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Ask the Energy Expert
Anne-Louise Seabury

About "Ask the Energy Expert"

Anne-Louise Seabury is FPL’s Electric Vehicles Program Manager. She attends numerous trade shows and community events as FPL’s ambassador for EVs.

Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here

Cost of electric vehicles versus regular cars

Do electric vehicles cost more or less than regular cars?

Just like gas-powered cars, electric vehicles come in all price ranges. Currently, they start in the $20,000s, with the prices rising to the low $100,000s. There are about a dozen models on the road today, and 25 additional models expected by 2015.

Road to savings When you think about buying an electric vehicle, the up-front purchase price isn’t the only thing you should consider. Owning an electric vehicle can be cheaper than owning a regular car in the long run. That’s because it’s far less expensive to “fill-up” with electricity than with gas – particularly because FPL’s rates are 26 percent below the national average. Electric vehicle owners also typically save on repairs and routine maintenance costs because oil changes and transmission work is not needed. Imagine that? This can all add up to thousands of dollars of savings over the life of the car. Here’s how:

  • Charge for about 80 percent less than what you spend at the gas pump. It’s like paying 77 cents per gallon.
  • Save approximately 35 percent on scheduled maintenance and 30 percent on repairs.

Available incentives Another way to get the most value out of owning an electric vehicle is by taking advantage of available federal, state and local incentives. Search the different incentives available for electric vehicle owners. We’ve been working to educate customers about these vehicles because they cost far less to fuel than traditional cars, which is good for your wallet. They’re also helping to reduce dependence on foreign oil and keep our air clean, something that’s good for everyone.

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Comments [27]

Brigitte // April 19, 2013

Ms. Anne-Louise whom would I make contact with in regards to publishing a cartoon created by a young girl about compact energy efficient light bulbs? She is such a green princess… she is teaching her friends how to make piggy banks out of recycled milk jugs and the cartoon she created is so simple and effective in making a really good example. I would love for her to get a little encouragement to keep up her hard work in making this a cleaner world. Please advise thank you!
PS keep up the good work your blog is so informative.
Thanks again,

Anne-Louise Seabury
Anne-Louise Seabury // April 30, 2013

Hi Brigitte. That’s great to hear how she’s using her talent to inspire others to be more efficient with their energy use, even with simple things, like the lights you use. That’s definitely worth encouraging! Glad you’re finding the blog helpful.

Douglas // May 9, 2013

I have a Chevy Volt. My wife and I have gone
15,000 miles on only 30 gals of gas. My electric
bill only went up 12 bucks a month.

s green // May 9, 2013

How long do the batteries last, and what do they cost?
If the vehicle sits for a long time, say, 3 months, would the batteries drain completely? How are they maintained?

Jim _I // May 9, 2013

I have been driving a Chevy Volt for the last 19 months. In the first year of driving, I spent $300.00 ($25.00 per month) for electricity and I only used 49 gallons of gasoline or about $200.00 @ $4.00 per gallon. That is a total fuel cost for the year of $500.00. I am on tract to match those numbers again this year.

My previous vehicle used almost 500 gallons of gasoline in a year, or over $1700.00 @$3.50 per gallon. And the driving patterns are the same.

So right away, I am saving $100.00 per month on fuel. And if you add in all the other savings on maintenance, it really adds up!

I will never buy a conventional gasoline powered vehicle again.


Craig // May 9, 2013

I recently purchased a Tesla Model S electric vehicle. Not only am I not missing the gas station, I’m enjoying an incredible vehicle, producing zero emissions and saving money on fuel and maintenance!

Werner Mettin // May 9, 2013

what about the cost of the rechargeable battery pack. Don’t they have a limited life, like 3-5 years..? That should be a very costly factor.

Charles Browning // May 9, 2013

While the refill and maintenance are lower range between recharging and access to recharging is major concern . While within home range one can recharge freely, but what about a trio to Tampa, Orlando, or Atlanta muchless to NYC. So if I wish to own vehicle that gives a city averge of 50 radius from home it is a great car. If I wish to travel all electric is still a dream and you know it.

martin pednaud // May 9, 2013

yes electric car are absolutely fantastic

i am driving a chevy volt we do 1,2000 a month a we spend only $8.00 0n gasoline … and we use a regular 100 outlet from our building app coooool isn’t it

Ann // May 9, 2013

I purchased an electric car (Chevy Volt) Nov 30th last year and love it. We had been doing a lot of research on alternative power vehicles and the Volt was our choice. I can plug into 110V outlet to charge overnight. The amount we have paid for our power vs our gasoline receipts has been amazing. When we run out of power, the gas generator kicks in and we continue our trip. The ride we get and the quietness of the car when its running is great.

Ed Aldridge // May 10, 2013

I’m a car owner who likes to keep a car for 10 or more years. What is the cost of battery replacement, and does that change the answer for a long-term owner of an electric car?

Pablo // August 10, 2013

The Volt is not an electric vehicle.

Raymond J Ramirez // May 10, 2013

I wish to ask if Florida has any state-assigned incentives for purchasing an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, and if FPL has any special nigh rates for EV charging. These two items will help promote EV sales in Florida.

Raymond J Ramirez // May 10, 2013

All EV manufacturers have a long term warranty on batteries at no cost to the customer, and up to now, only Nissan has replaced batteries due to heat degradation in the Leaf. Therefore, there is no evidence for the supposed cost of a battery replacement. It is easier to predict an engine overhaul or a transmission replacement for gas engines. Finally, all EV batteries are recyclable and will be factory reconstructed for new EVs.

June Hewett // May 10, 2013

Does having a timer on your hot water heater save money?
When you sign up for the monthly auto payment – is it re-evaluated every year?

Thank you June Hewett

David // May 11, 2013

As to costs, I understand that some dealers add a surcharge and prices may range considerably. I also understand battery technology has improved but replacing batteries is a very expensive and necessary undertaking. Can you give a comparison of costs over a 5-yr period and 10-yr. period for comparably sized and equipped cars?

luis // May 11, 2013

I live in a condo. I’m planning buying an electric car. My parking is 60 feet away from my condo. Are you planning ab special team doing this charging outlets in condos that requires?

Maria Morales // May 14, 2013

I had change my AC unit and my bill it is low that
before, thanks.

Petrice // May 16, 2013

How about the cost of replacing the batteries of an electric car?

Novel Remodeling // June 26, 2013

Electric cars save people bundles every month due to their low consumption and high mpg. The accurate estimate of .77 compared to 4$ here in california is a good comparison. You save real noticeable money with electric cars.

pablo // August 10, 2013

Hi Anne,
Can you please tell us the dozen models you are refering to? Specifically the $20,000 one? I only know one, the Nissan Leaf.
Also don’t forget batteries they last a limited amount of time and even less the more you cycle them.
I am probably as big an advocate for EV’s as anyone but misinformation surrounds the topic.


Darryl // August 12, 2013

There is no way the electric cars are cheaper. The extra money one pays for the car and future battery replacement will cost more. The battery will eventually need to be replaced due to wear and tear. There is no warranty which covers that.

After enough people get sucked into electric cars, rates will just get pumped up and your back to square one.

They already had cars that get hundreds of miles of gallons 50 years ago but they were never allowed to be released to the public.

I drive a 1999 Saturn SL which gets 36 to 40 mpg. Still can’t find a car which surpasses that today even after 14 years. They discontinued the very popular model. Now why would they do that.

Jack Andre Sr. // September 5, 2013

The information you give us is good, except you didn’t tell us how long the batteries last and how much replacements are.

David // September 5, 2013

How will FPL help EV owners ?

Coe Case // October 3, 2013

I have yet to see the actual cost of the electric charge to power a normal sized automobile a specific distance. I realize that the value depends on the driver, but what is a range, of costs in Florida. Assume a Ford Fusion, for example.

Andrew // October 4, 2013

I dont see where you calculated the battery life and the cost to replace those batteries. Isnt it like the price of replacing a new motor in a car for the price of batteries? The life of the batteries are like 100,000 miles

Sixto Ramirez // March 3, 2014

What is the cost of charging an electric car.
Is there a preferred time of day or night to charge an electric car.
Are rates the same for all times.
Thank you


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