Or it is, if you compared a base model to a well-equipped one.
Comparing the value of a gasoline-powered vehicle against an electric one is a moving target. It depends on where you live, what your driving habits are, and how much you value one form of propulsion over the other. Yet here's another example of how often these comparisons are now that there are more EVs to choose from.
The video is somewhat lengthy, but user Tesla Canuck's description largely sums up his point:
Even with a ~$10,000 advantage in acquisition cost, the Tesla Model 3 (base model) is easily the better deal than the Honda Accord Sport 2.0 when considering a 5 year ownership horizon. According to Autotrader, the average person keeps their car for ~6 years, so the Tesla Model 3 looks even better than a 5 year TCO would suggest. All things being equal, buy the Tesla Model 3 if you are considering the Honda Accord Sport 2.0 or similar.
More On Plug-In Ownership
Tesla Canuck uses a Honda Accord Sport 2.0T automatic for the comparison, because that's what his friend in the market for. That gives the Tesla a few advantages. First, the 2.0T engine is the uplevel choice for the current Accord and it makes up just 20 percent of gasoline-fueled versions, Honda officials told publications such as Automobile Magazine when the current generation was launched in 2017. The 1.5-liter turbo four is also the more efficient choice, as the versions with the CVT automatic (which make up about 95 percent of that 80 percent) are rated at 33 mpg combined versus 27 mpg on the 2.0T automatic, according to the EPA.
Then there's the whole issue that if you are after low cost of ownership, you're probably looking at the Accord Hybrid, anyway, which is rated at 48 mpg combined. Oh, and remember the so-called $35,000 Model 3 only comes in black (other colors are between $1,500 and $2,500 extra) has manual seat adjustments and something called "basic audio" – which may be fine if all you listen to is public radio, but also is part of this confusing leasing scheme announced last week that requires a payment to Tesla for a software upgrade to give it the full 240-mile range and Autopilot software, pushing the price closer to $40,000.
What it breaks down to is that this person wants likely an Accord Sport 2.0T more than to save fuel. If that weren't the case, the Accord Hybrid is the better comparison. The Model 3's pricing, like Teslas in general, is likely to be a wildly moving target for the foreseeable future and charging costs are also evolving as EVs become more prevalent. All of this changes the cost of ownership proposition over one year, let alone five or six.
The solution here? Don't compare apples to oranges, compare EVs to EVs.