How much does an electric car cost?

Karolis Bareckas

Karolis Bareckas

Electric cars have always been more expensive than vehicles with internal combustion engines due to limited production, research and development costs, and pricey battery pack. However, their maintenance is typically cheaper than gasoline or diesel cars.

How much an EV costs, and when can you expect for their prices to go down?

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The average starting price for a new EV

Car prices always fluctuate, meaning that the same model may be priced differently over a span of several months or years. According to Kelly Blue Book, the average electric car price in the first quarter of 2023 in the US was $58,940, which is around $10,000 more compared to traditional vehicles.

Prices of the best electric cars can be staggering. You can get a luxurious electric car like the Porsche Taycan Turbo S for $187,400 or the Lucid Air Sapphire, starting at $249,000. The cheapest EV you can get on the market is the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT, which starts at $26,500.

However, there are also some exceptional models like the Rimac Nevera. Limited to 150 units, the Nevera has a whooping 1,914 horsepower engine accelerating 0 to 60 miles in 1.97 seconds. The price? Over $2 million. And yet, it’s not the most expensive toy on the market. The crown at the moment belongs to the Aspark Owl, costing over $3,500,000.

Many first-time buyers wonder which electric car is the best, yet it’s not easy to answer. The Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Chevrolet Bolt, BMW iX3, and Nissan Leaf often make it to the list of the best EVs. With new models being released every year and technology rapidly evolving, the question of the “best” becomes very hard to answer.

When will electric car prices go down?

Man is going towards his vehicle with a charging cable
Source: JUICE / Unsplash

Prices of new electric cars are susceptible to various global events, just like any other industry. Because of the pandemic and war in Ukraine many car manufacturers suffered chip shortage and increased prices of raw materials like nickel and aluminum. This resulted in prices of new electric cars surging, which may have discouraged some potential buyers.

However, all major manufacturers predict that in the next few years, the prices of EVs will start to drop. The battery pack is the most expensive part in an electric car, which can cost between $2,500 and $50,000, depending on a vehicle’s make and model. Since the battery technologies are rapidly evolving, their price should go down, thus decreasing the overall price of an EV.

Many innovations used in EVs had to be invented from scratch, which significantly boosted their price. The EV industry has already reached the level where they can use the technologies they invented throughout the years, reducing costs of R&D.

With the growing volume of EVs sold, the unit price will also go down. This is how any business works: the more you produce, the cheaper you can sell your production.

The average price paid on owning an EV

On board computer display of Tesla model 3
Souce: Jonas Leupe / Unsplash

While electric cars are more expensive to buy, they’re cheaper to run. EVs have fewer moving parts, which means fewer troubles. Electricity is also cheaper than gasoline or diesel, therefore, owning an EV may save you money in the long run.

Electric car charging costs

The cheapest and the most convenient way to charge your EV is to install a charging station at home. This way, you can leave your vehicle to charge overnight, and the next morning it will be ready.

On average, EVs can drive 3-4 miles with 1 kWh of electricity. If you cover 1,000 miles per month, you’ll need 250-330 kWh of electricity. Let’s say your electricity rate is $0.15 per 1 kWh. This means that you’ll spend $37.5-$49.5 in total for driving 1,000 miles.

Prices in public charging stations can vary greatly depending on the charging station speed and their billing model. Most EV owners use public charging infrastructure only when needed, while doing most of the charging at home.

The longest range of an electric car exceeds 500 miles, which means that drivers can minimize the need of visiting public charging stations and pay less for electricity.

Electric car maintenance costs

BMW maintenance
Source: Benjamin Brunner / Unsplash

EVs don’t need regular oil or air filter changes, therefore, their yearly maintenance can cost about 25-30% less than gas-powered cars. Here are some common EV maintenance tasks and their average prices:

  • Battery maintenance. EV batteries typically require minimal maintenance. However, some manufacturers may recommend periodic battery health checkups, which can cost around $100 to $200.
  • Tire replacement. Tires on EVs wear out just like on any other vehicle. The cost of tire replacement varies based on tire size, brand, and local market rates. On average, you can expect to spend $400 to $800 for a set of 4 tires.
  • Brake system maintenance. While EVs use regenerative braking, which reduces wear on brake pads, an occasional brake pad replacement may be required. The cost of brake pad replacement varies depending on the vehicle model, but it typically ranges from $150 to $300 per axle.
  • Fluids and filters. EVs have fewer fluid changes compared to traditional vehicles. However, the coolant in an EV's battery cooling system may need replacement after several years, costing between $100 and $200. Additionally, you should periodically replace the cabin air filter to ensure good air quality inside your car.
  • Wiper blade replacement. You should replace the wiper blades once or twice a year. The average cost for a pair of wiper blades is approximately $20 to $40.
  • Wheel alignment. Periodic wheel alignments help ensure proper tire wear and handling. Expect to pay between $100 and $200 for getting this job done at an autoshop.

Electric car road tax costs

Since electric cars don’t produce any tailpipe emissions, EV owners don’t have to pay any road taxes. Road tax on cars is usually determined by how much CO2 they produce. No CO2, no taxes to pay.

Reducing costs with government schemes

A girl charging her EV
Source: JUICE / Unsplash

Since many governments across the world want to encourage people to buy EVs, various subsidies, tax exemptions, and schemes are put in place. However, every country or state has their laws and regulations, therefore, you should check the latest information depending on where you live.

For example, EV owners in Finland are exempt from the registration tax. Ireland provides EV buyers with a €5,000 ($5,400) grant for all electric vehicles costing between €14,000 ($15,100) and €60,000 ($65,000). Norwegian EV owners pay less for road tolls and ferries.

These initiatives won’t last forever, probably until all vehicles with internal combustion engines will disappear from the streets. It’s a great time to buy an EV now, as you can save money by using government incentives and various benefits.

The future is electric, and the growing number of EVs on our roads is a clear sign of that. With advancements in battery technology, expanding charging infrastructure, and supportive government policies, EVs are set to revolutionize transportation.

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Karolis Bareckas

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Karolis Bareckas

Karolis is an automotive writer focusing on the industry part of things. His goal is to educate readers and foster transparency in the used car market. With a passion for storytelling and extensive experience writing in a variety of fields, Karolis enjoys sharing his knowledge and spreading the word about automotive and tech topics. He’s also a a big fan of muscle cars and long road trips.