Electric Vehicles Don’t Save Money

How much money does it cost to fully charge an electric vehicle?  How long does it take to do that?  If everybody had an electric vehicles, there would be NO gas taxes, hence no money to fix roads?  So, today there may not be a tax on the usage of electric vehicles—in the future, it will have to be a very high tax.

“That works out to about $100 annually; over the course of 10 years, you’d spend about $1,000 for oil and filter changes in this example, compared to nothing for oil and filter changes if you owned an EV.

But if you own an EV, it is probable you’ll have to replace the battery before 10 years go by — because EV batteries don’t last that long in regular service before the regular discharge/recharge process reduces and then kills their capacity to retain charge, at which point the EV becomes as useful as a non-electric car with a bad engine.

And EV batteries cost a lot more than oil and filters.

For example, the cost to replace the low-output (30-kilowatt) version of the Nissan Leaf’s battery ranges from $3,500 to $4,500, and the cost to swap out the higher-performing versions (62 kilowatt) runs closer to $8,000.”

The bottom line is that government wants you out of the car.  As the saying goes, “if you have to ask the cost of something, then you cannot afford it”.  This is how they will make the middle class poor.

Electric Vehicles Don’t Save Money

Sure, you’ll cut costs on oil changes, but you’ll pay way more over the life of the car.

by Eric Peters, American Spectator, 1/22/21 

Electric vehicles are being sold, in part, on how much they’ll save people in terms of maintenance costs.

That’s a total con.

EVs are not no-maintenance or even low-maintenance relative to non-electric cars. They are different maintenance.

And they’re not cheaper to maintain.

Instead of oil and filter changes, you change the battery pack. Which do you suppose will end up costing you more over the life of the vehicle?

That will shortly become clear.

An oil/filter change generally costs about $50 ($10 for a filter, $5 per quart of oil times 5 to 6 quarts, plus the labor, if you pay someone else to do it). Most non-electric cars need their oil and filter changed about once every 6,000 miles or so — about twice a year given the average 10,000 to 12,000 miles most people drive each year.

That works out to about $100 annually; over the course of 10 years, you’d spend about $1,000 for oil and filter changes in this example, compared to nothing for oil and filter changes if you owned an EV.

But if you own an EV, it is probable you’ll have to replace the battery before 10 years go by — because EV batteries don’t last that long in regular service before the regular discharge/recharge process reduces and then kills their capacity to retain charge, at which point the EV becomes as useful as a non-electric car with a bad engine.

And EV batteries cost a lot more than oil and filters.

For example, the cost to replace the low-output (30-kilowatt) version of the Nissan Leaf’s battery ranges from $3,500 to $4,500, and the cost to swap out the higher-performing versions (62 kilowatt) runs closer to $8,000.

That pays for a lot of oil and filters.

And you’ll be paying sooner.

Reread that part about the EV’s battery pack not lasting the life of the EV — as opposed to the typical service life of the entire non-EV, which is generally 12 to 15 years before anything more than routine maintenance such as oil and filter changes is necessary.

There is another expense associated with the comparatively short life of the EV battery. It is the reduction in value of the EV with a tired battery. An eight-year-old used non-electric car is still valuable because it still has lots of life left. An eight-year-old EV with an eight-year-old battery has much less life left unless you replace the tiring battery. This cost is reflected in the cratered resale value of old EVs.

On top of the expense of the new EV battery and the cost of reduced resale value, there is the expense of other maintenance items that will need to be performed.

For example, cooling system service. Most EVs have these even though they haven’t got engines. But their batteries need to be kept not too hot (or else there can be a fire) and also not too cold (or else they’re as useful as bricks), and that system needs maintenance, too.

How about brakes — pads and such — as well as tires and suspension parts? They are more or less the same as any other car’s — and also wear out over time and need to be replaced or serviced.

It’s true the EV’s brake pads last longer because the EV uses the resistance of the electric motor to aid in deceleration. But what you paid for that motor — and those batteries — is a great deal more than what the non-EV owner pays for brake pads, even if he buys them twice as often. A set for the typical car costs about $100 plus labor (call it another $200) and new pads usually last 30,000 to 50,000 miles depending on how you drive. Assume new brakes every three years — which is much more often than most people need them.

That’s about another $1,000 over 10 years — plus the $1,000 for the oil and filters. We’re still not halfway to the cost of replacing a low-cost EV battery before 10 years.

And don’t forget the cost of the EV itself.

An EV costs on average twice what a non-electric equivalent car costs. You could buy a new Nissan Leaf or Chevy Bolt for around $35,000, or you could buy a non-electric Toyota Corolla or small crossover SUV for about $20,000 and have $15,000 left over for oil and filter changes, brake pads, and so on.

But wait! You’ll never spend a cent on gas!

Absolutely true. But electricity isn’t free — and it’s going to cost more when Uncle Joe applies the taxes currently not applied to electricity, which isn’t even a political thing so much as an unavoidable thing as roads don’t get built and maintained for free, either. And motor fuels taxes will pay for those things.

Expect the equivalent, at least of the current rough average of 50 cents per gallon, to be applied to kilowatts and volts, plus a probable additional tax to pay for the new generating capacity that will be needed to offset the cost of building out the additional generating capacity EVs will require, beyond the generating capacity of the grid as it exists now.

Which is not enough to power the things it already powers plus millions of electric cars.

You may also have to pay for upgrades to your home’s electrical panel, if you want to get back on the road in less than the 8 to 12 hours it takes to trickle-charge an EV on 120-volt household outlets. This alone could cost you more than you ever paid for oil and filter changes.

So while it’s true the EV “saves money” on oil changes and such, it isn’t going to save you money.

It’s another case of people bee-lieving in a con as a consequence of being too lazy to question it.

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About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. This is incorrect as an objective premise. An EV can save you money if you are smart about it. When it comes to driving, if you charge for free at available public stations (at your employer, in urban downtown areas, shopping centers) you will save a lot of money. I put 4-5000 miles on my EV in the first 6 months of owning it. I paid to charge it twice in those 6 months, about $10 each time, the rest was free at work or at down the street at the free charger where I lived at the time, 2-3 times a week. So I drove 4-5000 miles for $20 period. In my previous small gas car, I was getting 35 mpg and I still paid $20-25 a week to fill up. So over 6 months, my gas car would have cost me $480-$600 vs just $20 with the electric.

    Second, when it comes to sticker price, buy used. You are completely correct about the higher new sticker price, and even I consider what we get now for the $35-40k price range to be barely worth it. However, because of subsidies on purchases of new electric cars (most get a $7.5k tax break), EVs depreciate faster than conventional cars. A 3 year old conventional car will lose 50-60% of it’s value, an EV will lose 60-80%. My car new was $37k. I bought it 4 years old with only 35k miles for 14k out the door. Find me a gas car in that price bracket that will give you that kind of deal.

    Third, Maintenance, warranties make up the difference. A gas car warranty doesn’t cover oil changes. My EV has a transferrable 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty on the battery. If the capacity drops below 70%, you take it in and they replace it for free and pay for the rental, I have done it. I believe Chevy’s and Nissan’s are 8 year/ 100k, I believe BMW’s is similar. If you buy an EV now, you won’t pay for a battery for a long time, even used. You are right that betteries are expensive, but remember, I only pay for brakes and tires for maintenance, and I am potentially saving almost $500 every 6 months in gas.

    Subjectively, if your area isn’t EV adapted (free charging, certified dealerships)or you “have to” buy new, don’t get an EV. Otherwise, it will save you money. It’s not a con.

  2. California has some of the highest electric rates in the nation. The cost to charge my Prius is more than the cost of an equivalent amount of regular gas.

  3. Stan Sexton says

    The most economical alternative to a regular car is the 2nd Generation Prius. At the end of 10-15 years (warranted for 10 years), you may need a new battery so get a newer one from a junkyard. Like an electric car, it doesn’t have a starter, an alternator or a belt-driven A/C compressor. The power brakes and steering are also electric. The 2nd Generation Prius is the one that goes to 400k with minimum cost. Blows away a Tesla on cost to acquire and own. And since so many 2nd Generation are on the road, most parts are cheap and available on Amazon. Need a new tail light? $75 on Amazon. Try that with a Tesla. Service is so bad that Rich Benoit started an independent garage. Parts? Call Tesla. Body Repair? Only a few “Tesla Approved” Body Shops. A fender bender can take months to repair. It’s great toy for moneyed folks, but for everyday service, I’ll take one of my 3 Prii. The 2nd Gen Prius is 2004-2009. Stay away from the newer ones. They have problems with water pumps, EGR valves and head gaskets. It’s hard to go your 400k with 2010 up with low cost and reliability.

  4. The premise of ‘free charging’ is completely laughable. SOMEONE had to pay to build, maintain and supply public charging stations.

    In scoping out a possible replacement vehicle, I have looked at hybrids. Hyundai had a model (Ioniq) where they offered lifetime battery replacement up to model year 2019. They must have discovered that battery failure was too frequent and expensive and ceased offering it to new vehicle purchasers.

    In consulting with the service departments of various brands (The sales people know nothing about this factor.), the battery replacement costs range from $6,000 to $15,000.

    The savings in gas never covers the surcharge for hybrid or electric, even allowing for the subsidies that come with some models from the federal Department of Energy.

    • Most of the “free” charging was put in by grants or supplied by private business. You have either already paid for it in taxes, or with a small margin of a business’s overall revenue. The fact that you have already paid for it and are refusing to use it is the real laughable part.

      It’s federal law that hybrid components are warrantied for a minimum 8 years/100k miles.Has been for a while. One of my family members has a 08 prius with 270k miles on it, still with the original battery, engine, and electric motor. Battery failure is hardly ‘frequent’.

  5. Deborah Parker says

    Gas engines can be rebuilt if needed and eventually end up in a scrap yard – worn out ev batteries are so toxic they are as hard to dispose of as nuclear waste. The mining of rare earths used in the manufacturing of ev batteries is hazardous to the environment- much more so than drilling for oil
    and refining it into gasoline. Most electricity used to charge the batteries is generated by burning fossil fuels. Since most revenue for maintaining roads and building new ones comes from gas taxes at the pump the states are going to stick monitoring devices on the evs and charge fees for miles driven thus cancelling out whatever slim advantage an ev has over a gas powered auto. So back to the drawing board

    • Most ev batteries are taken back by the dealer when replaced, and they recycle and reclaim them like the battery recycling at your local Lowe’s/Home depot. It isn’t rocket science, and hardly anything close to ‘nuclear waste’.

      Mining can be hazardous, but it’s improving, and the aforementioned recycling helps cut down on the necessity. Try recycling burned gas, and let me know how it goes.

      A lot of the energy used by EV’s is made by fossil fuels, but is distributed more efficiently. I don’t have to ship kilowatts from a refinery to a gas station, it goes through power lines, no matter the time of day or weather 99% of the time. This is also ignorig the fact that it moves the more efficiently, less that 35% of the gas that goes in your car moves it, the rest is lost to heat and friction. Over 70% of the energy that goes into an EV is used to move it, less moving parts helps.

      As for taxes, my area has an “EV fee” that goes on the property taxes. $160/year. It’s a little annoying, but still cheaper than a years worth of gas

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