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Electric Cars Are Driven the Least While Costing the Most



  • Electric cars are driven 20 percent less than gasoline cars; combined with their higher prices they cost 63.6 percent more for every 1,000 miles driven per year
  • Hybrids and plug-in hybrids are also driven less than gasoline models, but only by 2.7 and 4.8 percent, respectively, making their cost-per-1,000 miles per year much closer
  • The average electric car costs $5,108 for every 1,000 miles per year it’s driven compared to $3,056 for a hybrid car, $3,123 for a gasoline car, and $4,351 for a plug-in hybrid
  • The Porsche Taycan EV is the most expensive alternative-fuel car to drive, costing over $22,000 for every 1,000 miles it’s driven per year, followed by the Porsche Cayenne plug-in hybrid at $14,681 and the Tesla Model S at $11,623
  • The Honda Insight Hybrid is the least expensive alternative fuel car to drive, costing $1,463 per 1,000 miles per year, followed by the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid at $1,813 and Toyota Corolla Hybrid at $1,857


When comparing how people use gasoline, hybrid, and electric vehicles, 3-year-old gas cars are driven 12,813 miles a year while EVs are driven 20 percent less, or 10,256 miles. Plug-in hybrids are driven 12,199 miles, or 4.8 percent less than gasoline cars, while standard hybrids are driven 12,471 miles, or 2.7 percent less than gasoline models.

“Range anxiety and charging infrastructure are top-of-mind for EV drivers, and those factors likely limit how far owners will drive them,” said Karl Brauer, iSeeCars Executive Analyst. “Hybrids and plug-in hybrids, where all-electric battery range is limited but range anxiety isn’t a factor, are driven only slightly less than gasoline cars, as reflected in their similar yearly mileage.”

Average Miles Driven per Year for 3-Year-Old Gas Cars, EVs and Hybrids- iSeeCars Study
Drivetrain Avg Miles Driven per Year Compared to Gas Cars
Gas Cars 12,813
EVs 10,256 -20.0%
Plug-In Hybrids 12,199 -4.8%
Hybrids 12,471 -2.7%

The Most Driven Electric Vehicles

Tesla’s are driven more than any other electric vehicle. The Model 3, X, and Y all cover more than 11,000 miles a year, which is above the EV average of 10,256 annual miles. The Model S averages only 8,293 miles a year, or 19 percent less than the average EV, making it one of the most expensive electric cars to operate on a per-miles basis (see below for more info).

The Most Driven 3-Year-Old EVs – iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Avg Miles Driven per Year % Compared to EV Average
1 Tesla Model 3 11,959 16.6%
2 Tesla Model X 11,467 11.8%
3 Tesla Model Y 11,335 10.5%
EV Average 10,256
4 Hyundai Kona Electric 9,275 -9.6%
5 Ford Mustang Mach-E 9,044 -11.8%
6 Audi e-tron 8,716 -15.0%
7 Volkswagen ID.4 8,336 -18.7%
8 Audi e-tron Sportback 8,335 -18.7%
9 Tesla Model S 8,293 -19.1%
10 Volvo XC40 Recharge 7,943 -22.5%
11 Chevrolet Bolt EV 7,284 -29.0%
12 Nissan LEAF 7,180 -30.0%
13 Polestar 2v 7,008 -31.7%
14 BMW i3 6,527 -36.4%
15 Porsche Taycan 6,308 -38.5%

“Teslas offer more range and access to the Supercharger Network, both of which support higher use rates than the average electric vehicle,” said Brauer “This makes the Model 3, X, and Y more cost effective on a per-mile basis, while the Model S is among the most expensive EV to operate.”



The Most Driven Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles

Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) cost more than hybrids but less than electric vehicles, and their average driven miles per year is relatively close to gasoline models. At more than 19,000 miles a year, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is driven over 50 percent further than the average PHEV, and 50 percent further than the average gasoline model.

The Most Driven 3-Year-Old Plug-In Hybrids – iSeeCars Study
Rank Model Avg Miles Driven per Year % Compared to Plug-In Hybrid Average
1 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid 19,034 56.0%
Plug-In Hybrid Average 12,199
2 Toyota Prius Prime 11,480 -5.9%
3 Toyota RAV4 Prime 11,091 -9.1%
4 Volvo XC90 Recharge 10,782 -11.6%
5 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 10,684 -12.4%
6 Lincoln Aviator 10,504 -13.9%
7 BMW X5 10,272 -15.8%
8 BMW 5 Series 10,069 -17.5%
9 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid 9,869 -19.1%
10 Volvo XC60 Recharge 9,740 -20.2%
11 Volvo S60 Recharge 9,393 -23.0%
12 BMW X3 9,359 -23.3%
13 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 9,298 -23.8%
14 Audi Q5 9,063 -25.7%
15 BMW 3 Series 8,942 -26.7%
16 Porsche Cayenne 7,628 -37.5%

“Plug-in hybrids are not as cost efficient as traditional cars, but they do offer zero-emission use for a limited distance, along with zero range anxiety,” said Brauer.