas-powered car will cost you $600 more per year to drive. But over the average six years of ownership of an EV versus a gas car, an EV will cost you $13,000 more.”
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I’m a Mechanic: Here’s Why an EV Can Be More Expensive Than a Traditional Car