“How much does it cost to drive an Electric Vehicle?” and “How much cheaper is it to drive an Electric Vehicle than a petrol/diesel car?”
Those are two questions I get asked a lot and it’s not as easy to answer as you might think. Why? Well, it depends on two main factors
- the price of the fuel (electricity/petrol/diesel) in your area and
- the fuel efficiency of the vehicle we’re talking about
|2008 Toyota Prius||2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh|
|Price of Fuel (per kWh or litre)||€1.30||€0.09|
|Cost per km||€0.0715||€0.015|
|Cost for 10,000km a year||€715||€150|
From 2008 to 2018 I drove a Toyota Prius and it used to get around 5.5l/100km (42.8mpg), and petrol here in Spain costs around €1.30 per litre (roughly $5.93 per gallon). I drove an average 10,000km (6,000 miles) a year so that cost me about €715 in petrol expenses alone (ignoring oil changes, maintenance, etc.).
In 2018 I traded in the Prius for a Nissan Leaf 40kWh. The Leaf can drive 6.25km per kWh of energy in the battery. If we round that down to 6km to make the calculations easier (and to be a little conservative), then because our night rate electricity costs €0.09/kWh, that gives us a cost per km of €0.015 and a total of €150 for the full year’s 10,000km.
Of course, I plug the Leaf in to charge often during the day when the sun is shining so as to take advantage of the “free” electricity being generated by our dollar panels, so the figure of €150 is much higher than I pay in reality.
And then there is the issue of maintenance. I didn’t keep a record of how much maintenance I paid for the annual maintenance for the Prius, but when I took delivery of the Leaf the first maintenance scheduled in the Maintenance Manual was at 30,000km. Electric vehicles require far less maintenance than internal combustion engines.
These were my costs. Substitute in your own local costs to see how much you would save by switching your car to an electric one (if you haven’t already!).