Over a period of eight years, the EV pickup is 17% cheaper.
As we all know, EVs cost a lot more than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. Take the new Ford F-150 Lightning as an example. A top-spec EV Platinum costs $91,000 if you find a dealer kind enough to sell it at sticker. The most expensive ICE F-150 (Limited) retails for around $75,000.
But what about the cost of ownership over eight years? Atlas Public Policy (APP) recently crunched the numbers and found that the upcoming EV F-150's running cost is 17% lower than the gas-powered version.
APP also looked at the most popular models across three other segments, and in every case, the EV came out on top.
"Electric vehicles are more accessible than ever," said Tom Taylor, policy analyst at Atlas Public Policy. "Now that some of the best-selling pickups and SUVs have a cheaper electric option, 2022 should be a supercharged year for electric car and truck sales."
APP looked at several necessary costs of ownership areas, including the purchase price, maintenance, fuel costs, taxes, fees, and depreciation.
While the initial purchase price of the EV was more expensive in every segment, the various EVs clawed back when it came to maintenance and fuel bills. It's a lot cheaper to charge a vehicle than fill it with gas, and fewer moving parts mean lower service costs.
It's worth noting that the APP crunched the numbers under the assumption that 88% of charging would happen at home, and public charging costs were calculated using Electrify America rates.
The expected years of use were set at eight years, with an average of 15,000 miles driven per year. APP did not include any climate costs or benefits, though the $7,500 tax credit was factored in where applicable. Oddly, even though most of the charging is thought to be at home, APP did not factor in the cost of home charging equipment.
The F-150 came out tops in the survey, being an estimated 17% cheaper over the eight years. Volkswagen's ID.4 was found to be 15% cheaper than the best-selling Honda CR-V. A Tesla Model 3 is just 5% less than a Lexus ES 250, while a Chevrolet Bolt is 6.4% less expensive to run than a Toyota Corolla.
While these figures are lower, we expected the difference over a more extended period to be more significant. You can make a reasonable argument for the Ford, but the other figures are arguably not that impressive. Also, how do you account for the Bolt's reputational damage?
"The popularity of gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs is making it harder for the US to achieve its climate goals and avoid the worst consequences of climate change," said Taylor. "American drivers can now have their cake and eat it too by continuing to drive pickups and SUVs and also enjoy the benefits of electric driving, like lower costs and cleaner air."
While we applaud the efforts, APP specifically mentions the F-150 as America's best-selling vehicle for 43 years in a row. There are millions of F-150s out there, still operating way beyond the expected lifetime of a battery.
It would be interesting to see the expected long-term ownership cost over 15 to 20 years, considering the average American is currently keeping their car for much longer than ever before.