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How Much Has Your EV Saved You?

For those that have already made the switch to driving electric we were interested to hear how much drivers have saved. So we undertook a recent survey to find out more.

We asked our Facebook followers, "If you currently own an electric car, approximately how much have you save on petrol and maintenance per annum? Would you say under $1,000, between $1,000-$2,000, or $2,000+ ?"

The results? Well nothing less than startling! We found that majority of EV owners are saving $2,000-3000 per year on their vehicle expenses. One EV owner stated "From $80 a week for petrol to $12 a week for electricity. No oil changes, oil filters, spark plugs, or tuneups, so saving about $3,000 a year."

So this is where the total cost of ownership of an electric vehicle becomes much more compelling when comparing with an ICE'd vehicle. Corporates and especially IT professionals, understand the concepts of 'TCO'. Private buyers, however, all too often only look at the sticker price and not the run cost + the depreciation of the vehicle.

A really great example is an 'imaginary' Jamaican buyer looking for a cheap, nearly new, hatchback. Both Kia and Hyundai sell reliable and relatively inexpensive hatchbacks from around $23,000. The new 2018 Nissan LEAF will retail for around $35,000. If a driver is saving $3,000 a year in running costs by driving the electric LEAF, then after five years the total cost will be far less than the petrol engined car. Depreciation in this segment of EVs is typically much less too.

The graph below illustrates the cumulative run costs, over a 5-year period, for both the 2018 Nissan LEAF and 2018 Hyundai i30.

What's missing from the picture here is maintenance and run costs beyond year 5. The ICE vehicle, will more than likely require unplanned and potentially expensive maintenance (think Ford DSG and VW Mechatronic debacle). And of course there will be no warranties in place. The EV may suffer battery degradation over time as the miles mount, but replacement battery packs and even individual cells will become more accessible and cost effective over time. Many manufacturers already offer subsidised battery replacement for their cars.

And as most EV owners already know, the electric vehicles appear to last much longer than the petrol or diesel equivalents too.

So what do you think? Should private buyers consider total cost of ownership when they go car shopping? If you don't currently own an electric vehicle would overall cost convince you to make the switch?

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