What you wish you knew about the costs of owning an EV before you got one?

Discussion in 'General' started by AndreaH, Mar 23, 2021.

To remove this ad click here.

  1. AndreaH

    AndreaH New Member

    Hi everybody!
    I'm writing an article for new EV owners answering some of their most commonly asked questions. Uncertainties about the costs of owning an EV seem to be one of the main things holding people back from making the switch. I'd love to get a quote from current EV owners about what you wish you knew about the costs of owning an EV before you got one. As there's such a big price range for EVs, what I'd be more interested in is ownership in general - what people should know about costs related to maintenance, driving, subsidies, etc. It would be great if I could also include your name, city/country, and possibly a photo. Thanks in advance for sharing your insights!
    electriceddy likes this.
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. No real surprises for me, as I had been researching EVs for a while, and my son owned a Tesla prior to my purchase of my Kona EV.

    But I would bet the biggest surprises for some might be the range loss in winter, and that it is recommended to charge only to 80% unless on a trip and start driving immediately after a 100% charge. With that, your effective useful range is less and you need to be more aware of when/where your next charge will be. So should try to buy a higher range car. Have yet to hear anyone say they have too much range.... My Kona has one of the best ranges, but would still want more.

    Some good surprises, too, like the abundance of charging infrastructure, incl free charging, at least where I live. I have had my EV for almost two years now, and never had to pay for a charge, incl at home.

    You can look at my profile info for where I live.
    AndreaH and ericy like this.
  4. GvilleGuy

    GvilleGuy Well-Known Member

    The 80% charge deal can vary by car. In the case of the shorter range Mini Cooper, the Battery Management System already limits battery use to 28.9 kWh of the total 32.6 kWh. So for the Mini the recommendation is charge to 100%. (Credit to @insightman for teaching me that)
    AndreaH and Puppethead like this.
  5. My Kona manual also does not recommend against charging to 100%, and supposedly also has an extra battery buffer of about 5%. And the manual even recommends charging to 100% if you are going to leave the car sit for a longer time and not driving it. That is really odd, and against all conventional wisdom about these batteries. Myself, I am sticking with the conventional wisdom despite what the manual says in this regard.

    Also, should be noted that the fast charge rate tapers down starting at 70% and really tapers down at 90%. So on a trip I tend to only charge to 70% to minimize my time at a DC fast charging station, unless my destination requires a higher charge. For where I live, that is usually not necessary.
    AndreaH likes this.
  6. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    There's the one-time cost of installing a Level 2 charger at home (if one can), but I view that as a home improvement cost.

    I actually found the costs of owning an EV a lot lower than expected. Not only do I not stop for fuel, it has also eliminated all of the extra purchases one makes when at the convenience store.

    The one cost I hadn't though of was home car cleaning, especially for the windshield. Not going to fueling stations means no more chances to clean bugs off the windshield or headlights, so I needed to invest in a way to do that on my own. Not exactly a huge expense.
    DCMB and AndreaH like this.
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. marshall

    marshall Active Member

    I think a few costs that may surprise folks are coolant replacement cost, since battery cooled EVs use a lot more expensive coolant, a rotor cleaning expense, since EVs use the mechanical brakes lightly and may corrode, an increase in tire expense, and an annual EV registration tax.

    On the other side, the state of Washington gives you a sales tax break on new and used EVs with some restrictions.

    You will find it common for folks that have experienced driving an EV that they tell you how much fun they are to drive.

    You will find that winter range can be as much as 30% less than summer range. So an electric car with a heat pump is helpful in limiting that loss.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
    AndreaH likes this.
  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I started with a 2014 BMW i3-REx and it taught the basics. A Prius owner for a decade, I tried a 2017 Prius Prime only to discover it was not as practical as the BMW i3-REx. So trading in the Prius Prime for the Std Rng Plus Model 3 when it became available had no dramatic 'lessons learned.'

    Bob Wilson
    AndreaH likes this.
  10. AndreaH

    AndreaH New Member

    Thanks for the insights!
  11. Most important is charging costs associated with longer distance travel. While public charging is mostly free in this area (on a temporary basis) until the infrastructure catches up, the actual cost can be double or triple or worse if charging in cold weather as the charging rate slows down. Most DC chargers price by time not actual kWh delivered. Some networks are better (and cheaper) than others...Tesla supercharger for instance. So for a new owner a good piece of advice is to purchase an electric vehicle with what we call a good charging curve: that is one that will charge at a high rate for as long as possible, therefore reducing the cost involved. Also to stress the importance of a home charging set up that will work best for the individuals driving requirements.
    As the acceptance of electric vehicles becomes more common, the purchase incentives that are today present will dry up and disappear, and the "free" charging that we now cherish will become a thing of the past.
    AndreaH likes this.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. DJP

    DJP Member

    Very temporarily in BC. I got an email today from the British Columbia Utilities Commission today with the following information:

    B. In the Application, BC Hydro seeks BCUC approvals, on both an interim and a permanent basis, of time-

    based rates as set out in (collectively, Proposed Rates):

    i. Rate Schedule 1360 for fast charging service at 25 kW stations at $0.12 per minute;

    ii. Rate Schedule 1560 for fast charging service at 50 kW stations at $0.21 per minute; and iii. Rate Schedule 1561 for fast charging service at 100 kW stations at $0.27 per minute;

    C. BC Hydro requests interim approval of the Proposed Rates to take effect on May 1, 2021, on a non- refundable and non-collectible basis due to administrative limitations associated with refunding or collecting the difference between interim and permanent rates for the fast charging service;

    Attached Files:

  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The only thing missing are 'idle fees' and 'grace period.' This encourages a charge-and-go versus having someone blocking others who may also need a charge.

    Bob Wilson
    AndreaH likes this.
  15. DCMB

    DCMB New Member

    I was pleasantly surprised by how few additional costs there were. Other than the initial cost for an electrician to put 220 in my garage (which I was prepared for and also agree is a home improvement which will add value to the house) Regular maintenance is much lower then and ICE vehicle and saves me a fair amount of $$ in addition to the much lower cost of electricity vs. gasoline.

    And I too had to buy some window washing kit. A small price to pay for never visiting the gas station.
    AndreaH likes this.
  16. turtleturtle

    turtleturtle Active Member

    The cost of installing a home charger. You can trickle charge, but if you want to fill up faster at 240v, it’s $800-1000 to have the plug installed and then $400-700 for the charger. So $1,500 for the convenience.
    Txev84 likes this.
  17. DCMB

    DCMB New Member

    There is clearly a difference here that I wasn't aware of. The Leaf comes with a level 2 EVSE, I thought other manufacturers did the same. My electrician charged me $500 all in to do the wiring. What a difference, I'll consider myself lucky.
  18. The only cost-related surprise was how much lower maintenance costs were without things like oil and filter changes. The biggest surprise as a new EV owner was the range drop in winter, but that's not really a costly surprise as much as it is a bit of an annoyance (charging more often). Like DCMB, my Leaf came with a L2 EVSE, so all I had to have installed at the cottage was a NEMA14-50 outlet for charging. I knew I would not be able to charge at my home (condo), so I was prepared for public retail-cost charging.
    Even before I drove electric, paying at the pump definitely saved costs (and pounds) because I didn't go inside the convenience store to pay!
    AndreaH likes this.
  19. gooki

    gooki Active Member

    Had I known I'd be saving $2,000 a year in petrol costs, I'd have purchased an EV sooner.

Share This Page