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How much does an electric car cost?

What is the cheapest electric vehicle on the market? And how affordable are EVs in general? In summary, the cost of buying an electric car depends on many factors – including the particular make, model and battery size, in addition to any government grants and tax breaks that might exist where you live. And that’s not the whole story: the cost of ownership in the long run can also create a considerable “payback effect” for EV owners.

So, let’s dive into some of the aspects you should consider.


    How much does an electric car cost?

Upfront costs: How much do electric vehicles cost to buy?

Although the purchase price of electric vehicles is decreasing all the time as battery technology advances, an electric car is generally more expensive than the equivalent car with a standard petrol or diesel engine. However, if you calculate the overall cost of ownership and all the factors involved such as lower maintenance and fuel costs, electric vehicles emerge as the more cost-effective option in the long run.

And considering that the vast majority of people now finance their cars, the monthly cost of an electric vehicle will actually be very similar to the cost of financing a petrol or diesel car.

The first good news

  • Government grants %26 tax exemptions

    Government grants & tax exemptions

    Depending on where you live, you may well be eligible for a government grant, which will go a considerable way to offsetting the difference in the initial price. You may also find that you’re exempt from paying car tax as an EV owner.

  • Lower maintenance costs

    Lower maintenance costs

    While no cars are completely exempt from possible maintenance over time, electric vehicles don’t generally require as much maintenance as traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. This is due to the fact that electric motors only have one moving part while traditional petrol and diesel engines have a whole host of components that could potentially need repair – from valves and pistons to cylinder heads and the fuel cap. This ultimately means considerably lower maintenance costs.

More and more Europeans are discovering the financial benefits of going electric(1)

  • UK electric vehicle drivers save up to £500 in annual running cost versus fuel cars

  • UK: 35% of purchase cost
    France: €10,000 of
    purchase cost
    Germany: €4,000 of purchase cost

  • Over half of people use their EV to commute to work

  • There are 2 million electric vehicles on the road worldwide

The long-term payback: money saved on fuel

One of the best things about electric vehicles is how little they cost to run. This of course impacts on the overall cost of owning an EV: The money you save over time on fuel eventually outweighs the higher initial cost. Driving an electric car is almost always cheaper – and quite often dramatically cheaper.

In the first case a consumer buys a car to drive almost 100 kilometres each working day (excluding holidays and weekends), which results in an annual mileage of 21,655 km, which is based on CBS data from 2014 (CBS, 2015). The owners hold the vehicle for eight years. Further it is assumed he/she charges 80% of the time at home and the remaining 20% at public charging points. The car is recharged once a day on average. He/she experiences a social discount rate of 7%.(2)

  • Precisely how much you do save on fuel costs depends on a number of factors however:

    • The particular model and specification of your EV (some are more fuel-efficient than others)
    • The specific electricity tariff you pay where you live
    • The method of charging you use
    • How much you use your EV and for how long a period overall
    • Your style of driving
    • The climate and weather conditions where you live

All things considered though, and regardless of these variables, it is highly likely if you buy an electric vehicle rather than a petrol or diesel car that you will save a significant amount of money during the time you own it.

Still wondering? Time to #goelectric
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