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How much cheaper is it to run an EV? And, should I get an EV tariff?

image credit: Delta-EE iStock licence
Andy Bradley's picture
Partner, LCP Delta

Andy is a Partner at LCP Delta. LCP Delta combines the expertise of LCP Energy and Delta-EE to provide a single partner across the whole energy value chain. Since joining Delta-EE in 2010, Andy...

  • Member since 2020
  • 36 items added with 29,542 views
  • Sep 11, 2020

One of the most cited benefits of switching to an EV is that ‘the running costs of an EV are significantly cheaper than an ICE vehicle’, but how much cheaper is it really? Evidently this is something which is very hard to quantify. To add to this difficulty, electricity suppliers across Europe are building lucrative promotions to win more and more EV owner customers. Will the typical EV owner save money by switching to an EV tariff?

At Delta-EE we believe these are two questions which need some attention. So, in this blog – and in recognition of the inaugural World EV Day – I want to share the results from the EV team’s latest analysis – a deep dive into the costs of home EV charging across Europe.

Question 1: how much cheaper is it to drive an EV than an ICE vehicle?

Answer: 61% cheaper to be precise!

European drivers save 832 Euros 756 pounds per year switching to an EV

From Delta-EE’s pan-European analysis combining over 200 providers of home electricity and public charging with petrol price data, we concluded the following:

  • The average EV owner across Europe is spending €45.09 on EV charging in a typical month.
  • Of this, €29.35 is the average amount Europeans are adding to their home electricity bills each month for EV charging.
  • The remaining €15.74 is spent on public charging (from access fees, session fees and subscriptions).
  • When compared to the average anticipated spend on petrol of €114.45 per month, this would be a saving of €69.38 every month – a 61% reduction.
  • As the graphic above states, this amounts to a saving of €832.29 over the year. That annual saving could neatly offset the cost of the installation of a home chargepoint.*

Obviously, many EV owner scenarios fall outside of this (what if you don’t have private parking, for example). However, this analysis provides a useful reference to the scale of transactions being made and saved by the typical European customer choosing to go EV in 2020.

Question 2: will the typical EV owner save money by switching to an EV tariff?

Answer: not necessarily – shop around.

The analysis explored 64 electricity suppliers across six markets and we ranked the home charging cost for each market. The graphic below summarises who came out the best value in terms of, total home energy contract, for EV owners today.

Note: in this part of the analysis we include the fixed electricity contract costs on top of the per kWh unit cost for EV charging and excluded per kWh unit costs for other home energy purposes. This makes the fairest comparison from one supplier to the next.

the best home electricity contracts for EV owners in 2020

EV tariffs are emerging in key European markets, notably the UK and Spain – these are tariffs designed with an EV owner in mind. A few key takeaways:

  • 28% of our electricity suppliers offered EV tariffs. None in the Netherlands or Norway were identified despite being major EV markets in 2020.
  • The best value tariffs for an EV owner in the UK and Spain were EV tariffs (British Gas and Lucera respectively).
  • However, on average, EV tariffs were worse value than the average of other tariffs on the market, for a medium mileage EV owner (we put at 1,385km per month). Only in Germany was an EV tariff consistently better value.
  • EV tariffs do consistently make better financial sense across Europe for high mileage owners, those typically driving 3,000-4,000km per month.
  • Some EV tariffs are bundled with other products or services, so the price alone may not reflect the full value you are receiving.

EV owners should definitely explore the fantastic array of EV promotions available but make sure to query whether they drive enough to make the EV tariff worthwhile.

The EV propositions are only just starting.

We know we are only at the start of the journey with EV adoption, prices and propositions will increasingly evolve. For now, we welcome you to use these data points and please do get in touch if you are interested to learn more.

A huge thank you to Sarah, Mira, Edna, Leo and Jason, our team of students from the MPhil Engineering for Sustainable Development course at the University of Cambridge. The team supported Delta-EE extensively on the model design, data collection and analysis as part of an assessment on their course.

*costs of a home chargepoint are typically between €400-1,200 for the product and installation. This varies from country to country largely depending on taxes and subsidies.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 11, 2020

I love seeing the benefits of EVs laid out like this! And your numbers align more or less with what I found after the first few months of driving my Chevrolet Bolt in the United States where I saved over 50% on fuel costs and have been able to avoid any maintenance costs associated with ICE cars. Add to that the tax incentive to purchase from the federal government and my local utility, and the financial aspect made sense before even considering the benefit in terms of emissions or ability to become a grid asset!

Andy Bradley's picture
Andy Bradley on Sep 15, 2020

Thanks, interesting the numbers seem to align on your side of the pond. The win-win looks compelling and is a key factor behind the market disruption that is going to happen in the car market over the next years – although in my view it still doesn’t justify Tesla’s share price!  

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 15, 2020

Agreed-- if Tesla was the only one putting out desirable and functional EVs, sure, but the past few years have shown the results of other carmakers finally diving headfirst in. And the next 5 years will only bring more and more options to consumers

Andy Bradley's picture
Thank Andy for the Post!
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