Electric Vehicles Are Driven 30% Less Than Comparable Gas Cars, Tesla Leads the Way

Electric vehicles have finally started becoming a common sighting on American roads, but that doesn't mean people have thrown away their biases. A study shows that although they spend more money to buy electric vehicles, people don't use them as much as they use the ICE equivalents.
Electric vehicles are driven 30% less than comparable gas cars 8 photos
Photo: Tesla | Edited
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Despite electric vehicles taking over the roads in many regions, the US has seen a slower penetration. People still despise EVs and consider them unfit for tasks other than city driving and showing off. This makes the US market lag behind Europe and China in EV adoption. Electric cars have undeniable advantages over their combustion equivalents, but Americans still think of the Nissan Leaf when they consider range, durability, and time spent charging.

This led to an interesting situation, as revealed in a recent iSeeCars study analyzing over 860,000 vehicles. Even though people buying an electric vehicle spend considerably more money, they use it less than they would an ICE equivalent. According to iSeeCars, the average three-year-old electric car is driven 9,059 miles (14,579 km) per year compared to 12,758 miles (20,532 km) per year for a three-year-old combustion vehicle. This represents a 29% drop in the number of miles driven for a car roughly 47 percent more expensive than its ICE counterparts.

Tesla tops the list of most-driven electric vehicles as a brand, with all four models above the EV average. The Model X, Tesla's flagship SUV, is America's most-driven EV, averaging 10,378 miles (16,702 km) per year. The other three Tesla models, the Model Y, Model 3, and Model S, follow with 10,199 mi/16,414 km, 9,960 mi/16,029 km, and 9,340 mi/15,031 km, respectively. All other EVs in the market are driven much less, falling below the EV average. In fact, if we take Tesla EVs out of the equation, the EV average would drop to 6,719 miles (10,813 km) per year.

As expected, the electric vehicles offering less range ranked lower in the study, with the Hyundai Ioniq Electric (170 mi/275 km of range) and Nissan Leaf (190 mi/305 km of range) toward the bottom. The big surprise is the Porsche Taycan, driven the least among electric vehicles, at only 4,846 miles (7,799 km) per year. That's about half as much as its archrival, Tesla Model S. This might be because Taycan owners have more cars in the garage and don't drive their Porsche daily. The Taycan also has a steeper price, which averages $117,484, and a lower EPA range, averaging 226 miles.

The study showed that the EPA range influenced how much people drive their EVs. Range anxiety makes people drive less in an EV that has less range, which is evident when looking at the most-driven EV rankings. Tesla EVs have the biggest average EPA range in the study, above the 279-mile (450-km) mark, which is both the Model 3 average range and the overall 3-year-old EV average range.

The study also showed that the typical three-year-old EC has an average price of $45,147, compared to $30,760 for an equivalent ICE vehicle. This means people pay 47% more for an electric car, although they drive it far less (-29%). The situation should change as people buy more electric vehicles and prices drop. At the same time, people will become more confident in taking long road trips in their EVs, leveling the field.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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