Quality Verified | Updated August 22, 2022
Top 4 Reasons to Buy an EV

AAA’s Your Driving Costs study: What does it say about electric vehicles?

Picture of by <strong>Alec Slatky</strong>
by Alec Slatky

AAA Public & Government Affairs

For over 70 years, AAA has released a Your Driving Costs study to help car buyers know how much it will cost to own and operate a vehicle beyond the purchase price. Fuel, maintenance, and insurance are all key components of vehicle ownership, and savvy shoppers will budget for these expenses. In this year’s study, EVs stack up favorably to most other categories of vehicles – and unsurprisingly, fuel is a major reason why. Consumers who want to estimate the annual cost to own a specific vehicle – including the make, model and trim – can visit AAA’s new Your Driving Costs calculator.
1. Overall Costs

The study analyzed nine types of vehicles, and while EVs may have a higher-than-average purchase price, they were the second cheapest over the cost of five years of ownership

2. EVs and Fuel Savings

EVs have massive savings over gas-powered vehicles in fuel. At about 4 cents per mile, EVs save nearly 80% on fuel compared to the average internal combustion engine car.

3. EVs and Maintenance

EVs also have the lowest maintenance costs, though the savings are not quite as drastic. With relatively simple powertrains, EVs don’t require as much regular upkeep for services like oil changes and air filter replacements.

4. EVs and Other Ownership Costs

EVs have the highest rate of depreciation by a large margin, due to their high purchase price, relative lack of popularity among used car buyers and high battery replacement cost. Their high purchase prices also lead to relatively high insurance and finance costs, but they have the lowest rate of taxes and fees thanks to federal and state incentives.

AAA’s Recommendation: Whether you own an electric vehicle or a gas-powered car is up to you – and you should consider lots of factors in making that choice. No matter what type of vehicle you’re choosing, we recommend visiting a dealership, test driving one, and asking as many questions as possible to make an informed decision.