by Greg Barber of Eco-Friendly Printer
The Benefits of Electric Cars
Electric and hybrid vehicles are quickly becoming more mainstream and not only provide a more eco-friendly way to travel but can be far more affordable, too.
- Reduced emissions: The average electric and hybrid vehicle produces lower tailpipe emissions than traditional automobiles. EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs use zero tailpipe emissions when they run only on electricity.
- Charging on renewable energy: Another way to live more eco-friendly is to avoid regular charging that can cause power plant emissions. Instead, you can ask your energy provider about switching to green power, which is a kind of electricity made from renewable sources that will still charge your vehicle.
- More energy-efficient: Gas vehicles take more than double the CO2 equivalent than hybrid and plug-in hybrids, with a consumption that is almost three times the amount of electric vehicles.
Electric vehiclesPlug-in hybridHybridGasolineCO2 Equivalent3,774 lbs5,6806,25811,435
An electric vehicle only costs about $600 more per year to own than the average gas vehicle, according to AAA. However, based on a total mileage of 15,000 miles a year, you can save an average of $546 per year in fuel costs compared to the $1,255 it would cost you with a gas-powered vehicle. That is 130% more per year.
Maintenance is also cheaper, with far less required to keep your car in top working order. Based on manufacturer recommendations, routine EV maintenance costs about $949 total or $330 less than gas-powered cars.
When you own an electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, you could receive a federal tax benefit of up to $7,500 if you purchased a new vehicle in 2010 or later. To find out how much you can earn for a specific vehicle, the U.S. Department of Energy provides a listing of the eligible makes and models with the exact tax credit amount.
Electric car options
Car manufacturers are increasingly introducing new electric vehicles to their lineups, many of which are more affordable than ever.
There are three types of electric cars that you can purchase:
- Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV):This boasts zero emissions, using just an electric battery to power the vehicle without any need for gas.
- Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV):An HEV uses both gas and an electric motor for power, but all energy is sourced via gasoline.
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV):A plug-in hybrid is like an HEV, but it has a much bigger battery with an electric motor to complement the gas tank.
Most affordable electric cars
Edmunds provides a list of the cheapest electric cars available in 2021:
- 2021 Mini Cooper SE: The 2021 Mini Cooper SE has the smallest range of the other EV vehicles on the list. Still, its modern design is surprisingly affordable for the average commuter or other drivers who do not need a ton of space.
- 2021 Nissan Leaf: The Leaf is another nimble, affordable vehicle that offers the option to upgrade to a larger battery pack, extending the total range to 226 miles.
- 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric: Hyundai’s 2021 Ioniq Electric gives the longest range of the top three, thanks to an improved and extended battery that has come a long way since the Ioniq’s initial launch.
Auto insurance options for electric cars
Insuring an electric car can cost more than the average cost of car insurance for traditional vehicles, but if you shop around for multiple quotes and look for discounts, insuring an electric car can be just as affordable as insuring a gas-powered car. In addition, several of the best car insurance companies now offer insurance for electric cars, so taking the time to do a little research can get you the right insurance for your needs.