Electric cars are still relatively expensive, andeven with some offering more than 250 miles of range, they don’t necessarily work for everyone’s needs. Buttheir simpler drivetrains promise less-expensive maintenance and drastically lower fuel costs. The question is, though, how much can you really save over a gasoline-powered car? A Tesla taxi company called Tesloop recently had aModel S roll past the 300,000-mile mark, and according to its calculations, the savings have been massive.
Tesloop saysthatits first car, a Tesla Model S, has been operating since 2015, often being driven as much as 17,000 miles a month. But despite covering so many miles, maintenance has been fairly cheap. In its first 300,000 miles, the car only needed$10,492 for maintenance and fuel. Of that total amount, $6,900 was scheduled maintenance, and$3,500 went toward repairingheadlight damage that occurred when the car was driven through deep water. That’s a lot to spend on a car over two years, but 300,000 miles works out to about 20 years of regular use. Fuel costs were negligible because, while it won’t last forever, the Model S has free access to Tesla’s Supercharger network. If Tesloop had to pay to charge, 300,000 miles would equate to $12,872 at 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to our friends at IntelliChoice.
Over the same number of miles, Tesloop estimates a Mercedes-Benz S-Class would have used $36,000 in fuel and would have required a whopping $52,000 in maintenance. A Lincoln Town Car, meanwhile, would have used $42,000 in fuel and $28,000 for maintenance. The release isn’t clear how it computed maintenance costs or what all it included, but it appears toincludelost revenuefrom the number of days each car would have spent in the shop. Tesloopestimatesthe former wouldhaveneeded 112 daysin the shop, while the latter would havebeenout of commission for 100 days.
Even if you ignore the cost of maintenance and only focus on fuel savings, the Tesla comes out way ahead. Granted, that’s only because it’s able to take advantage of free Supercharging, but even if it had been paying for its juice the Tesla’s fuel costs still come in way under those of an S-Class. Plus, Tesloop estimates that the car will still be good for another 900,000 miles over the next six years thanks to Tesla’s eight-year, unlimited-mile powertrain warranty. At the end of its service life, the 1.2 million-mile Tesla will have theoretically saved Tesloop $144,000 in fuel costs alone.
Without access to free charging, the cost of running an electric vehicle would be higher than Tesloop’snumbers suggest. But still, it’s a fascinating look at just how much cheaper electric cars can be to run than gas-powered ones. As our friends at IntelliChoice pointed out, electric vehicles have a big advantage in extreme mileage comparisons like this one. There isn’t really much to do in terms of regular maintenance. Other than cabin air filters and windshield wipers, the biggest maintenance costs are tires and brakes. Those aren’t cheap, but you’ll have to deal with those costs regardless of what kind of car you drive. And compared to a gas-powered car, the overall cost of maintaining an electric vehicle will definitely be lower.