CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – In August of this year, Governor Baker signed a major climate bill, requiring all new vehicles sold in Massachusetts must be electric by 2035. The 22News I-Team discovered what this means for consumers and the hidden costs that come with owning an electric vehicle (EV).
Many consumers find EVs appealing, not only due to the lack of tailpipe emissions but also because powering your car with electricity is less expensive than gas, especially right now with historically high prices at the pump. However, owning an electric vehicle also comes with some costs that might surprise you.
First, according to AAA it will cost you more to insure your electric vehicle.
“I think a lot of the reason that EVs are more expensive to insure is that they are more expensive vehicles to start with. We also know that a lot of them are more technologically advanced, which is a great thing, but that also means that the repair might cost a little bit more,” said Alec Slatky, Managing Director of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Northeast.
A report from Car and Driver gives us approximate numbers. A gasoline-powered vehicle costs about $1,232 to insure annually compared to $1,674 for an electric vehicle.
Second, electric cars also have little resale value. According to a study by AAA, over 5 years of depreciation on EVs was over $5,000 dollars a year. That’s $2,000 more than a sedan or compact SUV. That means that you can’t expect a high trade-in value and if you are looking to buy, there won’t be many lesser-priced used options there for you.
Third, many states are tacking on adding additional fees for EV ownership, a way to get money from people who are skirting the gas tax. Right now, Massachusetts is not one of these states but 30 states do have such fees, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Makes you wonder, what will Massachusetts do?
“The gas tax made up a significant portion of the highway trust fund at the federal level and if we are going to see a mass scale adoption of electric vehicles over the next 20, 30 years, there’s going to have to be a new paradigm,” said Slatky.
Finally, if you get an EV, it’s recommended that you install a level two charger at your house. According to AAA, the station itself can cost between $350 and $2,000 and the installation will likely set you back at least $1,000, up to $5,000 depending on home electrical service capacity. However, there are financial incentives to EV ownership, like state and federal tax credits, rebates and HOV lane access. Plus, you will save on gas.
Gary Rome, President of Gary Rome Auto Group, told 22News, “The reason people get the electric vehicle is because they wanna do their part for the environment, they want to reduce the carbon footprint, they want to try new technology, but they also want to reduce their overall operating expenses and if you fill your tank, know you will spent $140 and if you charge your car, it’s about $8.”
While electric vehicles have experienced rapid growth, they still account for less than one percent of cars and trucks in operation today. But that percentage is certain to change especially come 2035.
In the next 22News I-Team report, we look at the lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles and how fire departments across the state are now being trained on how to handle electric car fires.