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Unveiling the Hidden Costs of Owning an Electric Car

  • Cars Explained
  • Melanie Barrett
  • 6 minutes

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Folks planning to buy an electric car must ask themselves – are there any hidden costs to owning an electric car? Besides the vehicle’s purchase price, will you have to pay for a slew of other expenses when you own an electric vehicle? There are many electric car options on the market right now; you might even be spoilt for choice. But, unfortunately, no car maker gives you enough information about the hidden costs.

Major Hidden Costs of Owning an Electric car

Electric Car

Costlier to buy

If you notice carefully, the purchase price of an EV is always higher than the other models of cars. Yes, governments do provide incentives for certain cars. However, these do not apply to all varieties of electric cars. The main reason for the soaring high price is mainly the cost of batteries. Most popular EV manufacturers invest a lot of money to improve the car’s battery performance. It largely depends upon the kind of EV you plan to choose. Also, get ready to spend a hefty sum of money on electricity charges, especially if you plan to install a charging station.

Maintenance costs

While EVs do not require oil changes or engine air filters, they do require maintenance to keep them in good mechanical condition. Tires, brakes, and wiper blades must be replaced, as well as suspension and steering components and wheel alignments, as with any car.

You may not anticipate fluid fluctuations, which might be one of the unanticipated costs of owning an electric vehicle. The thermal management system contains coolant that must be switched on a regular basis, and the braking fluid must also be cleaned on a regular basis. Some models may also contain transmission fluid that must be serviced on a regular basis.

But it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to EV maintenance. Overall, EVs have fewer systems that require maintenance, so while maintenance expenses may be unexpected, they are substantially lower on an electric car throughout the life of the vehicle.

Cost of charging equipment

If you own an EV, you’ll most likely want your own home fuel station. Most models include a Level 1 charger that plugs into any 110-volt household outlet, but fully charging your automobile would take days.

For home charging, a Level 2 charger is a pretty decent option. Even though they aren’t as expensive as they used to be, a high-quality, brand-name Level 2 home charger can easily cost $700 or more.

If you want to charge your car even faster, head to an EV charging station, which brings us to the next hidden cost…

Public charging station costs

Sometimes, you’ll have to charge your EV at a public charging station. However, public charging rates are more than residential rates. Here are several examples:

  • The typical home rate in California is 19.9 cents per kWh, while Electrify America charges between 31 cents and 43 cents per kWh.
  • The average home rate in Florida is 11.37 cents per kWh, while Electrify America charges between 31 cents and 43 cents per kWh.
  • The average in Arkansas is 10.24 cents per kWh at home, compared with 12 cents to 32 cents at a public charger.

Rates vary depending on how much electricity you want and whether or not you are a member. Using our Tesla Model Y as an example, Californians and Floridians may anticipate paying $23.25 for a full battery charge-up, while Arkansans will pay less than $8.

Battery replacement costs

Many EV drivers may feel range anxiety, fearing that they will not have enough charge to reach their destination. The good news is that battery technology is advancing, allowing drivers to go longer distances on a single charge.

However, your EV battery will most likely need to be replaced every eight years or 100,000 miles. While it may seem like a long time, replacing your battery might cost anywhere between $5,600 and $20,000.

EV Cars Insurance

Other Hidden Charges of Owning an Electric Car

electric-car

Low resale value

It is a less known fact that the resale value for EVs is lower than for fuel vehicles. Also, only 17% of the car’s original value goes as the resale value. Similarly, as you look at the long-term usage of the vehicle, three years is the maximum period for which you can use the car. The number of EVs in total is also less than that of petrol and diesel cars. Even then, the resale value of the cars is comparatively lesser.

EV insurance costs are higher

Another one of those high hidden costs of owning an electric car is its insurance. If you plan to buy a car, prioritize getting it insured. The insurance costs for most EVs are always a bit higher, and there might be differences in the purchase prices, which may also give high claims. These are also costly to repair, and not every shop offers them high-capacity batteries.

 

cosmetic damage car insurance

Registration Fees

States may levy a gas tax to fund road repairs and other problems that arise due to the wear and tear of roads. However, because electric vehicles do not use gasoline, EV owners may not be paying their full share of infrastructure taxes.

To make up for the lost revenue, several jurisdictions are charging an extra registration cost for electric vehicles. Fees vary by state and can range from $50 to $200 each year. Check with the state where your car is registered to see how much more you’ll need to budget for.

Manufacturer’s right to repair

For the last twenty years or so, ICE car manufacturers have been required by law to disclose facts about their vehicles. This allowed for the development of an ecosystem of auto-repair shops, after-sale marketplaces, and recyclers. The advent of electric vehicles, on the other hand, has reintroduced the intellectual property component into the automotive industry. EV manufacturers can prohibit owners from tampering with their vehicles. That’s because they are merely containers for electrical equipment, similar to Amazon’s Alexa or the iPhone. As a result, automobile owners are hostage to car companies. They cannot have their cars fixed by local or economical technicians. This leaves them with no choice but to accept high repair bills.

Add-ons

EV manufacturers like Tesla do love to boast about capabilities like self-driving or acceleration boost. But such extras come at a cost. Drivers may have to spend up to several thousand dollars to unlock these technological capabilities. For example, Tesla’s full self-driving function costs $10,000 to activate!

Are electric vehicles affordable?

There are quite a few hidden costs to owning an electric car. There are still parts to fix and systems to maintain, insurance is more expensive, and power rates vary greatly. The most limiting factor is the initial purchase price. EVs cost tens of thousands of dollars more than a gas-powered vehicle.

However, you’ll most likely hold on to your EVĀ  for at least a few years. This means the EV will certainly save you money in the long term simply because of all the money you’ll save on gas. Furthermore, you may be certain that your automobile is not contributing to pollution at nearly the same rate as vehicles powered by fossil fuels.


Here’s more info on top-rated airport parking,Ā the best parking spots in your city, the mostĀ affordable insuranceĀ for your car, andĀ top-rated car washes near you.


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