2022 Tesla Model 3 vs. Honda Accord Hybrid: Which One Is Cheaper to Own?

The EV revolution is here, and one of the most important things that will keep the revolution going is cost. Right now, EVs tend to be more expensive to buy new than regular cars, but EVs do tend to have an advantage in their cost to own and operate. The 2022 Tesla Model 3 is one of the most popular EV options right now, and here’s a look at how much it costs to own compared to the Honda Accord Hybrid.

Comparing the Model 3 against the Honda Accord Hybrid

While the Tesla Model 3 and the Honda Accord Hybrid are eco-friendly cars, there’s an obvious difference between the two in that the Tesla is an electric car while the Accord Hybrid is a traditional hybrid. As such, in terms of how eco-friendly they are, the Model 3 is the clear winner. The standard Model 3 can get 272 miles of range from its battery, and it’ll have no tailpipe emissions for all of those miles. 

Since the Accord Hybrid is a traditional hybrid rather than a PHEV, its gas-powered engine does the majority of the work. The Accord Hybrid’s electric motor helps improve the midsize sedan’s fuel economy, but it won’t stop the car from polluting. The Accord Hybrid gets about 47 mpg combined, and that’s less efficient than the Model 3’s 142 MPGe combined. 

Thanks to how electric motors work, the Model 3 also has an acceleration advantage, but overall, it’ll also have a cost disadvantage. The cheapest Model 3 starts at about $47,000 before incentives or tax credits. The Accord Hybrid, meanwhile, starts at about $27,000.

The 2022 Tesla Model 3 is cheaper to own, but just barely 

The rear badging on the trunk of a Honda Accord Hybrid Touring midsize sedan model
Honda Accord Hybrid Touring rear badging | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

According to Vehicle Suggest, as expected, the Tesla Model 3 can be the cheaper car to own. The caveat is that the Model 3 rear-wheel drive is more affordable to own compared to the Honda Accord Hybrid, but the all-wheel drive version of the Model 3 isn’t. Overall, the Model 3 rear-wheel drive model was estimated to cost $0.51 per mile to own, while the all-wheel drive version had an estimated cost of $0.57 per mile.

This is compared to the Accord Hybrid EX-L’s $0.54 per mile cost to own and the Accord Hybrid Touring’s $0.57 per mile cost to own. Across five years and 75,000 miles, the Model 3 rear-wheel drive had a cost to own of $38,016, which was much lower than the other configurations of the cars. The Accord Hybrid EX-L’s cost to own was $40,246 in comparison. Meanwhile, the Model 3 all-wheel drive’s cost to own was $42,990, which was a bit higher than the Accord Hybrid Touring’s $42,772.

How the costs broke down for the two cars

One of the biggest reasons for the difference is fuel, as electricity is much cheaper than gas, especially nowadays when gas prices are so high. A Tesla Model 3 owner may need to shell out about $550 a year to pay for charging costs, while a Honda Accord Hybrid owner may need to pay up to $1,500 a year. Plus, Model 3 owners can even charge their EV for free if they invest in solar panels, but Accord Hybrid owners won’t have this option.

The two cars were estimated to have similar maintenance costs of about $1,200 over five years. However, a large chunk of the cost to own came down to depreciation, which is something that’s hard to calculate. On average, though, a Model 3 will depreciate less than the Accord Hybrid, but since the Tesla costs more, their depreciation losses are relatively similar. 

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