How Much Do Electric Cars Cost?

March 5, 2012

Do electric cars cost more than they're worth in the long run? Get the prices on the top electric models, and the tax incentives that offset them.

Most electric cars cost a little bit more upfront than a gasoline engine car. This is because the battery packs are very expensive. That being said, the savings over the life of the car will easily come out in your favor. The average price of a new car in the United States is around $28,000. Most of the better electric cars will cost more than this. In fact, the only current electric cars less than that are ones from Zap and GEM and those are the lower performance electric vehicles.

Tesla Roadster


The Tesla Roadster is the most expensive electric car out there on the market. It retails in the $105,000 range and after the national tax credit, it falls right under the $100,000 mark. The Roadster has great performance, with a 288 horsepower engine and incredible acceleration times. The Roadster also has a 244 mile electric range which is something only Tesla model cars have been able to do so far. It also has a solar roof which helps recharge the batteries for free and power the cooling systems. For the price, it isn't for everyone. However, it performs as well as any regular luxury gasoline car out there.

Tesla Model S


The Model S may be the best Tesla car they make in the next few years. The car should run around $50,000 dollars. This is no small price, however, for what you are getting it is highly worth it compared to a gasoline luxury sedan. The car has a 45 minute quick charge battery. Most cars cost around $10 dollars to charge their battery, but this is 60 percent less, at only $4 dollars a charge. You save 90 percent or more vs. gasoline on every fill-up you make. The car can also hold seven passengers and has the same engine qualities and statistics as the Roadster.

Chevy Volt


The Volt is a little closer to the reasonable price range for many people at $32,500. Of course, with the lower price comes lower performance. The Volt has an electric range of 50 miles. That is respectable, and some of the highest out there, but it is nowhere near the Tesla models. The Volt can still get you many places without using any gas. When it does use gas, the fuel economy is 150 miles per gallon.

Nissan Leaf


Nissan's foray into EV's is the Nissan Leaf. Nissan has made the push for all-electric vehicle technology. To fully recharge the battery, it will take between 4 to 8 hours using a 220-volt home charging unit, or 26 minutes utilizing DC quick charge stations, which will be setup for public usage. It should be noted that 26 minutes will only charge the Leaf's battery to about 80 percent. The Leaf's range is estimated to be just over 100 miles between charges.

Tax Incentives

Many electric cars are eligible for the national government tax credit program. The type of vehicle, weight, emissions, etc will determine the amount of the credit. The minimum credit for an electric car is $2,500 while the maximum credit is $7,500. This comes straight off of the purchase price, so that is a large savings right there. This program goes through at least the end of this year, but be aware that once a company hits a quota for electric cars sold, the refund will start to get lower and even phase out.

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