Electric cars like Teslas now cheaper to own than gas cars in Europe: study

Tesla Model S at a Supercharger in the United Kingdom. (Credit: YouTube/Red Carpet Vlog)

A recent study from Direct Line, a premier insurance firm in the UK, has stated that electric cars are now cheaper to own than petrol vehicles, at least based on their lifetime running costs. The firm was able to come to this conclusion by analyzing the purchase price of EVs and ICE cars, as well as their maintenance and running costs over a period of 14 years. 

Direct Line noted that currently, the average lifetime running costs of an electric car in 2020 so far is about £52,133. An equivalent petrol powered car, on the other hand, will incur a total lifetime running cost of £53,625. Interestingly enough, Direct Line reached its findings despite the average zero emission vehicle in the UK usually costing about 22% more than a comparable ICE car. 

Despite this, EVs are poised to give savings to their owners due to their low running costs. For its study, Direct Line opted to use an EV that is worth £27,921 and a petrol car that’s worth £22,976. While the electric vehicle is indeed more expensive upfront, savings in terms of fuel cost, tax, and maintenance make EVs 21% cheaper to run overall. Overall, the firm estimated that EV owners will spend £33.50 per week on an EV, while ICE owners will spend £42.40. 

Similar to the findings of US based company, an analysis from UK based car sales platform AutoTrader has revealed that some EVs maintain their value longer than ICE cars. According to AutoTrader, electric cars only lose 12% of their value over a year, while ICE cars depreciate 24%. Teslas, of course, are even more extreme, with the Model 3 depreciating only by 10% over a three year period as per a study in the US second hand car market. 

The UK is currently initiating an aggressive push for electrification, with the country looking to ban all hybrid and petrol powered cars by 2035. The date was initially set for 2040, but the UK government opted to move the target up five years in order to have better chances at achieving its zero carbon emissions goal for 2050. Neil Ingram, head of motor product at Direct Line, noted in a statement to This Is Money UK that it is far more preferable for car buyers to adopt EVs now, instead of waiting for the 2035 deadline. 

“(Buyers could) already be saving money by switching from a traditional petrol or diesel car to an equivalent electric model now. We expect prices to come down in future, thanks partly to the Government’s commitment to making greener vehicles more accessible but also to advances in technology ensuring that purchasing, refuelling, maintaining and insuring an electric car becomes easier, cheaper and better for the environment,” he remarked. 

Electric cars like Teslas now cheaper to own than gas cars in Europe: study
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