How much does it cost to drive an electric car in the real world?
A friend of mine recently asked me what the real-world running costs of an electric car were so I thought I’d share my answer. I’m on my second Electric Vehicles (EV) now having owned one since 2015.
Short answer: It costs me anywhere from 3p/mile to 35p/mile depending on where I charge.
Longer answer: I’m going to ignore the cost of depreciation here and just focus on the day-to-day costs.
For petrol and diesel cars in the UK and US we are used to talking about miles per gallon (mpg), but with EVs miles per kilowatt-hour (m/kWh) is the key metric.
Electricity prices vary hugely compared to petrol or diesel; you can pay anywhere from 5p/kWh to 70p/kWh.
At the moment, my electricity is 25p/kWh and I get 2 miles/kWh on average (not very good but the eTron is one of the biggest and heaviest electric cars out there — 2.6t). I used to get 2.5–3 in the Tesla. Therefore, if I charge during the day it costs 12.5p/mile.
Currently a gallon of petrol is about £6.75. If you get 40mpg that is about 17p/mile or 36% more expensive.
However, if you can get an EV tariff from your electricity supplier, then between 2am-6am (or something like that) it’s much cheaper — like only 5.5p/kWh. If one can keep charging to that time it’s less than 3p/mile 😁. 99% of my charging is at home so this is a winner.
Out and about, public charging points range from 30p — 70p/kWH so for me that would be 15p- 35p/mile. The highest costs are for the fast chargers (300kW+) on the motorways. Personally, I think that’s way too expensive and hopefully it will come down over time. However, I recognise it’s an investment that’s got to pay back and it is good that there is that option.
Hardly any. I’m sure this will go up as dealerships have to find new ways to make revenue, but there is much less to service on an EV. There is still brake fluid that needs to be changed every few years but there’s no oil, or fuel and air filters, or timing belts.
Out of warranty EVs can throw up a few big bills. I had a failed door handle, replacement rear camera, replacement front roll bars, replacement rear suspension arms. All several 100s of pounds to fix, but not really any different from my previous cars.