Electric getting cheaper than combustion engine?
According to a study published by the French consumer association, UFC, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an electric car is lower than that of a petrol or diesel car if you keep it more than 4 years. The study stresses that this is partly due to the buying incentive the government is still giving for all electrical purchases.
The study has been realized by the cabinet Elementary Energy and subsidized by the European Climate Foundation (ECF). It takes into account total cost of ownership including insurance, fuel, financing, depreciation, maintenance, etc. The studied car type was a middle class of the VW Golf/Peugeot 308/Renault Mégane type.
Fuel cost far less
The French result explains itself for 2 reasons. Fuel cost is far less in the case of an electric car: 188 euro/year against 1.181 euro/year for a diesel and 1.461 euro/year for a petrol car.
When you add the 6.000 euro premium French authorities are still giving as an incentive, the TCO for an electric car is the lowest, being 3% inferior to diesel and 5% to petrol. Without this premium the electric car would still be 13% more expensive than a diesel.
Second-hand even better
The advantage of driving electrically is increasing when you buy a second-hand car (5-9 years old). “The yearly benefit is 940 euro/year (-28% in TCO) and even more, 1.017 euro/year, for a third-hand (-37% in TCO), confirms consumer association, UFC-Que Choisir.
Also remarkable is the fact that the study reveals that the ownership of an electric car is even more interesting in a rural area, because of the higher mileage driven and the difference in fuel costs thus getting bigger.
As to the plug-in hybrids, the association indicates that PHEVs are more expensive when buying a new one, but become more interesting when you buy second-hand. In the first 9 months of this year 1,66 million vehicles were sold in France, of which only 26.000 were driven purely electric, 10.000 were plug-in hybrids.
The association asks the government to force manufacturers to give all the info on total cost of ownership “so that a real alternative for petrol or diesel can be considered and a reduction of greenhouse gases due to transport can be realized.”