Motorists may be shocked to discover that a Ford Focus Electric would set them back $39,200, and a Toyota RAV4 EV, even more, at $49,800. The high price of electric cars may make you wonder what goes into manufacturing them. These rides represent the culmination of decades of R&D fueled by the desire to make automobiles cleaner. Behind these startling price tags is the benefit of reduced expenditures for auto parts and routine maintenance check ups such as the 90k service check.
The Institute of Automobile Economics in Germany discovered that, apart from the reduced expense per mile driven, electric cars cost nearly 35 percent less to maintain than its fossil fuel counterpart.
In the study, a conventional car with an annual mileage of 5,000 miles racked up $4,770 in maintenance costs over eight years. An electric car under similar conditions cost only $3,071. This is because an electric car has fewer moving parts, no engine or cooling system, utilizing the electric current from its battery operating electric drive motors.
Think about it – in an electric car, the electricity stored in the battery is instantly transformed into kinetic energy by the motors. In a gas-powered car, the chemical energy in fuel has to be turned into heat energy via combustion, and then into kinetic energy through the pistons and crankshaft to accomplish motion.
However, experts say the low operating costs will only be enjoyed for the service life of the battery. As with your smart phone or music player, the rechargeable cells in electric cars will gradually lose their storage capacity over time. It’s estimated that an electric car will be good for more than 100,000 miles before it’s batteries need to be replaced.
Battery replacement, however, doesn’t come cheap, costing around $15,000. In fact, most experts believe that the limitations in battery technology are keeping electric cars from making that major leap in the market.
Electric car owners have been paying progressively less for more mileage since 1991. Moreover, the Department of Energy is determined to bring the prices of electric car batteries down by 70 percent by 2014. When that happens, the average car on the road might quickly become electric simply for cost savings.
Auto Service Tip: Three Reasons to Get a 90k Service Change