Going electric has never been more popular and in California, it has never made more sense. Combine that with the state's high gas prices, as well as state and federal incentives to buy electric, and you could save a lot of money.
"In L.A. County specifically, we're talking over 30, 40 or even $50 in savings per fill up, depending on the electric vehicle. That adds up to over $1,000 a year in fuel savings," said Jack Conness, a policy analyst for Energy Innovation.
Maintenance costs are also lower for electric cars. Not having to change the oil could save you a couple hundred dollars a year. Keep in mind, when electric cars do break, the parts can sometimes cost more.
"But as far as the really big stuff that can go wrong - engines and transmissions - electric motors are pretty simple. Batteries tend to have a very long warranty on them, usually around eight years or 100,000 miles for a drive-battery in a car, said Keith Barry with Consumer Reports.
However, the upfront cost of buying an electric car has often been the biggest stumbling block for many consumers. And with federal and state incentives adding up to close to $10,000, that sticker shock is starting to subsite.
For example, Tesla's cheapest Model 3 sells for around $40,000. Add in federal and state rebates and incentives, and that price drops down to around $30,000. That's pretty close to the price of a Toyota Camry.
Comparing all models one-on-one is a little more difficult, primarily because most manufacturers are producing high-end models with all the bells and whistles.
"Right now, the early adopters tend to be folks who can afford something that's a little pricier, and the automakers are selling luxury models that tend to have bigger profit margins," Barry said.
But that's changing. Tesla is lowering prices and so is Ford. And as more competition comes to market, prices should continue to come down.
"All the manufacturers have announced something in the near future and that's sort of how all new technology is... The price comes down as the product is on the market for longer."
As long as you qualify for the incentives and rebates, and you have access to a charger, "going green" increasingly means more green in your wallet.
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