Annual Costs: GAS vs EV vs HEV vs PHEV

Everything You Need to Know

Electric and Hybrid vehicles are generally more expensive than traditional gas-powered vehicles for initial up-front cost - MSRP and freight. But with British Columbia and Canadian Federal Rebates, you could save up to $8000, making the switch to electric vehicles more affordable.

Here’s a rough 4-way price comparison for a 5-door compact SUV/hatch-back, including gas-powerhybridplug-in hybrid, and full electric. It’s not an exact apples-to-apples comparison since we’ve used the Kia Forte5 and the Kia Niro. But it’s close.

  • $24,340: MSRP of the Forte5 EX including freight
  • $28,790: MSRP of the Niro L HEV (hybrid) including
  • $34,890: MSRP of the Niro EX PHEV (plug-in hybrid with an electric range of 51 kms) including freight, and $1500 provincial PHEV rebate.
  • $38,790: starting price of the Niro EX EV (all battery electric vehicle with a range of 386 kms) including freight, $3000 provincial rebate, and $5000 federal rebate.

But what about the actual cost of ownership? What would you pay for annually in gas/electricity and recommended service for each type of vehicle? Let’s take a peek.

Traditional Gas Powered Vehicles

2023 Kia Sorento

  • Estimated fuel economy is 10.9 L/100kms based on city driving. It will be lower for highway driving conditions.
  • Current gas prices as of May 1, 2022, are $1.979 per litre
  • Therefore, the average cost to run is approximately $21.57/100 kms
  • Based on 20,000 kms annually, this is $4,314 is fuel costs
  • Recommended service intervals for a gas or hybrid Kia are every 6000 kms. At 20,000 kms, recommended maintenance would be a Service #1 at 6,000 kms, Service #2 at 12,000 kms, and Service #1 again at 18,000 kms. The cost for all three services would be $460.

Total costs to drive a Kia Sorento 20,000 kms is $4,774

 

2023 Kia Forte

  • Estimated fuel economy is 7.9 L/100kms based on city driving. It will be lower for highway driving conditions.
  • Current gas prices as of May 1, 2022, are $1.979 per litre
  • Therefore, the average cost to run is approximately $15.63/100 kms
  • Based on 20,000 kms annually, this is $3,126 is fuel costs
  • Recommended service intervals for a gas or hybrid Kia are every 6000 kms. At 20,000 kms, recommended maintenance would be a Service #1 at 6,000 kms, Service #2 at 12,000, and Service #1 again at 18,000. The cost for all three services would be $460.

Total costs to drive a Kia Forte 20,000 kms is about $3,586

Hybrid Electric Vehicles - HEV

2023 Kia Niro HEV

  • Estimated fuel economy is 4.4 L/100kms based on CITY driving. It will be lower for highway driving conditions.
  • Current gas prices as of May 1, 2022, are $1.979 per litre
  • Therefore, the average cost to run is approximately $8.71/100 kms
  • Based on 20,000 kms annually, this is $1,742 is fuel costs
  • Recommended service intervals for a gas or hybrid Kia are every 6000 kms. At 20,000 kms, recommended maintenance would be a Service #1 at 6,000 kms, Service #2 at 12,000, and Service #1 again at 18,000. The cost for all three services would be $460.

Total costs to drive a Kia Niro HEV 20,000 kms is about $2,202

Plg-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles - PHEV

2023 Kia Sorento PHEV

  • Estimated fuel economy is 2.8 L/100kms based on CITY driving. It will be lower for highway driving conditions.
  • Current gas prices as of May 1, 2022, are $1.979 per litre
  • Therefore, the average cost to run is approximately $5.54/100 kms
  • Based on 20,000 kms annually, this is $1,108 is fuel costs
  • You’ll also have the cost to charge your vehicle. Current cost to charge an EV in BC is about $2/100kms. This cost will vary according to your style of driving, and frequency of charging. Let’s assume that you manage to drive about 20% with your battery alone. Based on 20,000 annual kms, you would spend about $400 on electricity.
  • Recommended service intervals for a gas or hybrid Kia are every 6000 kms. At 20,000 kms, recommended maintenance would be a Service #1 at 6,000 kms, Service #2 at 12,000, and Service #1 again at 18,000. The cost for all three services would be $460.

Total costs to drive a Kia Sorento PHEV 20,000 kms is about $1,968

Electric Vehicles - EV

2023 Kia Niro EV

  • Estimated fuel economy is 1.9 Le/100kms based on CITY driving. Unlike a gas engine, it will be higher for highway driving conditions.
  • Current cost to charge an EV in BC is about $2/100kms
  • Based on 20,000 kms annually, this is $400 is fuel costs
  • Recommended service intervals for an electric Kia are every 12,000 kms. At 20,000 kms, recommended maintenance would be a Service #1 at 12,000 kms, and Service #2 at 24,000. The cost for both services would be $410, but technically you would just perform one service in that time.

Total costs to drive a Kia Niro EV 20,000 kms is about $810

KIA SORENTO

The cost to drive a traditional gas powered SUV is about $4500 annually.

KIA NIRO HEV

The cost to drive a HEV car is about $2000 annually.

KIA SORENTO PHEV

The cost to drive a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV is about $2000 annually.

KIA NIRO EV

The cost to drive an EV car is about $810 annually.

Conclusion

So, let’s break that down. The annual cost of ownership of each vehicle, based on 20,000 kms per year, including gas and manufacturer recommended maintenance:

  • $4,314: large 7-passenger SUV, GAS ONLY
  • $3,486: compact 5-door hatchback, GAS ONLY
  • $2,202: compact SUV, HYBRID
  • $1,648: large 7-passenger SUV, PLUG-IN HYBRID
  • $810: compact SUV, ALL ELECTRIC

Based on these figures, it's easy to see that the cost of ownership makes the initial upfront costs of purchasing an EV, PHEV, or HEV more reasonable. Each year prices are coming down, making them more affordable. And each year, more used electric vehicles are coming available as the first waves of owners trade-in on a new electric vehicle, putting EV ownership within the grasp of more people.