How do you justify buying an EV

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
In true "cost" terms you have to work out, not the upfront cost but the cost (per month, say) of ownership, which is either
a) the new cost minus the (estimated) trade-in/sale value at the end of a period or
b) (to be sure) the monthly PCP/finance/etc cost with a guaranteed minimum value
for two cars - EV and ICE.

But then account for this:

At 50mpg and 6000 mpa, petrol cost about £600pa
At 5 mpkWh, domestic power cost about £200pa. You can do it for less - as little as £0 if you put your mind to it - as things stand.

ICE road tax (year 2+) £150
EV road tax £0.

So - DEDUCT £550pa = ~£46 per month from the EV cost of ownership when comparing.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I don't know what car you want or mileage requirements etc.
All I know is, for the first time since I sold my Leaf 2 years ago, PCH deals seem to finally reached a level I'm happy with and I'll be switching back to an EV as soon as I can.
Under £300 a month is easily achievable for a Leaf etc.
I could if I anted, being a Scot, take advantage of the 6 year 0% interest free loans our government offers to buy one, but I'm still not interested.
I'm PCP/PCH 'til i die now.

Interesting.

Mileage - 8000 miles will be plenty
Car - she has been looking at a Leaf Tekna
Period - 3 years (to match the car's warranty)
How much do you put down as a deposit?

And is it best to do PCP through the dealer or a third party.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
@nheather
In an idle few minutes I have worked some numbers out for you to illustrate why the upfront cash cost is only part of the picture. Nissan don't have a direct equivalent of the Leaf in their ICE range; the closest is probably the Micra which is a smaller car and with a different feature set so it's not a true comparison.
In order to do as close as I can to a like-for-like comparison, I used the Hyundai range, where their EV hatchback (Ioniq) is also available as a simple Hybrid - the cheapest option based on upfront cost alone - with very similar features in each trim level and exactly the same body shape/size.

Using their own online PCP calculator, over 37 months, with an initial deposit of £2500 and mileage of 8000 in both cases, and the "Premium" version of both cars, the monthly cost is
EV £432.24
Hybrid £385.63.
so, £46.61/month more for the EV.

The car tax saving of EV vs. Hybrid (year 2+) is £140pa.
Claimed fuel efficiency of the Hybrid is 62.8mpg (official test cycle figure). If you actually get that in real life, 6000 miles will cost £478 in petrol at today's average price.

So - offset against the higher monthly PCP outlay is
Save on fuel: £478 (petrol) - £200 (domestic electricity cost based on my real-world consumption) = £278 /12 = £23.16 /month
Save on car tax £140 /12 = £11.67 /month
Total £34.83.

On this basis, which doesn't account for any difference in servicing costs (which I'd guess at £100pa* - another £8 /month) nor for any environmental considerations nor the driving experience (which are subjective), you have a net increased outlay for this specific EV (vs. its simple Hybrid equivalent) of less than £12/month. Or £4 with that servicing estimate included. And if you can use cheaper electricity some of the time as I do - less still, possibly going in to an actual saving.

You can model the finance figures for yourself using different parameters and different cars on the various manufacturers' websites. You may, for example, look at the Hyundai warranty which is 5 years and contemplate a longer period to compare. Or a different deposit; etc.

=============================
* It's no longer available, but when I got my first Ioniq, you could pre-purchase 3 years servicing, and £100pa was the then difference between their ICE range and their EVs, so I guess it's broadly representative.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
@nheather
In an idle few minutes I have worked some numbers out for you to illustrate why the upfront cash cost is only part of the picture. Nissan don't have a direct equivalent of the Leaf in their ICE range; the closest is probably the Micra which is a smaller car and with a different feature set so it's not a true comparison.
In order to do as close as I can to a like-for-like comparison, I used the Hyundai range, where their EV hatchback (Ioniq) is also available as a simple Hybrid - the cheapest option based on upfront cost alone - with very similar features in each trim level and exactly the same body shape/size.

Using their own online PCP calculator, over 37 months, with an initial deposit of £2500 and mileage of 8000 in both cases, and the "Premium" version of both cars, the monthly cost is
EV £432.24
Hybrid £385.63.
so, £46.61/month more for the EV.

The car tax saving of EV vs. Hybrid (year 2+) is £140pa.
Claimed fuel efficiency of the Hybrid is 62.8mpg (official test cycle figure). If you actually get that in real life, 6000 miles will cost £478 in petrol at today's average price.

So - offset against the higher monthly PCP outlay is
Save on fuel: £478 (petrol) - £200 (domestic electricity cost based on my real-world consumption) = £278 /12 = £23.16 /month
Save on car tax £140 /12 = £11.67 /month
Total £34.83.

On this basis, which doesn't account for any difference in servicing costs (which I'd guess at £100pa* - another £8 /month) nor for any environmental considerations nor the driving experience (which are subjective), you have a net increased outlay for this specific EV (vs. its simple Hybrid equivalent) of less than £12/month. Or £4 with that servicing estimate included. And if you can use cheaper electricity some of the time as I do - less still, possibly going in to an actual saving.

You can model the finance figures for yourself using different parameters and different cars on the various manufacturers' websites. You may, for example, look at the Hyundai warranty which is 5 years and contemplate a longer period to compare. Or a different deposit; etc.

=============================
* It's no longer available, but when I got my first Ioniq, you could pre-purchase 3 years servicing, and £100pa was the then difference between their ICE range and their EVs, so I guess it's broadly representative.


One parameter you can't possibly know is how my wife owns cars and the fact that we are expecting to retire in three years time.

My wife prefers to buy a car and keep it a long time. Her current car is a Ford Focus, 2012 plate, bought in 2013 and still going strong (50,000 on the clock). She doesn't like buying new but as she wants an EV, realistically that is the only option. When we retire she won't be able to draw on her pension for 8 years so we will be living off mine - a very substantial drop in income but managable. But not sure it will run to replacing our cars every three years. Also as she likes to wring the years out of her cars and does little annual mileage so she sees PCP as spending £15k to £20k and not having anything to show for it at the end.

So she sees this as one her last cars, hoping to get around 10 years out of it. That's why we haven't been looking at PCPs to date. However, perhaps that is something we need to look at because

  • EVs will have changed a lot in three years - much more than we would see ICEs evolve in a three year period - so would you want to keep an EV longer than 3 years
  • Battery life - it seems it is longer than originally scare-mongered but I would not feel comfortable owning a car beyond the battery warranty life - for Nissan that is only 3 years. For MG and Kia it is 7 years which is much more palatable.
Cheers,

Nigel
 
Last edited:

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
I think that PCP quotes and the like are a useful and simple comparitive indication of the per-month true cost of ownership, regardless of how you actually finance the car - obviously as long as (for example) if you are paying cash upfront, you can afford the differential in the first place. Similar arithmetic will apply whatever your arrangements are. Which brings us right back to the title of this thread.

Battery lifespan is the subject of much conjecture with wildly varying estimates. My suspicion is that much of the negative comment/worry is based on experience with the same chemistry used in very different applications - like small electronics - where the battery condition management is practically non-existent with an intended quick obsolescence built in. It seems unlikely to me that any car manufacturer would warrant their battery for (in Hyundai's case) 8 years/125k miles if the average lifespan were not expected to be well beyond that.

As to long-term fuel costs, it's impossible to predict how the government will react if/when EV use becomes more mainstream, but if I had to guess, even if they begin to (for example) tax roadside EV charging, I can't see how they might apply differential pricing to domestic supply used for this purpose. Similarly, if they move to a per-mile tariff (which would involve some sort of tracking), it's not usual for such things to be retrospectively applied to earlier vehicles. And at least in the medium term, they may well see fossil fuels as a tax target, to further encourage a move away from ICE use. Who knows?
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Battery life - I did conclude that early concerns seem unfounded. And I did say that Kia and MG have 7 year warranties so less of a concern. It was Nissan’s 3 year warranty that is more concern especially as they didn’t bother to include battery temperature management when they did the new version.

Fuel cost - again I have always agreed that electric is cheaper, now by a long way but is likely to remain so even after the government changes the tax model. But at less than 6000 miles per year it is not a big factor.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
Battery life, really doesn't seem to be an issue at all.
Of course, it all depends at which point the battery becomes problematic for that owner.
For example, a Leaf40 battery going down to 40% might be a problem for me, but will still suit someone doing a school run just fine.
 

gangzoom

Well-known Member
  • EVs will have changed a lot in three years - much more than we would see ICEs evolve in a three year period - so would you want to keep an EV longer than 3 years

Evs don't change that much, range has gone up but so has the price. In financial terms our old 24kWh Nissan Leaf at £200/month with no deposit was/is the cheapest new car we have ever owned ever and I doubt we'll see EVs that cheap again :(.

Our current EV is nearly 3.5 years old, the latest version is identical but does have 80 miles more range, however we paid £71k in 2017 same car in same spec today is £91k.

£20k for an extra 80 miles of range we would use once every 6 months......no thanks.

We plan to keep our EV till 2024/25, depending on how much maintenance costs are maybe longer than that, I certainly have no concerns about owing EVs longterm.

When you consider most people treat their cars these days as £££/month white goods to be disposed off and swapped ever few years on lease/PCP, planning to own an EV longterm is actually a good way to justify one.
 

gangzoom

Well-known Member
On this basis, which doesn't account for any difference in servicing costs

Interestingly the only service cost I've paid in doing 60k EV miles is a £90 'forced' Nissan Leaf service as it was part of the PCP conditions.

Our current car hasn't been 'serviced' ever in the traditional sense. I have gone through a set of tyres at 20k miles, but that's it.

I honestly don't see why I would ever pay for a service for our EV outside of the MOT checks. There is literally nothing to 'service'.

So I guess the longer plan to own a car the more fuel/service/running costs savings build up versus a combustion car.
 

Garioch

Distinguished Member
I'm in Scotland so also took advantage of the (up to) £35k interest free loan over 6 years.

My previous ICE was hemorrhaging money, purely on maintenance costs. It was only a 2010 year model but one year, spent almost £4000 on repairs. All of the faults related to mechanical components, which are absent from EVs.

Additionally, there was a car destined to be scrapped by the garage I purchased my car from. They offered to transfer the ownership to my name for 90 days. This qualified for the Government scrappage scheme, which provided an additional £3500 (or thereabouts) off the price of my EV. Add to that, the trade in price I received from my ICE, plus the Government paying £4,500 contribution at the time - it made the upfront cost of owning an EV very tempting. By the way - the waiting time for my EV? 90 days...

I went on a trip using my EV from Aberdeenshire to Manchester and back again. The full trip (including return leg) cost me £5 in "fuel" (in fact, the return leg was zero).

My first year of EV ownership, I had completed 15,000 miles. The total cost of electricity was £60 (would've cost me around £1800 in my previous ICE).

I'm on Octopus Go but as mentioned, they have trialed tarriffs where I've been paid for charging my car at home due to an imbalance in the grid during the lockdown.

Plus my first service was around £80 and that is considered expensive. I know of several people who have paid £70. Guess the EV specialist garages are trying to commercialise.

For my needs, owning an EV feels like a pay rise if I'm honest.
 

Smiffy 2

Well-known Member
Battery life - it seems it is longer than originally scare-mongered but I would not feel comfortable owning a car beyond the battery warranty life - for Nissan that is only 3 years. For MG and Kia it is 7 years which is much more palatable.
Cheers,

Nigel

Is it not 8 years on the Nissan????
 

Doug the D

Member
In true "cost" terms you have to work out, not the upfront cost but the cost (per month, say) of ownership, which is either
a) the new cost minus the (estimated) trade-in/sale value at the end of a period or
b) (to be sure) the monthly PCP/finance/etc cost with a guaranteed minimum value
for two cars - EV and ICE.

But then account for this:

At 50mpg and 6000 mpa, petrol cost about £600pa
At 5 mpkWh, domestic power cost about £200pa. You can do it for less - as little as £0 if you put your mind to it - as things stand.

ICE road tax (year 2+) £150
EV road tax £0.

So - DEDUCT £550pa = ~£46 per month from the EV cost of ownership when comparing.
I understand that working out the monthly cost might not be the cheapest way to own an EV may not be the cheapest option over the time you own the car, but IMO this is the way that most people calculate costs, as it’s the most affordable way that people do it. Not many people have £100,000s to buy a home outright, which is why we have mortgages and we calculate affordability based on deposits + monthly outlay. Same with expensive cars I guess.
 

Adcook

Distinguished Member
I have just ordered a Kona EV Premium SE on PCH. Its my first EV but not my first PCH, I used to care about a car being "mine" but not anymore and I will take a fixed monthly fee to drive a new car. For me the switch to EV was both financial and environmentally motivated, though probably 70-30 towards the finances. On the financial side, my job has just changed which means I need to commute between Shrewsbury and Oxfordshire, one or two times a week, the "there and back" trip (240 miles) is within the cars range but the office in Oxford has free chargers. I also get an allowance of £125 each week if I have to be in the office. Therefore this to me offsets the extra cost of an equivalent PCH on a petrol or "self charging" (stupid term) hybrid. This allows me to fulfill some of my aspirations to be more green but I still have a long way to go.
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
So over the last four weeks have been looking for a new car for my wife. She had no thoughts of an EV until I mentioned it because she has become totally focussed on having an EV - but she is not prepared to pay decent money so we are looking at compromise - smaller battery, shorter range. Even then we are still talking the thick end of £30k.

The saving money with an EV just doesn’t work - she only does 6000 miles a year, if that.

So we are now down to the Nissan Leaf vs the MG ZS EV and I’ve become totally disinterested.

The only positive I can take away is that EV drive very nicely, I like the instant response and the performance. But that aside everything else is becoming a compromise and still a considerable amount of money. I’m so fed up with it I’m close to walking away and saying “just get whatever you want I’ve lost interest”.

My stumbling blocks at the moment. We are down to the Leaf and the MG ZS EV as the only affordable options.

I don’t like the real world range 130 miles. My wife doesn’t get it but I know there are plenty of occasions where she does more than that, and I just don’t like the idea of rearranging your trip around the car - doing what the cars needs not what you want to do.

I don’t like that the petrol MG ZS has just had a facelift and looks and features much better than the MG ZS EV. I certainly don’t like te idea of buying an MG only to find a new version is released a few months later.

I don’t like the fact that Nissan didn’t bother to add battery temperature management. A complaint of the old Leaf which everyone thought would be rectified in the ‘all new’ Leaf. Coupled with the warranty only being 3 years.

So basically not really happy with either of the two on our shortlist.

I liked the Kona - but £41k - you have got to be joking.

Cheers,

Nigel
i am with you , i looked at the mg zs ev as a starting point as i like the look of it, but couldnt justify the cost vs compromise. in the end we got a mg zs 1ltr petrol auto drives great, bought for 12k with 8k on the clock and 6 years warranty left, as opposed to 20k+.
 

Clock'd 0ne

Active Member
So I have just sold on my Prius - which was the next best thing economy wise and not costing me a lot to run - for a 2020 Nissan Leaf N-Tec on finance. Despite the advertised greater range of the newer 64kWh battery I'm really not seeing it real world in the current cold weather. I took receipt of the car on Tuesday with 175m range left (something like 75% battery). I'm now down to about 95m range in 2 days. I've only done about 35 miles, if that.

The onboard estimate is about 3.3kW/m and this is driving in ECO/B drive mode, so I'm a little underwhelmed if I'm honest. I'm hoping it improves drastically a the weather improves and its simply having to have the window defrosters, heater and AC all on for two short 5 mile trips a day that's causing the drain (effectively <3k miles pa factoring in any weekend driving). Will it be 50% better or more in the summer? I'm not so sure.

Love the car and the tech in it but honestly I can't see me actually saving any money on it overall. I am happy its got bells and whistles, I can charge it on my driveway (when I get a wallbox fitted), pre-heat it ready for the nursery run, not pouring exhaust fumes out on the driveway to get it warmed up and usable, etc. But I'm definitely paying more for all that privilege.

I can imagine if you do 10k+ miles its a no brainer, but on low miles pa it seems a Hybrid would be better.
 

TerFar

Active Member
So I have just sold on my Prius - which was the next best thing economy wise and not costing me a lot to run - for a 2020 Nissan Leaf N-Tec on finance. Despite the advertised greater range of the newer 64kWh battery I'm really not seeing it real world in the current cold weather. I took receipt of the car on Tuesday with 175m range left (something like 75% battery). I'm now down to about 95m range in 2 days. I've only done about 35 miles, if that.

The onboard estimate is about 3.3kW/m and this is driving in ECO/B drive mode, so I'm a little underwhelmed if I'm honest. I'm hoping it improves drastically a the weather improves and its simply having to have the window defrosters, heater and AC all on for two short 5 mile trips a day that's causing the drain (effectively <3k miles pa factoring in any weekend driving). Will it be 50% better or more in the summer? I'm not so sure.

Love the car and the tech in it but honestly I can't see me actually saving any money on it overall. I am happy its got bells and whistles, I can charge it on my driveway (when I get a wallbox fitted), pre-heat it ready for the nursery run, not pouring exhaust fumes out on the driveway to get it warmed up and usable, etc. But I'm definitely paying more for all that privilege.

I can imagine if you do 10k+ miles its a no brainer, but on low miles pa it seems a Hybrid would be better.
I hope it is heaters/defrosters draining the battery. With no natural engine heat to utilise for those functions, power from the battery must be increased. I suspect that knowing manufacturers and the history of the wimps that design common standards for measuring consumption that they probably test vehicles using the most unrealistic conditions: no wing mirrors, overinflated tyres, no start/stopping, no wind and a flat ultra-smooth track at 30decC with an 8st weakling driving!
 

Clock'd 0ne

Active Member
As anybody who has used (e.g.) a digital camera or phone outside in winter will tell you batteries don't like the cold!

Range


In the depths of winter, range can reduce by up to 50 per cent from a cold start, although in typical use it’s more likely to be around 20-30 per cent. Making lots of shorter trips has an especially deleterious impact on battery performance as the vehicle has a chance to cool down between trips.


While traditionally powered petrol or diesel cars can use waste heat from the engine to heat the passenger cabin, electric batteries do not create this heat. Additional battery power is therefore needed to do so, and in extreme conditions this can reduce range by as much as 30 per cent.


Batteries also need to be kept warm whilst driving and some energy will be used purely to keep the battery at operating temperature.
So this is exactly the circumstances under which my Leaf is suffering, which does mean I can look forward to much better performance in summer. The shorter trips will still have some measurable impact, but hopefully more like 10-20%.

That article is very useful, thanks.
 

keithwiggins

Well-known Member
So this is exactly the circumstances under which my Leaf is suffering, which does mean I can look forward to much better performance in summer. The shorter trips will still have some measurable impact, but hopefully more like 10-20%.

That article is very useful, thanks.
we had a mitsibushi phev not a bad car but in winter forget it advertised electrical range 25 miles, actual 9/10.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Pre-heating is best done with the car plugged in, that way you aren't "wasting" valuable mileage.
 

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