Our friends over at cleantechnica.com did some very interesting analysis comparing the costs (or cost savings) associated with owning an EV and a traditional gas car. As an example they chose the Ford Focus. They compared the Focus Electric with the Focus S which retail for $32,223.84 (after the 7,500 tax rebate) and $18,014.08 respectively.
The three main variables in determining the financial benefit from owning and operating an EV are the cost of gas, the cost of electricity and the amount of driving. This informal study looks at just those three variables. It does not try to quantify the the various environmental benefits associated with using an EV.
Though predicting the price of Gas and electricity can is tricky, a few different scenarios were given to determine at the potential cost savings associated with using an EV. If the current national averages of $3.50 per gallon, $.12 per kWh, and 13,476 miles driven annually were to stay constant, you would start saving money with the EV purchase after the 13th year of ownership. If these assumptions were to be changed to $ 4.50 per gallon, .06 per kWh (not an unreasonable price of electricity during off-peak times), and 20,000 miles driven annually, you would start saving money with an EV right after year 5. After year 10 you would realize a cost saving of over $15,000.
Needless to say, there are many things that need to be analyzed when determining the financial benefits of owning an electric vehicle but typically, the more you drive and the more you pay for gas, the more sense (and cents) it makes to own an EV.