An American study undermines the kilometric cost of an electric car, how much an electric car really costs? Zeplug

How much does an electric car really cost

Even more surprising, Anderson Economic Group distinguishes the two uses of electricity well: recharging on public terminal (with necessarily more expensive energy) and recharging at home, supposed to be the case where the kilometric cost is the lowest. But even there, the electric is more expensive than an equivalent thermal !

An American study undermines the kilometer cost of an electric car

Electric cars that are more expensive to drive than thermal? In the United States, this would be the case

An American study tried to demonstrate that the kilometric cost of an electric car was almost always higher than that of a thermal, outside of luxury vehicles.

With a liter of petrol at almost two euros and a kWh (in a private private subscription) at € 0.22, it is clear that the electric car seems unbeatable once the additional cost is digested. By taking into account more than generous losses (30 %) payable with a domestic socket, a Renault Zoe consuming 20 kWh/100 km would cost around € 5.70 per 100 km, or a price per kilometer of the order of 5 cents. A Renault Clio with petrol engine consuming 6 liters every 100 km would give a price per kilometer around 11 cents. Twice higher than the ZOE, with a very exaggerated case for the battery city car.

However, an American study of an audit specializing in audit, research and advice is trying to undermine the main quality of an electric car: a cost at the reduced kilometer. In his report, Anderson Economic Group explains that in the current state of things, and in the United States (it is important to specify, since the price of energy differs completely from France), most vehicles thermal are less expensive for use than electricity. Only one exception: luxury models, since it costs much more to fill up on a large SUV or a gourmet sedan than its electric equivalent. A Porsche Panamera will therefore be disadvantaged in front of a Taycan. The American company says it rely on the current average electricity and fuel gallon prices to reach its conclusions.

A funny calculation

A thermal such that Civic would cost less in fuel than

In his study, Anderson Economic Group takes into account certain parameters such as “Deadhead Miles”, these lost kilometers that are just used to seek and rally a refueling point. For thermal vehicles, the Deadhead Miles are nonexistent (logical, since there are service stations everywhere), but on electricity, their share seems disproportionate. Especially since most electric vehicles are sold with route planners, and the majority of recharges are made. at home.


This would therefore explain in part that a Honda Civic Essence is cheaper to drive than a Nissan Leaf, or that a Subaru Outback, however not renowned for its frugality is more advantageous than Tesla Model 3 or a Volkswagen Id.4.

Another curious data: taking into account the installation of a terminal at home. The study stipulates that the investment is distributed over 100,000 km, but the graph still shows a huge part of the price of this equipment in the calculation of the electric cost of an electric.

Even more surprising, Anderson Economic Group distinguishes the two uses of electricity well: recharging on public terminal (with necessarily more expensive energy) and recharging at home, supposed to be the case where the kilometric cost is the lowest. But even there, the electric is more expensive than an equivalent thermal !

Obviously, this study only speaks of kilometric cost: purchase, maintenance, insurance and damping are not taken into account. But in any case it has the merit of recalling the important gap between recharging on public terminal (and especially the fast, very expensive terminals) and recharge at home. The “fuel” budget of an electric can then vary very strongly.

Compare real autonomies of the best electric cars according to our standard of standardized measurements. Battery capacity, consumption, autonomy, we tell you everything !

How much does an electric car really cost ?

You can quickly wonder what type of vehicle will be the cheapest: thermal or electric ? If the electric car is more expensive to purchase than the thermal car, it requires less significant maintenance costs. What is the real cost of an electric car and that therefore more economical than its thermal counterpart ?

By a.Cheve on the 31st.05.2021, modified on 06.09.2023 6 min

Electric car rolling in the middle of the night

Before buying a car, we take into account certain data such as the cost of purchasing the car, its autonomy, the repairs to be expected, the price of fuel, insurance, rental of a battery or even The installation price of a charging station. According to a self -study study in partnership with the Harris Interactive Institute, it is a reflection that would concern 80% of French people who will have to change car in the next 5 years.

Recharge costs less than full of fuel

It is not a secret for anyone, the cost of fuel is higher than that of electricity. On average, Home recharge of an electric car costs 3 to 4 times cheaper than full fuels for a thermal vehicle. Over an annual average of 15,000 kilometers traveled, we can already save significant savings on charging prices.

Average consumption Unit price Annual mileage Cost per km Annual cost
Essence 6 liters/100 km € 1.77/liter 15,000 € 0.106/km € 1,590
Diesel 6 liters/100 km € 1.75/liter 15,000 € 0.105/km € 1,575
Electric 15-18 kWh/100 km € 0.15/kWh 15,000 0.02-0.03 €/km 338-405 €

On the other hand, Recharge on public roads can cost up to 4 times more expensive than recharging at home. Which corresponds on average to the costs incurred in the use of a diesel or petrol car. This is why we strongly recommend that you install a refill point at home. If you have the possibility, this will allow you to fully benefit from the economic advantage offered by the recharge of an electric car. Reserve the recharging on the public highway for extra recharge.

How much is the maintenance of an electric car ?

The cost of maintaining an electric car are lower than those of a thermal car. With an electric vehicle, you can forget many of these costs, essential with a thermal car. Indeed, a study by the American organization Consumer Reports estimates that on average, an electric car driver can hope to save almost € 4,000 in maintenance and repair costs on the total lifespan of his vehicle. A thermal vehicle engine has many mobile parts subject to wear and replacement. This is not the case with the electric vehicle. No need to drain with an electric motor. We can also forget the problems linked to the gearbox, the clutch, the air filter or the distribution belt to name a few. Many costs incurred in the maintenance of a thermal car disappear with an electric car. These lower maintenance costs tend to reduce the final price of electric vehicles.

The Fatec fleet management specialist compared maintenance and use costs between an electric car and a thermal car over a period of 3 years. He was able to establish that the cost of maintaining electric vehicles is four times lower. According to the Consumer Reports study, the maintenance costs of electric cars increase over time because the most expensive elements must be replaced. This increase generally arrives at the end of the 5th year of use. However, it is important to recall that this phenomenon is also observed on a thermal car and, according to this study, after 5 years the annual savings carried out on the maintenance of an electric car amount to 250 € on average. In addition, with the generalization of the electric vehicle, the cost of use and possession tends to decrease thanks to the savings of ladders made.

In terms of insurance, electric vehicles being subject to less incidents, it is also possible to save money.

The cost of purchasing electric cars tends to decrease !

Electric cars are currently more expensive to buy than thermal vehicles. However, their purchase price is increasingly decreasing and many measures are put in place to make electric cars more affordable.

According to a new study carried out by BNEF (Bloomerg New Energy Finance) ordered by Transport & Environment, the cars and other electric utilities will cost less than thermal cars from 2027 at the latest.

With the development of different electric technologies, manufacturers will eventually have production units entirely dedicated to clean cars, which will allow manufacturing costs to be lowered. Also, the price of batteries, the most expensive element in an electric car, will be much more affordable than to date.

By taking these different parameters into account, BNEF has drawn up price development curves. According to data and results of their analyzes, All electric cars, whatever the segment, will be more affordable than their thermal equivalents at the latest in 2027.

In addition, more economical solutions than the purchase of a new electric vehicle exist. This is the case with retrofit, operation which consists in converting an existing vehicle to electric for 2 to 3 times cheaper than the new in the case of arranged or special vehicles. Many players help individuals and professionals wishing to transform the motorization of their thermal vehicle to electric or hydrogen. This is the case of Phoenix Mobility which allows professionals to transform their utility and special vehicles into 100% electric.

Take advantage of purchase grants for an electric vehicle

Purchasing grants have been set up to reduce the price difference between thermal and electric vehicles. Thus, for the purchase of a new electric vehicle, it is possible to benefit from a Ecological bonus of a maximum amount of € 6000. If you are a company, the amount of this ecological bonus is capped at € 3000. An additional € 2,500 bonus is also available for replacing a diesel vehicle registered before 2001 or a petrol vehicle registered before 1997.

These subsidies have been set up to make electric vehicles more accessible, but when the savings of ladders allow, many studies tend to show that this cost will decrease to pass, in the long term, below the cost of a vehicle thermal. A study published in April 2019 by Bloomberg Nef estimates that this “cross point” is approaching: the purchase prices of an electric vehicle and a thermal vehicle will be similar from 2022. Volkswagen has announced that the ID3 would be marketed at the same price as its thermal equivalents. The price of the ID3 should be around € 24,000 after deduction of the ecological bonus. For its part, Renault announced the launch of an electric Dacia Spring from € 10,000 aid deducted in 2021.

Request a credit

Very often, when you do not have the necessary funds despite the various aids of the State for the purchase of an electric car, it is necessary to apply for automotive credit to make such a purchase, that the vehicle is new or used, and that the loan concerns the entire amount of the purchase or only a part. This is an affected credit, that is to say that the amount borrowed must be fully dedicated to the purchase of the car. The amount of the car loan is set by the credit organization and ranges between € 500 and € 75,000 at most. The amount and the proposed rate will mainly depend on the borrowing capacity and the debt rate of the borrower; But it is advisable to compare the credits offered by the various organizations to obtain the lowest rate for the purchase of your electric vehicle.

Then, the duration of the reimbursement varies between 6 and 72 months for a used vehicle and 6 and 96 months maximum for a new vehicle. Note that if the sale does not succeed, the loan is canceled.

The cost of an electric vehicle battery

The purchase price of an electric vehicle is intimately linked to that of the battery. However, the latter tends to decrease drastically with technological progress : it has decreased by 80% since 2010, from $ 1,000 to $ 200/kWh today, and it could even go under the symbolic bar of $ 100/kWh by 2025 According to Alixpartners. If in 2015 the main cost post was the battery, with more than 50% of the vehicle manufacturing cost, today it represents only a third of the purchase price. These savings will be directly passed on to the final cost of your electric vehicle.

Invest in a charging station

In addition to the purchase of the vehicle, you must add the costs linked to the installation of a charging station at home. But here too, the State grants subsidies to allow the electric car to democratize: help to adverse 50% on the total cost of installation of a charging station, Tax credit energy transition (CITE) of 300 € and VAT with reduced rate of 5.5%. In addition, some manufacturers incorporate a subsidy to purchase on the terminal.

If the electric vehicle remains even more expensive for purchase, its cost of use lower than that of a diesel or petrol car allows you to save in the long term. The real cost of an electric car is therefore not that high as what seems. This is an economically interesting option in most cases, knowing that the more we drive, the more the savings will be substantial !