AAA: Owning an Electric Vehicle is the Cure for Most Consumer Concerns

Press Release

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The all electric option available from AAA Northern California’s GIG Car Share service can ease worries by providing valuable hands on experience. 

Walnut Creek, Calif. – New research from AAA finds that over five years and 75,000 miles of driving, the annual cost of owning a new compact electric vehicle is only slightly more expensive – about $600 annually – than its gas-powered counterpart. The study also revealed experience with electric vehicles eases one of the biggest fears associated with these cars – range anxiety.

According to AAA’s survey, prior to owning an electric vehicle, a majority of Americans (91%) said they had at least one concern – things like insufficient range, implications for long-distance travel and finding a place to charge. GIG Car Share powered by AAA Northern California has the largest all electric fleet in the country and has worked to reduce electric vehicle concerns by partnering with organizations like the City of Sacramento and Electrify America to create an infrastructure more conducive to Electric Vehicles. The 260 all electric Gigs in Sacramento have been driven more than 800,000 miles to date and are expected to surpass a million miles driven before May 2020.

“GIG Car Share’s all electric options are a great way for consumers to test out the technology before they buy or as a secondary option to vehicle ownership altogether,” said Sergio Avila, spokesperson for AAA Northern California. “AAA’s recent study shows that getting familiar with an electric vehicle changes perceptions of the technology.”

In its latest survey, AAA focused on Americans who own electric vehicles and discovered some interesting results:

  • The majority (96%) say they would buy or lease another electric vehicle the next time they were in the market for a new car.
  • Two in five (43%) say they drive more now than when they owned a gas-powered car. On average, electric vehicle owners drive 39 miles per day.
  • Three quarters (78%) also have a gas-powered car in the household, yet they report doing a majority of their driving (87%) in their electric vehicle.
  • The majority of electric vehicle owners (95%) say they’ve never run out of charge while driving and they do 75% of their charging at home.

Employing the same methodology used for its annual Your Driving Costs study, AAA calculated the costs for owning a new compact electric vehicle as compared to that of its gas-powered counterpart. Although the study found that overall cost of electric vehicle ownership is 8% more per year, individual categories such as fuel and maintenance/repair are lower.

  •  Fuel – the electricity required to drive 15,000 miles per year in a compact electric vehicle costs an average of  $546, while the amount of gas required to drive the same distance costs $1,255 (or 130%) more.
  • Maintenance/Repair/Tires – electric vehicles do not require as much maintenance as gas-powered ones since they don’t need oil changes or air-filter replacements. If maintained according to the automakers’ recommendations, electric vehicles cost $330 less than a gas-powered car, a total of $949/annually.

Vehicle ownership, whether electric or gas-powered, is a personal choice that should take many factors into consideration. GIG Car Share is a viable option for consumers to get their hands on this evolving technology.

Methodology
The electric vehicle and internal combustion engine driving costs in this study were established using the proprietary methodology employed for AAA’s Your Driving Costs (YDC) project. The 2019 electric vehicle models selected for this study were:  Chevrolet Bolt (LT), Hyundai Ionic Electric (Base), Kia Soul EV (+), Nissan Leaf (SV) and Volkswagen eGolf (SE). The 2019 internal combustion engine vehicles selected for the comparison were: Chevrolet Cruze (LS), Honda Civic (LX), Hyundai Elantra (SE), Nissan Sentra (SV) and Toyota Corolla (SE). This methodology models the purchase of a new vehicle for personal use over a period of five years and 75,000 miles. A copy of the 2019 AAA Your Driving Costs brochure with the latest study results is available at https://bit.ly/35I5GG8.
The survey of electric vehicle owners was conducted using a consumer panel maintained by a third-party electric vehicle research firm. The online panel consists of more than 40,000 electric vehicles owners, weighted to balance drivers by vehicle type, make and model. In total, 1,090 surveys with plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners were completed during a 24 hour period on October 1, 2019.

 

About AAA Northern California
AAA has a proud history of serving Members for over 100 years. AAA is on a mission to create Members for life by unleashing the innovative spirit of 4,000 employees representing 6 million Members across Northern California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. In addition to legendary roadside assistance, AAA offers home, auto and life insurance, and extraordinary travel services. According to Via Magazine’s Smart Guide, being a AAA Member can save you more than $1,200 a year. Learn more at AAA.com. For more information on AAA Insurance, visit www.aaa.com/vgk

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