The Real Cost of Driving Electric

Herr Loeffler /

Just about anyone can tell you that your vehicle, no matter what it is or how old it is, is likely the most expensive thing you own, besides your home. Obviously, the purchase price is a big part of that, or at least it usually is, particularly if you are buying new or from a dealership. And given that supply chains aren’t that great at the moment and haven’t been for a while now, buying a vehicle today is much more expensive than it used to be.

But as any real driver knows, it’s not just the purchase price that makes owning or even driving a vehicle expensive. It’s also all the other things that go into it.

There are, of course, the more obvious things like gas or fuel. Then you have the little maintenance things you should do every so often. You know, like changing the oil, adding window washer fluid, rotating the tires, etc.

Even if you do those things yourself, you still have to pay for the tools or supplies, the oil, the oil filter, or the car wash solution. If you aren’t able to DIY it, the cost to have someone else do it is even more.

And then there are the big things that have to be fixed.

When a tire goes flat or blows out. Or when your engine fails or your transmission starts to slip. Those repairs can cost you several thousand dollars or more.
But it has to be done right? It’s either that or you go out and buy a whole new vehicle.

Now, of course, most of us don’t have the means or even the credit to do that. However, as some electric vehicle owners are finding out, that’s exactly what is required.

Now, to be clear, they aren’t being forced into buying a new EV when things go wrong. But depending on what fails, the cost to have it fixed is just as much, if not far more, than buying a new car or even a truck.

Take Tim Edterdahl of “Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk,” for example.

Edterdahl, like the rest of America, has been intrigued by the onslaught of new fanged EVs hitting the market. Not only can they be exceptionally fast and cool looking but truck versions are even supposed to be able to haul incredible loads and still travel any distance you need them to.
He’s been test-driving the new Ford F-150 Lightning for a week now. But upon doing his research, as any good car buyer does, he’s found a few startling facts. The worst of which concerns the battery.

The battery in an EV is essentially its engine and its fuel all in one. It’s what the vehicle needs to turn on and run. And apparently, they are quite pricey.
As Edterdahl found out, the Lightning, like most EVs can use one of two batteries. One, for extended range or a much more standard one. Naturally, the standard one costs less than the extended-range version.

In the Lightning, the standard battery gives drivers a supposed range of about 230 miles before it runs out of juice and needs to be recharged. The extended-range version allows the driver to go closer to 300 miles on a single charge. Of course, if you’re hauling something, traveling winding and not-so-flat roads, or going fast, your battery is diminished even quicker. But that’s a complaint for another day.

What we are talking about is the cost of those batteries, should they completely die and refuse to charge, as all batteries eventually do.
Let’s start with the extended-range version, which is the most expensive one.


Yes, you read that correctly. And no, the decimal point is not in the wrong place. It will cost you a whopping $34K just to replace your car battery.
But, wait, there’s good news. You don’t have to go with the extended-range version. And the standard is quite a bit more economical. Although not by much.

It comes in at $28,556.47. I know, for a good many of you, including myself, that still costs more than my whole gas-powered car. Hell, it even costs more than some of the smallest and least flashy EVs on the market. Of course, if you bought the F-150 Lightning, you spent about $96,000 just to purchase it. So another battery is going to put you well above the six-figure mark.

But dealerships and manufacturers aren’t talking about all that, are they?