EV aficionados will tell you that electric cars are cheaper to fuel and maintain, so that means they must be cheaper to own and operate. EV skeptics will counter with the premium pricing of many EVs, something that’s quantifiable when a brand sells both a gas-powered and full EV versions of the same vehicle. So are EVs really less expensive over the long haul of ownership? Sort of. Sometimes. As they say, it’s complicated.
To investigate whether electric cars truly is cheaper than its gas counterpart to own and use as daily transportation we chose two models in the US market that are available with both powertrains: The Hyundai Kona and Kona Electric, and the Mini Cooper Hardtop two-door and Mini Electric. We compared as much about their running costs as we could dig out from credible sources. And we ignored insurance costs, which can vary widely by state, the coverage you choose, and the owner’s driving record.