Analysis: Amid high gas prices, EV operating cost advantages have grown stronger


With gas prices spiking, the operating cost advantages of EVs have grown, according to new analysis.

The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA), an EV advocacy group, published a report Wednesday tracking the cost per mile of EVs and gasoline cars over the past six months. It found that, based on overall operating costs, EVs are much cheaper to drive per mile than gasoline cars.

Nationally, gasoline cars are three to five times more expensive to drive than EVs, according to the report. In some states—including Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia—EVs can be driven at 15% to 20% the cost of gasoline cars per mile, the report found.

2022 Volkswagen ID.4

Electricity costs are also less volatile than oil prices, so EV operating costs are more likely to remain stable over time, ZETA argued. As with other similar past analyses, the group also noted that lower EV maintenance costs contribute to their lower overall operating costs.

This builds on similar ZETA analysis published in March, which focused more on the cost of charging and EV compared to filling an internal-combustion car with gasoline. It found that EVs were three to five times cheaper to drive per mile nationally, and up to six times cheaper in certain states.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

This is far from the only analysis pointing to lower EV operating costs. A 2020 Consumer Reports study found that operating costs could more than offset higher EV purchase prices—particularly for pickup trucks and SUVs.

That’s an important factor in converting evidence of lower EV operating costs into higher rates of EV adoption. A Deloitte study from earlier this year suggested that half of Americans won’t pay extra up front for an electrified vehicle, regardless of ownership cost savings.

The savings also depends on a number of factors, so of course you’re best off doing those calculations for yourself.



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