When switching from a classic combustion engine to an electric one, salespeople may drone on about the fuel savings. While this is one of many great benefits, potential buyers may be unaware of the hidden costs of owning an electric car.
The hidden costs of owning an electric car
Let’s start right off the bat with a cost that’s actually pretty obvious: The selling price. Electric cars are more expensive than their gasoline-run counterparts. While there are certain brands that offer similarly priced options, they differ greatly when it comes to performance.
And then there’s the issue of resale value. Although it’s slowly rising, electric cars and plug-in hybrids fetch less than 40% of the original price. Conventional cars have an average resale value of 50% to 70%. The quality of old batteries remains a concern for secondhand market buyers.
Electric vehicles, however, are considered patent-protected intellectual property. This means that owners are restricted to manufacturer-certified repair shops. Limitations on repairs greatly increase the cost of fixing electric cars.
Large repair bills will often sway owners to trade-in their electric car for an upgraded model. The lack of repair shops and after-sales markets further contributes to the vehicle’s shorter lifespan. Less recycling indicates a bigger environmental footprint, and yet another hidden cost of owning an electric car.
The hidden costs of electric car batteries
One way to mitigate the sustainability issue is the option to lease the batteries installed in electric vehicles. Manufacturers are better able to increase their reuse this way. But it will cost the owner a recurring fee, despite the lower overall vehicle selling price. Depending on the car and usage, this can cost anywhere from $68 to $135 a month.
Electric vehicle owners also need to consider the hidden costs of charging their car. A home charging station is certainly cheaper than public charging stations, but they do require an initial investment upfront. Infrastructure costs are dependent on location and whether the station is portable or hardwired. Installations can cost owners anywhere from $300 to $2,200.
Customers expect a bigger range from their electric cars. This translates to bigger batteries and bigger costs. Larger batteries are heavier, also affecting vehicle performance and efficiency.
Wrapping up the list of hidden costs of owning an electric car is higher insurance premiums. Because EVs are more expensive to build and repair, fixing and replacing this advanced technology is a greater risk for insurance companies.