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Chevy Spark EV vs Chevy Spark Gas Drinker — Which Is Cheaper? (Oregon & California)

I was decided I would finally perform and write up a cost comparison of the Chevy Spark EV and the Chevy Spark gas drinker. Notably, reviewers such as those at Consumer Reports have concluded that the Chevy Spark EV is a nicer car overall. But let’s look at some lifetime cost comparisons to see how they compare financially.

As always, the lifetime costs are based on numerous assumptions that will be either slightly or wildly different for different owners. Here are some examples of how they sway the relative attractiveness of these two Chevy Spark options:

  • the longer you own the vehicle, the cheaper the Chevy Spark EV will be compared to the Chevy Spark gas drinker (with a short-term downshift in savings after the battery warranty expires and the battery needs replaced)
  • the more you drive, the more you will save with the Chevy Spark EV (fuel costs for the Chevy Spark EV are several times lower than fuel costs for the gas drinker)
  • where you drive (city vs highway) will also have an effect — the EV performs even better in the city
  • where you live also has a huge impact on the results — in some places (like California) you can get another $2,500 rebate from the state; gas prices and electricity prices (including TOU electricity price options that can allow for very cheap recharging) are also critical factors in the lifetime cost of each of these vehicles

For fun, and to give some examples based on different scenarios, I’ve run 5 sample comparisons. Check them out here:

California, Avg US Driver, Current Price of Gas

Key assumptions:

California, Drive a Lot, Current Price of Gas

Key assumptions:

California, Drive a Lot, Higher Price of Gas

Key assumptions:

Oregon, Avg US Driver, Low Electricity Prices (off-peak charging), Current Price of Gas

Key assumptions:

Oregon, Drive a Lot, Low Electricity Prices (off-peak charging), Higher Price of Gas

Key assumptions:

So, in a handful of scenarios in California and Oregon, the Chevy Spark EV is cheaper within 2–4 years. Plus, it’s a nicer drive! Who in their right mind would purchase the Chevy Spark gas drinker rather than the Chevy Spark EV in these markets?

Note that the Chevy Spark EV is only available to residents of California and Oregon right now.

  • ollie

    Great article and comparisons. If you live in the San Joaquin Valley of CA, there is another $3000.00 rebate!

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      WOW, that’s good to know! :D