While the current purchase price of an EV can be greater (10 to 40% more) than an equivalent gasoline powered vehicle, the operation and maintenance of an EV will be less expensive. And typically the total cost of ownership over the life of an EV will be less than a gasoline powered vehicle.
Tax Credits: Many EVs are still eligible for a federal tax credit up to $7,500. Unlike a tax deduction, tax credits represent a dollar-for-dollar refund on your federal tax liability up to the credit amount. An additional 30% federal tax credit is offered for charging equipment and installation (when placed into service by Dec 31, 2021), which refunds up to $1,000 of this cost. According to Electrek EV owners can get up to $4,000 tax credit from the federal government for buying a used EV that costs under $25,000. There are some income qualifications for the full amount.
The most significant savings from EV ownership in Idaho are in fuel costs. Idaho has some of the lowest average electricity rates in the nation and moderate gasoline prices. An up-to-date estimate of the cost to fuel a vehicle with a gallon of gasoline and the equivalent cost of electricity can be found here. Additionally, your electric rates are fixed for the year while gas prices often see wild swings, adding uncertainty and variability to your budget.
Idaho Power also has a fuel cost calculator that you can use to compare an EV to your current vehicle.
Idaho National Laboratory has a calculator for comparing energy costs per mile for electric and gasoline powered vehicles.
Throughout Idaho, there are businesses, libraries, municipal locations, and shopping centers that offer free EV charging.
Additional savings over the life of the vehicle can be realized as the EV drivetrain requires little to no maintenance. Gasoline engines require regular oil and filter changes, coolant replacement, and adjustments that EV’s do not need. This recent paper from Consumer Reports finds that it costs half as much money to maintain an EV as a gasoline powered vehicle.
The paper also found that over the first seven years of EV ownership, the purchase price, fuel, and maintenance of an EV were less than or equal to an equivalent gasoline powered vehicle. Over the life of the vehicle, significant savings were found with the EV. Due to depreciation, it was also found that the relative savings from buying an EV were 2 to 3 times higher if the EV was purchased used (5 to 7 years old) compared with purchasing a new EV. And as EV technology has improved, the purchase prices have declined rapidly.