How much does an electric car actually cost?

Electric vehicles have long been seen as crucial to moving the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels: Many Americans are too car-addicted to abandon their personal vehicles, and the country is too tethered to its highways and suburbs to make a quick switch to a full-scale European-style public transportation system. (Sorry, mass-transit advocates.) A fleet of EVs, running on clean electricity, could help slash the 28 percent of U.S. emissions that come from transportation. But often, possible EV buyers are understandably scared off by the higher sticker price. But what about over the lifetime of a vehicle? Shannon Osaka digs into this tricky question.

If you’re curious about our methodology, we used a 2020 report from Consumer Reports, showing the difference in lifetime fueling costs of Crossovers/SUVs ($11,200) and maintenance ($4,600) for all models.