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Electric vehicle fuel costs

The purchase price for electric cars is still higher than for internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. However, the operating costs are considerably lower with elecric vehicles (EV).

ev charging costs.pngThis in mind, estimating fuel costs for EV's is a bit more complicated than with petrol cars. 

Energy consumption varies more, because electricity is used for heating the car's interior, whereas in ICE cars heating is a by-product of the inefficient petrol burning process.

In addition, like with traditional petrol cars, energy consumption is affected by for example driving speed and air resistance, that varies according to outside temperatures.

A simplified calculation of yearly fuel costs

As an EV driver you typically know how many kilometers you drive and how much electricity costs. This calculation is based on averages, but it reflects the relatively low fuel costs ralated to EV's.


  • Let's say your yearly average energy consumption is 0.2 kWh / km. This is a conservative estimate for a colder climate that takes into account both heating and cooling of the cabin.
  • You might be driving 20 000 km per year. This is a typical amount for people who commute less than 50 km per day. Your yearly energy consumption would be 20 000 km x 0.2 kWh / km = 4 000 kWh.
  • Electricity price for households is about 20 cents / kWh in the EU. If all electricity would be charged at home, the yearly cost would be 4 000 kWh x 0.20 € / kWh = 800 €.

  • On average, 90 % of EV charging is done at home or at work. Public charging costs typically include a small service fee of 2-5 € in addition to the electricity price. The figure for public charging depends on your charging behaviour, but typically adds under 100 € yearly.


In addition, as EV's have less moving parts, maintenance costs are also lower. This in mind, as the battery prices are falling, we're approaching a tipping point where the total cost of ownership for EV's is on-par with ICE cars.

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