EV101: Study shows how much electric vehicle owners have saved over the years


Even with the billions invested in electric vehicles by the federal government this month, which we’ll cover next week, what caught my eye was a recent Canadian study on the cost of owning, operating and maintenance of an EV.

The Clean Energy Canada (CEC) study compared equivalent gasoline and EV versions of the same vehicle in terms of initial costs (benefit: gas-powered vehicles), fuel, maintenance and repair (benefit: EV ), taxes, insurance and other costs (essentially a tie). The six vehicles compared included pure gas and EV versions of the Hyundai Kona compact crossover and the best-selling Ford F-150 pickup truck (the EV version, called Lightning, will arrive in Canada later this year).

The pattern of higher upfront EV purchase costs recouped through fuel savings is common in many studies, with these savings adding up faster in Europe and Asia where gas prices are higher. However, this CEC study provided more country-specific details. He analyzed the savings if gasoline were at the 2021 average of $1.35 per liter as well as $2 per litre.

With the 2022 Kona, the CEC found that the EV version cost $15,000 less to own over an eight-year period than its gasoline version. While the estimated cost of the gasoline vehicle was $71,131, the estimated cost of the electric vehicle was $56,038. The estimate was based on 20,000 kilometers of driving at a cost of $1.35 per liter. At $2 per litre, the gap increased to $24,000. The gasoline version of the Kona starts at $24,055 while the base price of the EV is $45,851.

The study is worth digging into on cleanenergycanada.org to see how the Chevrolet Bolt EV compares to the Toyota Corolla Hatchback (37% lower cost to own, operate and maintain), Nissan Leaf compared to the Honda Civic (24% lower), and the Tesla Model 3 with the Lexus ES 250 (cheaper, but with a recent Model 3 price hike of just under $500 per year).

The F-150 models were the closest overall, with a total vehicle cost of 52 cents per kilometer for the Lightning versus 55 cents for the similarly equipped XLT SuperCrew 4×4 gasoline version. Keep in mind that was with gas prices at $1.35 a liter and the EV having a starting price of $68,000.

Michael Bettencourt purchased his first electric vehicle in late 2011 and has followed the Canadian electric vehicle scene ever since. Follow him on Twitter @MCBet10court


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