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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 aim is to assist you make better financial choices by offering financial calculators and interactive tools as well as publishing objective and original content. This allows you to conduct research and compare information at no cost to help you make sound financial decisions. Bankrate has agreements with issuers, including but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The deals that are displayed on this site come from companies who pay us. This compensation can affect the way and where products appear on the site, such as such things as the order in which they may appear in the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. This applies to our mortgage, home equity and other products for home loans. However, this compensation will affect the information we provide, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial deals that might be available to you. Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

8 min read Published August 15, 2022

Writer: Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the ways and pitfalls of taking out loans to buy cars. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances through providing concise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate promise

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If you have questions about money. Bankrate can help. Our experts have been helping you manage your finances for more than four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to be successful throughout their financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict policy, therefore you can be confident that our content is truthful and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters provide honest and trustworthy content that will help you make the best financial decisions. Our content produced by our editorial team is factual, objective, and not influenced by our advertisers. We’re open about how we are capable of bringing high-quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by explaining how we earn money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for placement of sponsored products and, services, or through you clicking certain links posted on our website. This compensation could influence the manner, place and in what order items are displayed within the categories of listing in the event that they are not permitted by law for our mortgage or home equity products, as well as other home lending products. Other elements, such as our own rules for our website and whether or not a product is available within the area you reside in or is within your own personal credit score can also impact how and where products appear on this website. Although we try to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every credit or financial product or service. One-in-four new car shoppers now consider buying a hybrid or electric car just as they would with a traditional gas-powered option According to (KBB). And choosing electric vehicles — or any alternative fuel vehicle — can prove to be worthwhile for your pocket as well as the environment. However, before you go to the dealership , it’s recommended to research electric car options and understand the difference in cost of ownership. What exactly is an electric vehicle? Electric cars have seen a huge rise in popularity over recent years, especially as the awareness of climate-related issues is growing. This, in conjunction with steep gas prices have all caused drivers to save money driving electric. In contrast to the gas-powered cars that are commonly on the roads and in parking lots, EVs have a motor powered by batteries. There are three kinds of electric vehicles. The hybrid electric vehicle (HEVs) are powered by an electric motor as well as an internal combustion engine HEVs have the power of a gas-powered traditional vehicle with the benefit of improved fuel economy. You do not charge an HEV the same way as the EVs it is compared to, however batteries are charged through the engine. There are a large variety of models and makes of HEVs for sale. The top-rated models as per KBB include those like the Honda Accord Hybrid, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid. Plug-in hybrid electric cars (PHEVs) Plug-in hybrids is exactly as it sounds it is a hybrid vehicle you plug in to charge. It is powered through an internal battery within the vehicle that is charged through another cable. PHEVs also use an alternative fuel, which is typically gasoline to power an internal combustion engine (ICE). This type of vehicle uses electricity until it’s used up and then taps into the ICE capabilities. The options for PHEVs are a bit slimmer, but KBBs standout options are that of Ford Escape SE Plug-in Hybrid, the Hyundai Tucson Plug-in Hybrid as well as the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid. Fully electric vehicles (EVs) Fully electric vehicle is a step up and is completely powered with an electric motor- no ICE or additional alternative fuel sources are required. They have a battery that powers the vehicle . It is charged in a similar manner to PHEVs. EVs are charged through an outlet that is specifically designed for them. While charging stations are found locally, it is important to remember the added expense that a charger will cost if you are considering an all-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 cars Before diving in the deep end of electric and hybrid cars it is crucial to comprehend the price differentiation between electric and gas. While it is true that driving an EV may have less overall cost however, the initial cost can still serve as an obstacle for some. Recently, purchasing a brand new car is costly regardless of its power source. July 2022 saw record-breaking price for new cars of more than $48,000, according to . However, the price of an EV is still higher than that of a gasoline-powered vehicle. It is estimated by KBB estimation for the EV is over $60,000 -which is in line with the average luxury car price. However, it is predicted that by the EV market will grow to 40 percent by 2031 according to . This estimation is supported by the increased number of vehicles that are entering the market. This increase in EV availability is a potential equalizer. As more drivers consider buying electric cars their costs will drop. This growth is already clear by the increasing number of new options that are entering the market. In the first quarter of 2022, 4.64 percent of all new vehicle registrations were EVs, and 7.18 percent were hybrids, as per Experian’s report on the automotive market trends. This made for a 60.4 percent growth for EVs over the first quarter of 2022 and an 10.7 percent growth for hybrids. Cost to own electric in comparison to. gas-powered cars Although the initial cost of purchasing your next vehicle is important you must also understand the cost to maintain and maintain the car over the life of ownership. Consider the five-year cost-to-own comparison of two popular sedans according to Edmunds. The first model, 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV, comes in at $31,955 MSRP . It offers a wide capacity, spacious cabin, and well-rated handling. The second, 2022’s Mazda 3, is a well-known gas-powered model with a price tag of $24,115 that offers an elegant interior as well as a smooth ride. a turbocharged engine. Consider how the following costs accumulated over five years of ownership influence which vehicle you’d like to purchase. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2022 Mazda 3

Vehicle depreciation



Taxes and fees


















Cost of ownership for the real thing


$31,277 Fuel At the most basic scale, driving an electric vehicle means that there will be no need to fill up at the gas station. A study conducted in 2020 discovered that EV owners will spend on average 60 percent less to fuel their cars. The difference in cost of gasoline between Chevy and the Mazda is even steeper than the average. However, getting power for your EV is not so simple as picking regular, midgrade or high-end. Electric vehicle charging can be broken down into three options that all carry different costs and benefits. The first option is charging at a level one. It is by far the most common form of charging and is accessible through the same outlet you would charge your smartphone using. They are the most slow charging options that provide anywhere between 2 and 5 miles charge per hour. Level two charging. These chargers, typically installed and found in your garage, use the same power as your washing machine. You can gain between 10 and 20 miles of charging in just an hour. Level three charging. Also known as DC charging, these are available in public settings. They’re the fastest alternative and users can get an 80 per cent charge within 20 minutes. Similar to how running your washing machine several times in a row can add to your electric bill and the extra cost when charging at home can add up. The ongoing expense is in addition to the initial cost to set up an at-home charging station — which can range from $300 to $50,000 depending on the level that the charge. But keep in mind that many communities now have access to chargers, meaning you might not have to shell out for installation immediately. Take a look at the free map of EV stations to see chargers in your local area. Finance Although you are able to finance a cargasoline or electric powered — simply by applying online or in person to several lenders prior to deciding on the , financing a green car may come with additional benefits. These loans are available to those looking to finance an electric car. These kinds of loans are usually offered through a credit union and generally have lower interest rates than traditional auto loans. You could also be eligible for a financial incentive offered in certain states in the U.S. You can benefit from a credit amounting up to $7500, based on the state you reside in. Insurance Insuring your car is a vital part of the ownership process that will protect you along with your passengers. It follows the same method you’d use to cover the standard vehicle options. It covers collision, bodily injury, responsibility and comprehensive insurance. And as with any vehicle the cost will depend on a variety of variables. But insurance for an EV will typically cost more than gas-powered options. One reason could be the price of the vehicle’s parts. An accident of a minor nature could cause, for instance, in the need for a battery pack replacement — something that can be priced at upwards of $15,000. Bankrate examined 12 car models provided by Quadrant Information Serves and found that, on average, premiums will be higher for electric cars. This is demonstrated by the higher insurance costs projected for Bolt over the Mazda 3. Bolt as compared to Mazda 3. Pros and cons of electric vehicles EVs can provide a ride which is healthier for the planet and your pocket in the long term however, they’re not without disadvantages. The advantages of electric vehicles Some benefits to driving an electric car include less maintenance. Electric cars need less trips to the mechanic, which means lower costs for expenses like oil changes and brake system inspections. Lower cost over the life of the car. Car ownership can be costly, but EVs have a lower life cost. They are better for the environment. They do not release pollutants from tailpipes which is why they are better for local air quality as well as general carbon dioxide emissions. Modern technology is available. A lot of the latest electric cars have advanced control panels as well as mobile apps to control and monitor the car. Cons of electric cars Some drawbacks that come with driving an electric vehicle are: Higher cost to purchase. In the average, purchasing an EV carries a steeper upfront cost, close to $12,000 more, based on KBB’s average July 2022 transactions prices. Range anxiety. Charging stations can be few and far between in some regions, which can leave drivers stressed while searching for a place to get electricity. Faster vehicle depreciation. Battery deterioration and vehicle incentives create quick value loss in the case of electric cars. Cost to install a charging station. If you prefer the convenience of being able to charge at your own home, the installation can cost up to $50,000. Are electric vehicles the best choice for you? if your next set of wheels is electric, it should be considered similarly to how you would pick the model or design of traditional vehicle is best for you.take into consideration your lifestyle and needs. If your commute works with the range that the EV provides or you prefer the sleek style and environmental benefits, then an EV might be the best option. However, if committing to the full EV is too big of a financial commitment you may want to consider the option of the hybrid or plug-in option when you’re planning to purchase. Hybrids and PHEVs tend to cost less upfront , but still carry some of the money-saving benefits that a fully electric vehicle does. Take note of these key aspects when shopping for a car to make sure that the EV is worth your investment. The range of the vehicle If you’re accustomed to a lengthy commute to work , and aren’t able to access charging stations on the route and at the point you want to go, think about the vehicle range that the car you are considering buying. The average battery range can differ significantly based on the type of car. Make sure that you don’t purchase a car isn’t able to easily charge for your daily outings. Access to chargers Prior to going to the dealer to look around look for chargers in your area or look into the cost of installing and maintaining an in-home charging station. This involves weighing the level one, two, and three options with your needs. Your lifestyle. Not only is important to consider your lifestyle in terms of form but also in the way of function. Electric vehicles operate in a different way from what you are used to. Because of its dependence on regenerative braking, as an instance, you could expect slower brakes but smoother overall drive. The final word: the cost of owning an EV is less than an alternative powered by gas. Even with higher depreciation rates for vehicles and potentially higher insurance and financing costs, the lower maintenance costs and the five-year time frame to own an EV is a good choice. As a car buyer it is crucial to determine which costs matter the most to you and whether EV will fit into your life. FAQs What is the time it takes to take to charge an electric car Depending depending on the dimensions of your vehicle’s battery, charging can be as short as 30 minutes or 12 hours. The best way to go is to fill up your EV in smaller increments instead of all at one time in order to lessen the charge time. What is the cost to charge an electric vehicle? While the exact price for charging will vary based on 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 the average electricity price is 18 cents for every kWh, so an EV with a 150-mile range would cost around $7 for a full charge. What is the length of time electric car batteries last? The batteries found in an EV will last between 10 to 20 years before they are in need of a replacement.


This article is written by Auto Loans Reporter Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She has a specialization in helping readers to navigate the ways and pitfalls of taking out loans to purchase a car. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain confidence to control their finances with precise, well-studied facts that break down complicated topics into digestible pieces.

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