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Anne-Louise Seabury

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

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Cost of electric vehicles versus regular cars

By Anne-Louise Seabury

Asked on: April 17, 2013 by Gerardo C., Miami Beach

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 [35]

  1. Nadine Francis

    How many Full Load Amps is drawn when charger starts and how many running amps does it use whilst charging?

  2. brotherkenny

    In 2009 when the Volt came out the price of batteries at the pack level were about $1000 dollars/kWhr (kilowatt hour). Now, in 2014, they cost about $300/kWhr. That is a 70% cost reduction in five years. We are not yet at the lowest cost for batteries as still today we do not have huge production capacities, so, we can expect additional cost reductions. It is unlikely that we will get anothe 70% drop in cost in the next 5 years, however, it is likely to be an addition 50% decrease in cost. This also does not factor in the very real possibility that additional cost reduction could be acheived through technological improvements to the battery chemistry. Therefore, you should expect to pay significantly less for a battery replacement than you would for the original battery should you decide to buy an electric vehicle. Additionally, you should understand that your battery in electric cars are warranteed for 7 years, and that the battery doesn’t necessarily need to be replaced. What happens is that the capacity fades over time, however, the point at which the battery is recommended to be replaced by the manufacturer is 80% of the original capacity. That isn’t really that bad, and you could choose not to replace it should the range be adequate for your purposes. The 80% point for replacement was abitrarily set by the manufacturers, but is not an absolute failure point. Also, should you choose to replace the battery, you will be paid for the one you have, which is not totally without value. For instance, the cost of replacing the battery in a Leaf is about $6K, but you will be given $1000 dollars for your old battery. To get to the point where you have depleted your battery by 20% you will have had to do about 3000 deep cycles, or about ten years of driving. Again if you choose to replace your battery at that time you will have a huge savings in fuel costs over the next years since the car has already paid for itself and your only cost will be the $5K for the battery replacement. Which as I have said will be much cheaper by then, probably more like $2,500. The real problem with electric cars is that they could potential make you consume way less energy and other materials for your transportation needs, and that is just not in the best interest of our corporations and politicians who would prefer you remain a debt slave for your entire life. By the way, if batteries hit $100/kWhr, solar and wind energy will be capable of being economically stored and that will be the end of coal, gas and nuclear electricity generation and the grid and you will be free. Something our leaders and owners also don’t like. In fact, they’d give you the cars, but they see this eventuality with wind and solar and so they need to stop the electric cars. This is coming, but it will take another 20-50 years because people are slow and cowed and easily fall for falsehoods that get repeated by greedy and unscrupulous media outlets who are owned by the owners.

  3. Lee

    What, if anything, is being done ( planned ) about providing charging stations for vehicles?


    How feasible is it to charge a car at a charging station, given the time it takes most EV’s to charge?

  4. John Sargant

    The cost of replacing the batteries in an electric vehicle equals or exceeds the cost of repairing transmissions and/or rebuilding gasoline engines. It is so high that is largely offsets the savings of using electric rather than gasoline. When you add the extra cost of the electric vehicle to begin with, visa vi a similarly sized and equipped gasoline vehicle, you will pay considerably more to own an electric car. That is the truth. You should buy one only if you like the idea enough to overcome the cost differential.

  5. Sixto Ramirez

    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

  6. Floyd

    You answered the first comment Anne-Louise so we know you are listening. However, you avoid the battery question like a hot potato. At some point there will be a need to trade. If you have 50,000, or less miles on the vehicle you may get a decent value (assuming battery life is 100,000) but who would buy a used one without a deep discount or battery warrantee?

  7. Andrew

    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

    1. Bob

      Why is it that we see NO real answers relating to battery replacement cost….is FPL filtering the answers? What is the expected battery life, perhaps FPL could research THIS on the various models and publish the results….it would be much appreciated.

  8. Coe Case

    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.

  9. Leonard Sclafani

    Ps ,i don’t have a web sight,as im a retired contractor and live is south Florida since 1946. Was in business for over 40 years and dont ever plan on leaving south Florida. My profession is now and has been since my family ( mom )moved here in 1946 from a broken marriage in Brooklyn N.Y. Mom started out as a waitress then began to acquire property here,i own several buildings and im continuing it as a land lord and maintenance engineer ,ha ha ,im a do it all type guy , , i don’t trust any one , and i lease a Chevy Silverado pickup truck to cut grass and fix things ,its not a bad gas guzzler but don’t like the fact that i am polluting the air as i do it,,thought i might be interested in buying an electric type truck ,and looking for any savings out there ,,Thanks for reading ,Dino in sunny Miami.

  10. Tom Zink

    What is your policy re Seniors(over 65)and the deposit? Could the deposit be made in 2 or 3 payments?

  11. David

    How will FPL help EV owners ?

  12. Jack Andre Sr.

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

  13. Darryl

    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.

  14. pablo

    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.


  15. Novel Remodeling

    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.

  16. Petrice

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

  17. Maria Morales

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

  18. luis

    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?

  19. David

    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?

  20. June Hewett

    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

  21. Raymond J Ramirez

    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.

  22. Raymond J Ramirez

    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.

  23. Ed Aldridge

    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?

    1. Pablo

      The Volt is not an electric vehicle.

  24. Ann

    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.

  25. martin pednaud

    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

  26. Charles Browning

    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.

  27. Werner Mettin

    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.

  28. Craig

    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!

  29. Jim _I

    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.


  30. s green

    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?

  31. Douglas

    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.

  32. Brigitte

    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,

    1. Anne-Louise Seabury
      Anne-Louise Seabury

      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.


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