Compare Running Costs: ICE vs EV

Calculate the running cost of an existing Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car with a fully electric vehicle.

I travel this much

My car is this thirsty

litres/100 km

Not sure? Search by plate

I pay this much for fuel

per litre

I pay this much for electricity

cents/kWh

I want to compare with this EV

Extra bits

For some of my travel, I'll use a public charger

0 km / year
cents/kWh

How much is RUC?

Road User Charges (RUC) are currently levied on diesel vehicles at $76 (incl. GST) per 100 km of travel (light vehicles). Fully electric vehicles have been exempted from RUC until 1 April 2024.

A portion of the cost of petrol includes Fuel Excise Duty – 0.805 cents per litre (incl. GST).

Any vehicle that consumes less than 9.4L of petrol per 100 km pays less than the equivalent RUC amount.

How is EV electricity cost calculated?

It uses the WLTP consumption rating for each EV.

The WLTP measures recharged electric energy from the mains and applies that to the vehicle’s range. This provides an estimate in Wh/km.

Are some EVs cheaper to run than other EVs?

Yes. There is considerable variation in the efficiency of different EVs. See the most efficient EVs.

What will make an EV cheaper to run?

  • Charging at home as much as possible.
  • Look carefully at what power company will work best for you (if only they made it easy to compare…).

How are maintenance and service costs calculated?

They are the vehicle’s lifetime costs applied as a per-kilometre rate (no specific adjustments per model).

For example, the new tyres you need after 40,000 km might cost $1,000. If you drive 10,000 km per year, that’s $200 / year for tyres.

Complicated? Yep. It’s hard to generalise, but some good sources exist (see references).

What are the differences in maintenance between ICE and EV?

All vehicles: Tyre rotation, wiper blades, cabin air filter, multi-point inspection, tyre replacement, brake fluid, brake pads, starter battery (12v).

Additional costs for combustion vehicles (including hybrids): Oil change, oil filter change, engine air filter, spark plugs, transmission service, timing (cam) belt, accessory belt(s), engine coolant, and fuel filter.

Variations for hybrids: In hybrids, the maintenance schedule for some items is different: engine air filter, spark plugs, brake pads, etc., can be checked/changed less frequently than a petrol/diesel drivetrain.

Brake pads are changed even more infrequently in a fully electric car due to superior regen.

Why is there no depreciation and insurance?

Vehicle depreciation can be brand and model-specific, and there is not necessarily a clear distinction between ICE and EVs.

Insurance premiums are more about the value and performance of a vehicle – regardless of its level of electrification.

What about battery replacement costs?

Not included as it’s extremely unlikely the battery will need replacing. However, there may be exceptions with some old EVs.

How long will an EV battery last?

It’s often said that an EV battery will outlast the vehicle. But how old can a vehicle get?

In NZ, the oldest EVs are from 2012. These vehicles (24 kWh Nissan Leafs) have suffered the worst battery degradation of all EVs. This means their range gets shorter until it’s no longer viable as a vehicle. Anecdotally, it’s only when the range becomes untenable that owners consider replacing the battery.

Newer EVs are not showing near the same level of degradation and have larger, superior batteries with longer range making it very unlikely that the batteries will ever need replacing.

Summary – what we know so far: 10-year-old Nissan Leafs with small batteries without active thermal management, and early battery chemistries degrade over time until (potentially) unviable.

It’s not the case for all of them (some 10-year-old Leafs still have 70% state of health).

We also know that Tesla Model 3s, having done over 120,000 km, still have 90% capacity.

The reality is that almost all EV batteries are still in the cars. Until another ten years, we won’t know precisely how long a battery will last.

Therefore, based on current data, it seems imprudent to factor battery replacement costs into BEV running costs.

I want to calculate the Total Cost of Ownership

Total Cost of Ownership considers a vehicle’s purchase price, finance cost, and running costs.

See the TCO calculator from Genless.

References