$1,200 a Year Less to Run for Electric Cars image

A recent study shows that electric vehicles owners may save up to $1,200 a year on fuel compared with a new gasoline-powered compact.

“Assuming gasoline costs $3.50 a gallon, drivers who plug cars into electrical outlets would save $750 to $1,200 a year instead of buying gas for a new model that gets 27 miles (43 kilometers) a gallon when driving 11,000 miles a year,” the Union of Concerned Scientists said.

The study’s purpose was not to compare total costs of ownership of electric and gasoline-powered vehicles, nor to determine how long an electric-vehicle owner would have to keep their car for the added cost to pay off.

“It’s important for consumers to understand what the potential savings are on fuel costs, and that can help them make a decision about buying a vehicle.”

Ford Motor said that its Focus electric which is to go on sale this year will cost about $39,995 before a $7,500 U.S. tax credit. Nissan’s Leaf starts at $35,200. The Focus costs more than the $16,500 base price for the gasoline-powered version.

Researchers predict that electric vehicles may reach only 7% of U.S. auto sales by 2017 even when consumers take rising gas prices into account.