Chevy Bolt EV Cheaper than a Honda Civic!?

by Ben N on January 9, 2023

When will electric cars be as cheap as gas cars?

That’s the question I recently got on Facebook. The poster continued suggesting how inexpensive some gas cars can be.

It seems to me that anytime somebody tries to compare one car to another on price, they compare it to what they THINK a Honda Civic costs! The car has been the poster-child for a well-built, inexpensive car for a long time.

Frankly, I don’t even know what a new Civic costs.
So, I looked it up, hitting the Honda web page and then the GM one to compare the costs of the “bare-bones” versions of the Civic and the Bolt EV. After a little digging, I was able to find the ACTUAL costs, including hidden but mandatory Freight/Destination fee.

The Chevy Bolt EV (no options, lowest trim) costs $26,595. The Honda Civic (no options, lowest trim) costs $26,145.
It’s only $450 less than the Bolt!

So, at this very moment, a very popular electric car IS NEARLY as inexpensive as one of the most popular gas ones WITHOUT taking in to account tax incentives, fuel, maintenance, or anything else.

But it gets better. We know that electricity is a less expensive fuel than gasoline. And we can use the information on the cost of fuels and how far we usually drive a car to figure out what the cost of operating the vehicle will really come to!

While it’s not my strong suite, I started punching some of this information into a spreadsheet to track the data.

Here’s the spreadsheet I made, you you can punch your own numbers in to it! (Mac Numbers and Microsoft Excel)

Fuel economy on vehicles (including electric) is available at
The web page also allows you to compare a number of different vehicles side by side. I pulled up the Bolt and the Civic and noted fuel economy and other information.

I also pulled up how many miles the average American drives. Turns out it’s actually a little complicated. It actually varies a fair amount based on age and gender. I used the cumulative average, but you could always use what applies to you or your ACTUAL annual mileage, such as if you track yours for work.

Running the numbers for both cars, and then charting it, it was easy to see that the Civic is SLIGHTLY less expensive right at the purchase, but than almost instantly becomes more expensive, just based on the cost of gasoline. That’s not even including oil changes or other maintenance.

The Bolt EV saves about $1,000 PER YEAR vs the Honda Civic.

It’s hands-down the clear price winner.

On the purchase of my particular Chevy Bolt EV, I was able to get a $2,000 electric vehicle discount from a third party, and I fully expect to be able to collect the entire $7,500 U.S. Federal Tax Incentive. That puts the Bolt over $9,000 LESS than the Civic!

What about some other electric car?
The Tesla Model Y is a fantastic vehicle, one I’d love to own. It’s also considerably more expensive. I ran the numbers the same way for the Model Y. It simply NEVER saves money vs the Civic, simply because it’s more expensive. If you want to buy a Model Y to save gas – DON’T.
But many people DO buy gas cars in the same price range as a Model Y. If that’s you, then buying a Model Y will save on gas AND it’s an amazing vehicle.

So, there you have it! Electric Cars ARE cheaper than gassers. Er, kinda. Well, at least some of them are. It depends how you figure it, and what models you are comparing…
And your mileage may vary!

But for now, I’ll enjoy my fuel savings.

Until next time, stay charged up!
-Ben Nelson

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