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Connected Driving 3 min read

Electric vs gas-powered vehicles: which is cheaper to run?

An electric vehicle charging at an urban charge point.

Electric vehicles are making driving greener, but are they really as good for your wallet as they are for the planet?

According to CNBC, a typical electric vehicle (EV) owner saves between US$6,000 and US$10,000 over the vehicle's lifespan.

Despite the initial prices of EVs (which are often higher than gas-powered cars), the long-term cost advantages of switching to an EV make them a compelling choice for consumers.

To accurately assess whether EVs are genuinely cheaper than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, it's important to consider all the factors, including fuel costs, maintenance expenses, environmental impact and government incentives for potential EV buyers.

Plugging in vs filling up

When it comes to running costs, electric vehicles have a distinct advantage over ICE cars. According to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, EV drivers spend approximately 60% less each year on running costs compared to ICE car owners.

This is primarily because the price of electricity is significantly lower than gas, which can result in long-term savings for EV owners.

Considering that EVs run on batteries that can be recycled and reused, which can generate longer lifespans and support sustainability in the automotive industry, running electric cars consistently costs less.

A futuristic close-up of an electric vehicle charging at a charge point.


Electric vehicles are more efficient than gas-powered cars in the maintenance category as well, simply because EVs have fewer parts to maintain.

According to Consumer Reports, EV owners generally spend less on routine maintenance and repairs since electric vehicles show less "wear and tear" over time and require no oil changes. As a result, EV owners take fewer trips to the mechanic which translates into additional, long-term savings.

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Green machines

Electric vehicles also have the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and decreasing dependence on fossil fuels. EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, contributing to cleaner air and a reduced carbon footprint. And if the electricity used to charge them comes from solar or wind power and battery recycling helps improve their longevity, the impact going electric has on the environment is even lower.

CES 2022

Added incentives

To make EV adoption an even more appealing option, some countries are introducing government incentives such as purchase rebates, tax exemptions and tax credits to further motivate drivers to switch to EVs. One such incentive is the Internal Revenue Service's "clean vehicle tax credit"offer to new EV owners in the US who purchased their vehicle in 2023 or after, helping make new electric vehicles more affordable.

In the EU, 20 member states are also offering tax benefits and purchase incentives to potential EV buyers, while China created a financial subsidy of up to RMB 10,000 (US$1,376) per electric vehicle.

Overall, the long-term cost advantages such as lower fuel costs, reduced maintenance expenses, government incentives and environmental benefits make EVs a financially viable choice. As the EV market continues to evolve and expand, making electric vehicles more accessible and affordable, consumers have an opportunity to embrace a sustainable transportation option that is not only cost-effective but also helps build a cleaner and greener future.

Maja Stefanovic

Maja Stefanovic

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