One of the leading benefits of driving an EV is undoubtedly the low running costs. And with more and more affordable electric cars reaching the market, surely a budget EV would cost less to own over an extended period than an equivalent low-cost petrol or diesel car? Well, YouTuber B Rich decided to find out.

Having analyzed several costs such as service, tire and fuel / electricity costs and factoring in the federal tax credit for EVs, B Rich discovered the Mini Cooper SE was currently the cheapest car to own and operate in the US. Provided you are eligible for the complete $7,500 federal tax rebate, over a 5-year period the Mini SE will cost you just $192 a month.

However, he also noted the all-electric Mini might not necessarily be your best option. It has a limited EPA range of just 110 miles after all.  Perhaps a smarter choice for those of you after more range would be the entry-level Nissan Leaf, which costs a total of just $200 a month according to B Rich’s calculations yet manages 150 miles per charge.

If you wanted even more range (and space) the Hyundai Kona Electric came in at a reasonable $232 a month after the federal tax rebate had been applied.  Other affordable all-electric options included the Volkswagen ID.4 Pro RWD ($252 per month) and the Standard Range RWD Ford Mustang Mach-E ($260 a month).

Interestingly the cheapest new ICE car, the Chevy Spark, still came in at a hefty $202 a month – more than both the Mini SE and Nissan Leaf. Perhaps we have now reached the tipping point where EVs make more sense to own for the budget-conscious buyer than ICE vehicles do.

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