Are Electric Cars Worth It?

As the climate crisis continues to worsen and governments fail to address the issue through top-down policies adequately. It is left to the people make changes to their individual lives to make the necessary reduction in carbon emissions. Hopefully, you can prevent the atmosphere warming to the critical 2-degree threshold.

There are many small things that individual households can do. There are changes to the daily routine and alterations in the types of food eaten. And there are more significant decisions, such as what kind of vehicle to drive.

Often, the smaller changes to our habits are more comfortable to swallow because they don’t incur any meaningful increase in costs. But because purchasing a car is such a big decision financially – it is usually the second most expensive asset we buy after a house – then people can be forgiven for not considering a more expensive alternative to a gas-powered car.

However, as we will explain in this article, for many people, the decision to purchase an electric car will save them money in the long run.

The Cost of Hybrid and Electric Cars

When hybrid cars and electric vehicles first came on to the market, even the most environmentally conscious consumer was not able to stomach the costs. They were prohibitively expensive. Fueled by innovation and technological advancements, not to mention government encouragement, the price for these vehicles has dramatically decreased so that now they are reasonably priced for most consumers to consider them. Their increased affordability is evidenced by the fact that registration for electric cars have more than doubled in 2019 compared to the year before.

Across the globe, most major car manufacturers have added electric car vehicles to their fleet of offerings. These companies understand that they are the future, and as a result, they don’t want to be left behind. The competition from these car companies will help to drive down the cost further and increased vehicle equity. In the United States, you can buy a small electric car for as little as $10,000 (Renault Twizy). For regular-sized vehicles, there is a considerable number of options in the price range of $30-40k.

Government Grants Reduce Cost

When looking at these prices, do not forget that governments also offer credits or grants for purchasing an electric vehicle. In the US, there is a federal electric vehicle tax credit of $7,500. This may not last forever, especially given the current President, so it may be worth taking advantage of these incentive schemes. At the same time, they are on offer to further enhance the cost savings of going electric.

If we focus on the US, let’s create a hypothetical situation where you are looking at a purchase of a brand-new electric car for $22.5k ($30k purchase price less the tax credit). Already, this is comparable to many gas-powered cars, so for many people, the debate as to whether an electric car is worth it will end here. If you are looking at a cheaper gas car, though, then we need to do some calculations that prove the financial benefit of running off electricity rather than gas.

Electricity is Cheaper than Gasoline

The big reason why electric cars are cheaper than gas cars is that electricity is much less expensive to consume than gasoline. On average, American drivers spend around $1,500 a year at the gas station purchasing gas or diesel for their cars. This compares to an average of $500 that drivers of electric vehicles are spending on charging up their vehicles each year.

Financial and Environmental Worth of Electric Cars

Clearly, if you are saving an average of $1,000 every year, then you can quickly make up the difference in the initial price of an electric car.

Ultimately, the question as to whether or not electric cars are worth it can be answered from two angles – the financial and the environmental. From an ecological perspective, they are worth it. The carbon footprint from using an electric car instead of a gas-powered vehicle is far, far lower. By making the switch, you will, without doubt, be helping to protect the planet from global warming.

Fortunately, thanks to colossal progress that has been made in just the last few years, the decision to switch to an electric car is also worth it from the financial perspective. Although the upfront cost of an electric car can be higher, it has been proven that this can be more than offset by the amount of money you will save from charging your car with electricity rather than paying for gas.

So, if you want to save money in the long term and save the planet, hopefully, this article will have helped you to make that decision.

Image source: Open Grid Scheduler.

How Many Miles Can You Go Over Your Oil Change?

how many miles can you go over your oil change

The upkeep of a vehicle can really add up, between paying for car insurance, filling it with gas, and maintenance costs such as your yearly inspection. Part of these expenses includes an oil change, which traditionally has been recommended to change every 3,000 miles. But, is this really necessary? How many miles can you go over your oil change, and is there a way to save money on this?

The Evolution of an Oil Change

At one point in time, changing your oil every 3,000 miles (or three months, whichever came first) was valid to avoid issues with your engine. Over the years, though, this has gone from being a standard course of action to take for your vehicle to simply a myth due to how refined oil is now. In actuality, doing so means you’re likely throwing unnecessary money down the drain, regardless if it is only $30 here or there. It is steadily becoming more well-known among drivers that it’s OK to let your car go past the 3,000-mile mark before getting another oil change, more often than not.

However, many mechanics and chains continue to slap the sticker on your car reminding you of the traditional 3,000  mile or three-month oil change. Why is this? Some, like Tony Blezien of LeasePlan, may argue it is a marketing tactic as a way to make more money, using the past fear that not changing your oil that often will ruin your engine, as shared in this 2009 Boston.com article by Dave Copeland.

If we no longer have to worry about meeting that 3,000-mile deadline, then how long can we go without changing our oil?

So, how many miles can you go over your oil change?

There’s a debate as to whether or not our cars are actually assets or not, but nevertheless, they are still an important part of our lives. We want to ensure their longevity while also keeping more money in our pockets. But, one thing is certain across the board: modern-day cars can accumulate more miles before needing another oil change. The new average recommended mileage is roughly 7,500, according to Edmunds.com, a website dedicated to cars. Additionally, some vehicles can go as far as 10,000 miles before needing an oil change, Brad Tuttle reported in this 2009 Time article.

Despite this increase, one still needs to keep in mind that oil changes are not a one-size-fits-all task. Not only does make and model play a role, but your typical driving conditions as well, Edmunds’ Senior Consumer Advice Editor Ronald Montoya states.  With all these varying factors, what is the best way to tell our car needs an oil change? If your vehicle does not have an alert light for oil change notifications, then follow your owner’s manual, Montoya advises. Yeah, you know that book that comes with the purchase of your car that usually sits in your dashboard pocket until an emergency happens…yeah, that.

Not all mechanics will steer you wrong or try to empty your wallet for their benefit. Just remember to do a little research on your car, know what kind of oil it needs, and check your oil every couple months just to be safe. And don’t forget to review that owner’s manual. It does exist for a reason.

What are your thoughts on the 3,000-mile oil change recommendation? Weigh in on the comments below.