Kim Java, whose YouTube channel was formerly known as "Like Tesla," has been driving Tesla's vehicles for years. She notes that her family drives a ton of miles each year for a number of reasons.
Kim and her husband share a single car, a Tesla Model 3. They have children who are involved in plenty of activities, and needless to say, they have been racking up the miles. Fortunately, the Model 3 is one of the most efficient cars on the market today, which means Kim's family is saving a significant amount of money on "fuel."
While there are certainly people who drive more than 32,000 miles per year, it's far from the norm. Instead, 15,000 miles per year is more typical, with many drivers traveling about 1,000 miles per month. The average US family doesn't typically put nearly 100,000 miles on a passenger car in three years, though if all the driving was allocated to a single vehicle, then it would certainly make sense.
During the pandemic, many people started working from home, some kids participated in school virtually, and many activities, such as sports and theater were canceled or limited. This meant people drove less during the time. However, much of the country seems to be getting back to "normal," though it's a new normal for plenty of folks.
Nonetheless, people are back at the office, kids are back in school, traffic is ramping up, and gas prices are soaring. It's the perfect time to invest in an EV, but will it actually save you money?
Kim's detailed analysis emphasizes the obvious. The more you drive an EV, the bigger your savings grow. This is because EVs have higher upfront costs than gas cars, so you have to drive a lot, or for a long period of time, to make up for the initial cost. Currently, the Model 3 starts at $46,990, and prices continue to rise. Obviously, this is more than Kim paid for the 2018 model.
Still, while the Model 3 is expensive, its starting price isn't any higher than the average price of a new car in the US, though that doesn't suggest that the masses can afford it. However, if they realized how much they could save over time, it might be worth paying the high upfront cost if they can figure out how to make it work financially.
In the end, Kim says her family would have spent $5,204 on gas over 32,000 miles based on current prices. Meanwhile, the EV "fuel" for the same miles at current energy prices comes out to less than $1,000.
Kim makes it clear that gas and energy prices fluctuate, they vary by area, and gas prices are not usually as high as they are today. However, they'll likely rise and fall often in the future, so planning for the worst-case scenario is a wide choice.
Electricity prices will also fluctuate and rise, but Kim's experience has shown that they've stayed much more consistent than gas prices. What say you? Leave us a comment.