EV Cost vs Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Gas Vehicles

You may have heard that EVs are more expensive than gas vehicles (internal combustion engines (ICEs).  You may also have heard that government rebates, lower maintenance costs, lower costs for charging (vs. gasoline) make EVs less expensive.  So what is the truth?  Well, it’s all true, to a degree.

  • The initial purchase price of many, but not all, EVs is higher than a comparable ICE.
  • There are state and federal rebates for many, but not all EVs which lower the purchase; see our section on rebates for details.
  • Maintenance costs for EVs are lower than that for ICEs and reduce the total ownership cost over time.
  • The cost to charge your EV is less than gasoline costs, so this also reduces the total ownership cost over time.

Here are some specific examples using 2023 vehicles.  The plot below shows that the total cost of ownership of a Toyota Corolla Cross ICE is $63,000 over 10 years versus $62,000 for a similar Tesla Model Y EV after rebates using the Argonne National Laboratory’s  AFLEET tool (https://greet.anl.gov/afleet).  We used the Massachusetts’s 2023 average gasoline price of $3.37 as reported by AAA and Westborough’s 2024 electricity price of $0.29 /kWh.

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The chart below shows that the total cost of ownership of a Toyota Corolla ICE is $60,000 over 10 years versus $47,000 for a similar Chevy Bolt EUV EV after rebates.

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