Will Buying an Electric Vehicle Save You Money?


With the Tesla Model 3 release day looming and with the Chevy Bolt already available to the public, interest in purchasing and owning an electric vehicle is picking up. These vehicles have a number of exciting advantages over traditional gas cars, with the main ones being no more gas and no more major impact on the environment. However, both the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt start in the $35K range, so while they are certainly more affordable than other electric cars, they still cost a pretty penny. In order for these types of cars to be viable for many, they have to save people money.

For example, Tesla claims that the Model 3 will save you anywhere from an average of $6,000 to $9,000. If this is true, the Model 3 could potentially save a person money. Likewise, giving up gas with the Chevy Bolt should also provide some sort of savings for drivers.

In Reality, Calculating Savings Can Be Tricky

Using the Model 3 as an example, it is important to note that the starting cost may include estimated savings you may get as a result of tax credits and other incentives. Tax credits, rebates and other applicable incentives can vary state by state, so it important to consider this. However, tax credits and rebates do run out, meaning the cost of the vehicle will go up for those who wait to purchase.

When it comes to fuel savings, the actual amount of savings will depend on how far the vehicle is driven and the cost of electricity. For example, driving a similar gas vehicle 15,000 miles every year with an average of 25 miles an hour and with gas prices at $2.50 will cost approximately $1,500 per year. A Tesla driver who drives 15,000 miles per year could see a rise in their electric bill by about $600 annually. While this still results in about $900 in net savings, buyers looking to purchase a new vehicle will have to determine if these savings make the initial cost of the vehicle worth it.

Some drivers may also see savings in a weird place: insurance. California and Illinois have some of the lowest insurance rates for Tesla owners. To get the full amount of savings from insurance, be sure to compare rates as you may find additional savings.

How Much Will You Save?

Ultimately, the amount of money that you may or may not save if you decide to reserve a Model 3 or purchase a Chevy Bolt depends on where you live and your unique situation. If savings are the most important factor in purchasing a new car, opting for a less expensive vehicle is going to save you the most. If a $35,000 vehicle is exactly what you are looking for, then a Model 3 or a Chevy Bolt may be something to consider as you will save on gas at the very least.

Is it Worth Reserving a Model 3?

As of June 2017, almost 400,000 people have reserved a Model 3. If you have not reserved your Model 3 yet, you may be waiting until mid- to late-2018 to get your vehicle. By that time, the incentives may no longer be available. If savings are your main priority but you want to get an electric vehicle, the Chevy Bolt may be your best bet. It is important to note, however, that the real goal of the Model 3, the Chevy Bolt and the more luxurious EVs are not to save you money. Instead, the goal is to provide an eco-friendly option for those who wish to reduce their carbon footprint. If this is something that you are passionate about, reserving a Tesla Model 3 or purchasing a Chevy Bolt will be worth it.

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