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Consumer advocate talks pros, cons of electric vehicles

Consumer advocate talks pros, cons of electric vehicles
Consumer advocate talks pros, cons of electric vehicles 03:24

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — As gas prices continue to fluctuate, everyone is looking for ways to save at the pump. 

But have you ever thought about ditching gas altogether? 

More and more folks are turning their attention to electric vehicles (EV). But how do they stack up against your gas-powered car? Are they worth the investment? 

They're good questions but have complicated answers. 

The price of an electric vehicle, on average, is more expensive by about $10-20,000. It's a hefty lump sum, but car consumer advocate Jerry Reynolds says it could save you in the end. 

The average cost for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Texas is changing every day, but for these purposes let's say it stays around $4.60. The average car gets 26 miles per gallon. If you drive 15,000 miles a year it would cost you $2,654. 

To charge an EV, the price will depend on electricity cost, which is about 12 center per Kilowatt hour in Texas. It would take you about 3,750 Kilowatt hours to charge enough for 15,000 miles which means you would pay about $450 a year. 

That's a total difference of over $2,000. Jerry says the savings don't stop there. 

"You're going to save money down the road in a small way on the lack of oil changes and tune ups."

A consumer report study shows the average dollar savings on maintenance over the lifetime of an EV is about $4,600. Some EV models are even eligible for a federal tax incentive of up to $7,500. 

And while there are ways to cut corners... the downside is insurance is typically higher on these vehicles and you will have to shop around.

"People are shocked when they see their insurance quotes," Jerry said. "I've seen at one point a couple's insurance go up by $200 a month." 

Though, your driving record will make a big difference on the price you pay. 

You'll also want to factor in an at-home charging station and fees that come along with installation by an electrician which could cost about another grand; However, these are only one-time costs.

But there is more to the decision than just the money. 

How do you know if they lifestyle is for you? Jerry says you should consider how much range you need, how much time you want to spend charging your vehicle, and if you are willing to spend the time finding a charger while out in public. 

The bottom line? He says if you can pay the upfront cost, you would likely save a pretty penny over the years. But if you're interested, it's best to test one out first. 

"Go rent one for a weekend and drive it under real world circumstances before you spend $65,000 on one."

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