As the average price of gas continues to surge, more U.S. consumers might be considering buying an electric car. According to auto club AAA, from May 2 to May 6 the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline increased by five cents to $4.24. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also has pushed prices higher.
The conventional wisdom has been that plugging in and charging up a battery-powered car will cost an owner less than filling up a gas tank. But EVs are more expensive — many models on the market in the U.S. are beyond the means of the average consumer. The cheapest Tesla, a Model 3, starts at $47,000; the Ford Mach-E has a similar base price but actual sales have run above the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Ford’s F-150 Lightning, the electric version of America’s best-selling vehicle of the past 40 years, has drawn a ton of interest — and deposits — given a somewhat more competitive starting point: just under $40,000.