Comparing monthly costs, is buying electric car already a sensible decision, comparing to petrol or diesel one?

When talking about electric cars, we could easily say, owners of such vehicles are just a community and a rather small one, compared to all the drivers that are still driving cars, driven by petrol and diesel. However, have we now reached the point, where electric vehicles are becoming a more reasonable decision even when comparing their running costs with costs of cars, driven by ICE’s?

How competitive – in the terms of prices and costs – are electrified cars compared to cars with internal combustion engines was the core theme of this year’s Car Cost index research, made by Greek organization LeasePlan. Research, made in 21 European countries had thus been researching and comparing costs, owners of small-to-medium sized cars are having in the first three years of ownership if they make on average 20.000 kilometers per year. BMW i3, Ford Focus/Focus Electric, Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan Leaf, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, Renault Clio, Renault Zoe, Smart Fortwo, VW Golf/e-Golf and VW Polo were the cars, included in the research.

On general, citizens of countries with smaller GDP are having by a pattern, regardless the type of fuel, using in their cars, smaller costs of ownership. Average monthly cost of owning a car in EU is thus 616 euros, although in Poland is just 448 euros, while in Italy is a full 761 euros. Here, we have to point out, that Italy is from this point of view far from average. While average GDP per resident in Italy is around 28.000 euros, monthly car cost is 131 euros higher than in Switzerland, where GDP is 72.000 euros.

Results of the research are thus quite clear and are showing that era of electric cars is in some countries already here, while in others it is yet to come. One of the main factors, contributing to such results is the price of fuel; in Europe, fuel is the most expensive in Norway, where a liter of gasoline is going to set you back 1,75 euros. Because of that, monthly cost rises up to 722 euros for diesel cars and 731 euros for petrol driven cars, while monthly cost for electric car is ‘only’ 670 euros. In Italy, this difference is much bigger with at least 210 euros in favor of ICE-driven cars.

Another important factor that LeasePlan pointed out and which speaks against electric cars is price depreciation of used cars. Side by side, on average, electric cars are in general losing their value around 200 euros per month faster than regular cars. This has a lot to do with small market of used electric cars, combined with a small(er) interest of general public in used electric cars – situation, which will without a doubt change within the following years.

So, has the time of electric cars finally arrive? LeasePlan’s research says yes. While prices of electric cars are going down, prices of fossil fuels are constantly on the up. It is thus expected, that market of used electric cars is about to become interesting even for less wealthy individuals, which will eventually cause slower descent of prices of electric cars, making buying one of them even more reasonable move.

Sept. 11, 2018 Driving photo: Tesla

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