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Electric Vs. gas-powered vehicles: Which is better? Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by offering financial calculators and interactive tools, publishing original and objective content. We also allow you to conduct your own research and compare information for free to help you make financial decisions with confidence. Bankrate has agreements with issuers including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make money The products that appear on this site come from companies that pay us. This compensation can affect the way and where products appear on the site, such as, for example, the order in which they may appear in the listing categories, except where prohibited by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. This compensation, however, does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not cover the vast array of companies or financial offers that may be open to you. Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

8 minutes read. Published August 15 2022

Written by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers to navigate the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase an automobile. The article was edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances by providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate promise

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There are money-related questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have helped you understand your finances for more than four decades. We are constantly striving to give our customers the right guidance and tools required to be successful throughout their financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict , which means you can be sure that our content is truthful and reliable. Our award-winning editors and journalists produce honest and reliable content that will help you make the best financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is factual, accurate, and not influenced by our advertisers. We’re honest about the ways we’re able to bring quality information, competitive rates and helpful tools for you , by describing how we make money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for the promotion of sponsored goods andservices or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. This compensation could impact how, where and in what order items appear within listing categories and categories, unless it is prohibited by law. This is the case for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other home lending products. Other factors, like our own rules for our website and whether or not a product is offered in the area you reside in or is within your self-selected credit score range may also influence how and where products appear on this site. Although we try to provide the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include the details of every financial or credit products or services. One-in-four new car shoppers now consider buying a hybrid or electric car similar to gasoline-powered vehicles According to (KBB). And choosing electric — or an alternative fuel vehicle could prove worthwhile for your pocket and the climate. However, before you go to the dealership it is wise to electric vehicle options and understand the difference in cost of ownership. What is an electric car? The EV market has been growing in popularity in recent times and especially as the understanding of climate issues continues to evolve. This, in conjunction with rising gas prices, has caused drivers to save money by driving electric. Unlike the typical gas-powered vehicles that line the highways and parking areas, EVs have a motor that is powered by a battery. There are three types of electric vehicle. The hybrid electric vehicle (HEVs) Powered by both an electric motor and the internal combustion engine HEVs have the power of traditional gas-powered vehicles and the benefits of improved performance and fuel efficiency. There is no charge for an HEV the same way as its EV counterparts but rather batteries are charged through the engine. There are a large variety of brands and models of HEVs on the market. The top-rated models according to KBB are that of the Honda Accord Hybrid, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEVs) A plug-in hybrid is just as it sounds it’s a hybrid car that can be charged by plugging it into. It is powered by batteries inside the vehicle and charged through an external cable. They also make use of an alternative fuel, which is typically gasoline for powering an internal combustion engine (ICE). This type of vehicle uses electricity until it is used up and then taps into its ICE capabilities. The options for PHEVs are a bit slimmer, but KBBs standout options include that of Ford Escape SE Plug-in Hybrid as well as the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid and the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid. Electric vehicles that are fully electric (EVs) A fully electric vehicle ups the ante and is entirely powered by an electric motor- no ICE or additional alternative fuel sources involved. They have a battery that powers the vehicle . It is charged in a similar manner to PHEVs. They are charged via an outlet designed specifically for them. Although charging stations can be located in the local area, it is important to remember the added cost for a station to charge, if you are contemplating a fully electric. KBB’s top fully electric choices include The Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Nissan Leaf and the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Price of electric in comparison to. gas vehicles Before you dive deep into the world of electric and hybrid cars it is important to understand the differences in price between gas and electric. While it is true that driving an EV can come with less overall cost but the initial price could be an obstacle for some. Lately, buying a new car is costly regardless of the power source. July 2022 saw record-breaking average transaction prices for new vehicles of over $48,000, according to . However, the cost for an EV is still higher than a gas-powered option. According to the KBB estimation for the EV is more than $60,000that’s in line with an average luxury car price. However, it is predicted that by the EV market will reach forty percent in 2031, according to . This estimation is supported by more vehicles hitting the market. This growth in EV availability acts as an equalizer. As more drivers consider purchasing electric vehicles and electric cars, the cost of them will go down. This is evident in the variety of new options that are entering the market. In the first quarter of 2022 4.64 percent of new vehicle registrations were EVs, and 7.18 per cent were hybrid vehicles, as per Experian’s report on the automotive market trends. This made for a 60.4 percent growth in EVs in the first quarter of 2022, and an 10.7 percent increase for hybrids. Cost to own electric vs. gas-powered cars Although the initial cost of purchasing the next car is crucial, you must also understand the cost to maintain and maintain the car over the lifetime of ownership. Take a look at the cost-to-own analysis for five years of two popular sedans , as per Edmunds. The first is 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV, comes with a price tag of $31,955 and has a large range, spacious cabin and well-rated handling. The secondmodel, a 2022 Mazda 3, is a popular gas-powered option with a lower MSRP of $24,115 that offers an elegant interior with a smooth and comfortable ride as well as a turbocharged engine. Take into consideration how the costs accrued over five years of car ownership influence which vehicle you’d prefer. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2022 Mazda 3

Vehicle depreciation



Taxes and fees


















The true cost of owning


$31,277 Fuel On a basic scale, driving an electric vehicle will mean the end of having to fill up at gasoline stations. A study conducted in 2020 it was found that EV owners will spend an average of 60% less for fueling their vehicles. The price difference for gas between Chevy or the Mazda is more significant than that average. However, getting the power you need for your electric vehicle isn’t so simple as picking regular high-end, mid-range or premium. Electric vehicle charging is broken down into three different options that carry different costs and benefits. One charging. It is by far the most popular form of charging and is accessible through the same outlet that you charge your phone with. They are the slowest charging option and provide between two and five miles of charging per hour. Level two charging. These chargers, typically installed in garages utilize the same power that your washing machine uses. It is possible to gain between 10 and 20 miles of charge in an hour. Level three charging. Also known as DC charging These are accessible in public spaces. They are the quickest option and drivers can receive an 80 per cent charge within 20 minutes. Just as washing your machine multiple times in a row can cost you more electricity, the additional cost incurred by charging at home could add up. This cost per month is added to the cost for installing an at-home charger — which can range between $300 and $50,000, depending on the level of charge. But keep in mind that many communities are now equipped with chargers, so you may not be required to pay for installation right away. Visit a free map of electric vehicle stations to see chargers in your region. Financing Although you can — electric or gas powered — apply online or in person to a few lenders before picking the best option, financing a green car may come with some added perks. These loans are available to those looking to finance an electric car. These types of loans are typically found through a credit union , and tend to have lower interest rates than conventional auto loans. You may also qualify for financial incentives which is offered in certain states in the U.S. You can benefit from a credit amounting as high as $7,500, contingent on the state in which you reside. Insurance Insuring your car is a vital part of the ownership process that will protect you and your passengers. It follows the same method that you’d take to protect the traditional vehicle option. It covers collision, bodily injury, liability and comprehensive coverage. Like any other vehicle, your exact price will depend on a variety of factors. But coverage for EV is typically more expensive than conventional gas-powered alternatives. One reason is the price of the car’s components. A minor accident can result, for example in the requirement for a battery pack replacement — something that can be priced at over $15,000. Bankrate examined 12 car models that were provided by Quadrant Information Services and concluded that on average, premiums will be higher for electric vehicles. This is evident in the higher insurance costs forecast for the Bolt in comparison to the Mazda 3. The pros as well as cons for electric cars Electric vehicles can offer a vehicle that is better for the environment and your pocket in the long term, but they’re not without negatives. The advantages of electric vehicles Some advantages of driving an electric car include: Less maintenance. Electric cars need fewer trips to the mechanic and that can result in less money spent on costs for oil change and brake system checks. Costs are lower over the lifetime of the car. The cost of owning a vehicle can be high however EVs come with a lower cost. More sustainable to the planet. Electric vehicles do not emit tailpipe air pollutants and are therefore more beneficial for the local air quality and overall carbon dioxide emissions. Advanced technology available. Many newer electric car models include advanced control panels as well as mobile apps to control and monitor the car. There are cons to electric cars. Some negatives associated with driving an EV include: higher cost of purchase. On average, buying an EV has a more expensive initial cost, which is close to $12,000, as per the average KBB July 2022 transactions prices. A fear of distance. Charging stations can be few and far in certain regions, which can leave drivers stressed while searching for a place to get power. Faster vehicle depreciation. The deterioration of batteries and incentives for vehicles result in a rapid loss of value for electric vehicles. Cost of installing a charging station. If you prefer being able to charge at your own home, installing a charging station could cost you up to $50,000. Is an electric car right for you? if your next set of wheels should be electric should be considered similarly to how you would pick which model or style of a traditional car is the best fit for youtake into consideration your lifestyle and requirements. If your commute works with the available range and the range of options an electric vehicle offers, or if you are a fan of the sleek look and environmental advantages, then an electric vehicle could be an excellent choice. However, if committing to an all-electric EV is too big of a financial commitment you might want to think about , or opt for an electric or hybrid if you’re set on buying. Hybrids and PHEVs tend to cost less upfront , but still provide the savings advantages that a fully electric car does. Be aware of these aspects when shopping for a car to make sure that the EV is worth the investment. The vehicle range If you’re accustomed to a lengthy commute to work and don’t have access to charging stations on the route and at the point you want to go, consider the range of the vehicle that the new vehicle you’re considering purchasing. The battery’s range of use can differ significantly based on the car model. Be careful not to purchase a car that you cannot easily keep charged to go on your daily excursions. Chargers available before heading to the dealer to look around look for chargers in your neighborhood or look into the cost of installation and upkeep of an in-home charging station. This involves weighing the level one, two, and three options with your needs. Your lifestyle It is not only it important to consider your lifestyle in terms of form but also function. EVs tend to operate differently than the ones you’re used to. Due to its reliance on regenerative brakes, for instance, you could expect a slower brake but a smoother overall drive. The final word: the price of owning an EV could be lower than a gas-powered option. Even with a higher rate of depreciation as well as higher insurance costs and financing, the lower maintenance costs and the five-year time frame for owning an EV can make it a viable option. For a potential car buyer it is crucial to consider which costs are important most to you, and whether EV fits the rest of your lifestyle. FAQs How long does it take to charge an electric car? Depending on the size of your vehicle’s battery, charging could take as few as 30 minutes or as long as 12 hours. It is recommended to fill up your EV in smaller amounts instead of all at once in order to decrease the time to charge. What is the cost to charge an electric vehicle? The exact cost to charge will differ by region due to the different electric costs, the charge is based on the range of available options and the price per Kilowatt (kWh). In California for instance, electricity averages around 18 cents for every kWh, therefore an electric vehicle with a range of 150 miles would cost around $7 for a full charge. How long will electric car batteries last? Batteries found in an EV can last between 10 to 20 years before they require a complete replacement.


Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the ins and outs of securely taking out loans to purchase an automobile. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain the confidence to control their finances with precise, well-studied details that cut otherwise complicated topics into digestible pieces.

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