EV Running Costs

EV vs Petrol graphElectric Vehicle ownership is not only about the costs of running an EV vs the cost of running a vehicle with an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) – an equally important consideration is the environmental benefit of not burning fossil fuels to power our private transport vehicles, contributing to a subsequent reduction in atmospheric pollution and the generation of greenhouse gasses – especially if your electricity is being generated from solar panels.

However, significantly reduced running costs are a real attraction to EV ownership.

The main costs associated with running a personal EV – fuel, regular servicing and maintenance/repairs – are considerably less than the costs for an equivalent ICE-powered vehicle.

However, in 2023 the initial purchase price of an EV is considerably more than an equivalent ICE vehicle.

In an effort to compare ‘apples and apples’, let’s compare an MG ICE vehicle and and an MG EV…


Initial Purchase

I won’t try to make a per km or per year comparison in relation to initial purchase price, coz there are way too many variables including resale values, vehicle longevity, interest costs (if borrowing money, or forgoing invested funds to purchase), etc. Let’s just say that the EV incurs at least a 30-40% up-front premium on the cost of a similar non-electric vehicle.

At the time of writing, the MG used in these examples was the cheapest EV on the Australian market – other EVs are considerably more expensive. Also be aware that some state governments here in Australia (and no doubt elsewhere) are offering EV purchase subsidies – currently in Queensland this subsidy is up to $6000.

    • An MG Essence ZST, with an internal combustion engine costs $35,000.
    • The equivalent MG Essence ZS EV costs $51,000 (less govt subsidy)

Insurance & Registration

Insurance and registration costs have not been included in the information below.

    • Registration of an EV may be more expensive if a weight tax is included in the registration costs.
    • My experience with insurance is that comprehensive insurance for our 2021 EV was significantly less than the equivalent insurance value for our 2016 ICE vehicle. Advice – shop around.

Running costs – EV vs ICE

Fuel bowserPetrol & Diesel

An internal combustion engine in a medium sized family SUV uses fuel at a rate of around 8 litres per 100 km of travel.

    • That’s 1 litre of fuel for every 12.5 kms travelled.
    • At $2.25 per litre (September 2023) that’s around $0.18 per km, or
    • $18.00 per 100km

Electricity – at Home

A medium size battery-powered SUV consumes around 18 kWh of stored electrical energy per 100 km of travel. That’s around 1 kWh for each 5.5 kms travelled. (It’s a bit better than that around town, but let’s work on a conservative ‘worst case’ scenario!)

We have recently switched our grid electricity supply to AGL, to take advantage of their Night Saver EV Plan. If recharging from our ‘General’ home electricity supply during ‘peak’ periods with no solar input we are paying 34c / kWh (September 2023)….

    • Recharging 1 kWh of stored electrical energy for each 5.5 kms travelled.
    • At $0.34 per kWh that’s around $0.06 per km, or
    • $6.00 per 100 km

If recharging on our EV Off-Peak rate, between 12:00 am and 6:00 am, we are paying 8c / kWh (September 2023)….

    • Recharging 1 kWh of stored electrical energy for each 5.5 kms travelled.
    • At $0.08 per kWh that’s less than $0.02 per km, or
    • $1.50 per 100 km

Less again if recharging on a sunny day, using solar-generated electricity.


Electricity – Public chargers

If using only public fast chargers you will be paying around 60c / kWh….

    • Recharging 1 kWh of stored electrical energy for each 5.5 kms travelled.
    • At $0.60 per kWh, that’s around $0.11 per km, or
    • $11.00 per 100 km

* Home electricity costs based on AGL Night Saver EV Plan

* You must have a Smart Meter installed for the AGL EV plan


Solar charging for free?

Solar panelsEnergy produced by your solar panels at home is ‘free’. However, how much of that energy is available to charge your EV depends on the generation capacity of your system. and how many other appliances are consuming that solar-generated energy.

If your solar output is initially being consumed by local appliances (with the excess being sold back to the grid) then you will need to calculate/estimate how much of your solar-generated energy is available for your EV charging – keeping in mind that other appliances, like pool pumps, etc, are also consuming the available energy during the day.

You also need to consider the overall capacity of your solar system in relation to the consumption rate of your vehicle’s charging appliances. A vehicle connected to the trickle connector (or granny charger) supplied with the vehicle consumes energy at the rate of around 2kW. A vehicle connected to a single-phase wall connector will consume energy at around 7kW.

Assuming that no other appliances are consuming your solar-generated energy output (and the sun is shining)….

  • If you have a solar system rated at 4.2 kW….
    • Solar-generated energy will cover 100% of your 2kW ‘granny charger’ (Charging cost will be $0.00 / kWh)
    • Solar-generated energy will cover 60% of your 7kW wall connector (Charging cost will be $0.20 / kWh)
  • If you have a solar system rated at > 7 kW….
    • Solar-generated energy will cover 100% of your 2kW ‘granny charger’ (Charging cost will be $0.00 / kWh)
    • Solar-generated energy will cover 100% of your 7kW wall connector (Charging cost will be $0.00 / kWh)

Of course, this is only during the day, when the sun is shining – and your solar output will vary depending on the time of day/year.


Electricity / charging costs

  • Home @ 2-7kW (Day – solar): Zero (See above)
  • Home @ 2-7kW (12:00am – 6:00am – grid): $0.08 per kWh (AGL Night Saver EV Plan)
  • Home @ 2-7kW (Evening – grid): $0.34 per kWh (AGL)
  • Fast DC public charger @ 50-350kW: $0.60 per kWh (some a little more, some a little less)
  • Tesla Supercharger @ 150kW: $0.85 per kWh (only if you are really desperate!)

 


Servicing and Maintenance

ServicingThis is not always straightforward to estimate, as mechanical wear and tear varies from car to car, depending on age and driving conditions.

So, to make a rough comparison, let’s consider the first 5 years / 60,000 kms of vehicle ownership, comparing dealer servicing of MG ZST Essence and MG ZS EV Essence models at recommended service intervals (from MG Service Centre) ….

    • MG ZST – Scheduled service at 10,000 km = $264 | 20,000 km = $313 | 30,000 km = $316 | 40,000 km = $487 | 50,000 km = $264 | 60,000 km = $366.
      • $2010 for 60,000 km
      • $335 per 10,000 kms
      • $0.03 per km
    • MG ZS EV – Scheduled service at 20,000 km = $193 | 40,000 km = $295 | 60,000 km = $193.
      • $681 for 60,000 kms
      • $113.50 per 10,000 kms
      • $0.01 per km

Overall Cost Comparison

The table below is a summary of the information above…

Cost comparison table - EV vs ICE

Electricity costs based on AGL Night Saver EV Plan


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