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BMW i3 least expensive EV to maintain in America

The new BMW i3 will save owners money due to a very low cost of maintenance, something not all popular EVs can offer.

The BMW i3 is the least expensive electrified vehicle to maintain for sale or lease in the US marketplace. BMW has started to ship cars to customers over the past week and the Monroney stickers confirm that BMW Ultimate Service, which covers all the maintenance costs of the vehicle through the first 50K miles and 4 years, is part of the purchase price.

Currently, the only electrified vehicles in the US market that sustain a sales rate of over 1,000 units per month are the Nissan Leaf, the Toyota Prius Plug-In, Chevy Volt, and the Tesla Model S. As we said in our recent driving impressions story in the i3, we suspect that this new BMW will attain this rate or greater within a year after it ramps up fully. Feel free to look at maintenance costs of the other EVs for sale or lease, but they represent such a tiny fraction of a single percent of the car market in the US, we won’t bother for this analysis.

One very attractive feature of cars that are only electric, or primarily electric, is that the maintenance cost can be less than that of an internal combustion vehicle (ICE). How true this is depends on the matchup you choose. We recently did a story called “Myth busted – Electric vehicles cost more to maintain than gas cars do.” The story compared maintenance costs of the two top selling EV models, the Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model S, to their closest gasoline-powered counterparts over the first 5 years of ownership. Electric vehicle fans did not like the results one bit and gave us a wealth of commentary to consider (respectfully)


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