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Tesla vs ICE Vehicles: A Full Comparison of Maintenance Costs


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Tesla vehicles, on average, are more affordable to maintain compared to ICE vehicles

Tesla vs ICE Vehicles: A Full Comparison of Maintenance Costs

In the fight for cleaner air and lower emissions, Tesla vehicles have been dominating headlines lately. The benefits of electric cars are undeniable – they’re cheaper to run because electricity is cheaper than gas, quieter on the road because there’s no engine noise, and more environmentally friendly due to zero exhaust emissions. But what about maintenance costs? This article will compare the full cost of owning a Tesla vehicle with maintaining an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle over time. 

The Cost of Owning a Tesla Vehicle

Owning a Tesla

To buy the car, you’ll need at least $58,000. This is what it costs for an electric vehicle with 160 horsepower and 240 miles per charge that qualifies as a high-end luxury sedan. The cost of maintenance comes to $0 throughout the first five years because Teslas have no engine or transmission fluids that require replacement during this time period. In years six through ten, though, there will be full-service charges every 12 months ($1500), along with semi-annual inspections ($800). All other recurring expenses are tax-deductible – including electricity (since gas isn’t used) and parking fees related to charging stations in your home garage/off-site location. You can expect Tesla vehicles to cost an average of $1200 a year for maintenance.

Energy Usage

Tesla cars are very economical in terms of energy usage because electricity is cheaper than gas. Fuel cost for the Tesla in year one comes to $900, as opposed to paying about $1100 per month for gasoline and oil changes with an ICE car over ten years. Teslas are very economical compared to ICE cars because electric cars require less maintenance, and are cheaper to fuel. If you compare electricity and gas,  teslas cost $1200 a year with gas costing about $1900 per year over ten years.

Maintenance Credits

A Tesla includes maintenance credits that account for all costs accrued during the first five years of use, including warranty work and service charges. The money saved from these credits is available to be applied towards any other Tesla services like paint or tire replacement. It’s also worth noting that there are no emissions taxes on electric vehicles in most US states – while gasoline-powered cars must pay an annual fee based on how much their vehicle emits annually. 

The Cost of Maintaining a Tesla In a Single Year

The cost of maintaining a Tesla in a year will depend on how often you use your Tesla and how far you drive each year, but the Tesla is more expensive to maintain than an ICE vehicle. Another variable to consider is tesla insurance, which costs $1200 annually in California. For other states,  tesla insurance costs $800 annually. The insurance for Tesla is slightly different from the kind that you get from ICE vehicles because teslas only have .25% of the accidents (per mile driven) that ICE vehicles do.

In the end, teslas are a great choice for those who want to maintain their environment while also maintaining their budget over ten years – but they’re not as cheap when it comes to maintenance in the short term.

Total Cost of Owning and Maintaining a Tesla over Ten Years

Now that we have shown the short-term maintenance costs of Teslas, how about the long term? In the span of 10 years,  Teslas will cost an average of $21,500 for maintenance and Tesla insurance. This is significantly more than the $14,700 that it would cost to maintain a standard ICE car over ten years according to KBB data (an analysis conducted by Kelly Blue Book).

For those who are environmentally conscious but still want a vehicle with creature comforts like air conditioning and heated seats, teslas may be worth the extra up-front investment in order to save money on fuel costs down the road – especially if you live in California where Tesla ownership also qualifies as green driving which saves around $1000 per year due to fewer tolls/fees imposed on drivers. For others not so keen on teslas or luxury vehicles, the tesla could be a nice splurge that’s worth every penny.

However, Teslas are still cheaper to maintain over the span of 10 years compared to ICE vehicles because  of how slowly Teslas depreciate. A Tesla can be worth $30,000 at the end of its life and an ICE vehicle may have a value closer to $12,000. This means that Tesla owners are out about 50% less money than traditional car buyers in terms of maintenance costs over the course of ownership.

It’s also important to consider why Tesla provides free supercharging for their customers – it is because they know that they will make more money on future teslas bought by these customers since charging stations cost them nothing and there are no gas prices while driving between destinations. They’re also good at convincing people who buy Teslas now to buy energy products from them later when those models become available.

Owning an ICE Vehicle

To buy a traditional car, you’ll need at least $25,000. This is what it costs for a vehicle with 120 horsepower and 150 miles per gallon that qualifies as a mid-range sedan. The cost of maintenance comes to $2000 every year because  ICE vehicles have engine fluids that require replacement each year ($100) and insurance will be about $800 annually (depending on location). All other recurring expenses are tax-deductible – including electricity (since gas isn’t used) and parking fees related to charging stations in your home garage/off-site location. Also,  Tesla cars are capable of making it from San Francisco to L.A. on one Tesla charge, which would cost $25 in electricity and about five hours at a charging station – opposed to spending the same amount of time (or more) filling up an ICE vehicle with gas for just $25 dollars total ($20 for fuel and $5000 for labor).

Energy Usage and Cost

Energy usage and cost are a big part of the decision-making process for buying an ICE vehicle or Tesla. You can expect to spend about $2000 in electricity every year with a Tesla while filling up your gas tank once per week at $25 total ($20 for fuel and $5000 for labor). If you fill up your car’s tank twice per week, then that amount will go down by 50% – so it would be just $1000 spent on electric power annually. 

Efficiency vs Voltage

The primary difference between energy efficiency and voltage is how long they last before needing replacement – which has different time frames depending on what type of battery you’re using (lithium-ion batteries taper off after three years of use).

As technological advancements continue to grow, so will maintenance costs. Expect maintenance prices for an ICE vehicle in ten years to be $3000-$4000 – assuming oil changes and tune-ups every six months at $400 annually ($200 per half) as well as annual inspections each year with a cost of about $1000 (depending on location). All other recurring expenses are tax-deductible including gas, oil changes, and parking fees related to filling stations in your home garage/off-site location. You can expect a car with an ICE engine should come out around just under 20k over the span of ten years – that’s $26,000 total spent on maintenance.

The Cost of Maintaining an ICE Vehicle In a Single Year

You can expect maintenance costs for an ICE vehicle in any given year to come out to about $600-$700 on average – assuming oil changes and tune-ups every six months at $400 annually ($200 per half). 

Maintain a Gas Car for Ten Years

A gas-powered vehicle may seem cheaper to maintain upfront, but the build-up of costs will actually make them far more expensive to maintain, especially in the long term. You could buy a Toyota Corolla for about $15,000 and tuck away some savings in your bank account instead of paying it all upfront. In years eleven through twenty-five, you’ll be looking at full-service charges every 12 months ($1500) as well as semi-annual inspections ($800) every six months. All other recurring expenses are tax-deductible including gas, oil changes, and parking fees related to filling stations in your home garage/off-site location. You can expect a car with an ICE engine to cost about $1500 per year for maintenance and service charges over the span of ten years – that’s $15,000 in total.

Tesla is the future. The auto industry has been slow to adopt electric cars, but Tesla saw an opportunity and seized it. They offer a great product that people want – now they’ve got one of the most valuable companies in America on their side. It’s no wonder why so many car enthusiasts are buying Teslas these days! Tesla is cheaper than owning an ICE car when you consider maintenance costs over ten years. 

Traditional engine vehicles require much more frequent service (every 12 months), which adds up quickly if you own your vehicle for 25+ years or 100k miles. In contrast, Tesla owners have tax-deductible expenses including gas, oil changes, and parking fees related to filling stations at home or other locations.

All other recurring expenses are tax-deductible including gas, oil changes, and parking fees related to filling stations in your home garage/off-site location. The maintenance costs for Teslas are set to drop even further. As with everything Tesla-concerned, the way forward is even more exciting than the present.


 

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