13 Years? New Study Looks At Electric Vs Petrol (US)

A popular comparison site ran the numbers using the running costs of an electric vehicle, compared with petrol and hybrid models of the Hyundai Kona SUV to determine the most affordable model over time.

electric car parking spot
Are EVs worth the upfront costs? This study says yes (in the long run)

Just how long will it take before my EV pays dividends? That’s the question a lot of drivers are asking themselves these days, and the answer tends to vary depending on who you ask — not to mention, the vehicle you’ve chosen.

Compare the Market (CTM), the popular price comparison site, is adding to this conversation with new research on this very topic — that being the cost effectiveness of buying an EV now rather than waiting, and the emissions one might save by buying today and asking questions later.

Enough of the crypticness, let’s get into the specifics.

The site analysed the average lifetime running costs of an EV, compared with petrol/hybrid models of the Hyundai Kona SUV (a very popular EV) to identify the most affordable model over time.

To the surprise of no one, CTM found that the electric vehicle worked out cheaper later down the line, despite there being a $17,000 difference in price.

Sounds about right, right? Well, there’s a kicker, CTM’s results suggested that you might need to wait up to 13 years before those benefits would become clear, which happens to be one year over the average lifespan of a car in the US.

Check out the below graph for more info:

compare the market ev graph

So, why are EVs so expensive? The answer is simple: manufacturing costs, those that make these vehicles around 50% higher than petrol-powered vehicles.

If it wasn’t for the steep crafting costs, then we have no doubt that these electric-powered transporters would rule at the top, uncontested. After all, the research did find that the annual costs needed to fill up a petrol car were 300% more than the costs to charge an EV.

But what about the hybrid models? Well, CTM found that the long term running costs exceed that of the vehicle after just 5 years of ownership, only they never become more affordable than the petrol type.

Emissions-wise, CTM found that at 13 tonnes each, the process of manufacturing both hybrid and electric vehicles actually produces more carbon dioxide (CO2) than the manufacturing of petrol engine vehicles (10.5 tonnes).

Don’t say “I told you so” just yet, as the study also made sure to mention that EVs produce zero emissions, and in just two years, a petrol car will generate more CO2 than its electric counterpart will in an entire lifetime.

CTM finishes the report by stating: “Despite the rising number of EVs on our roads, the question of affordability remains. Forbes reports that rapid battery innovations are reducing the manufacturing costs at such a rate that they will be significantly cheaper to buy in just a few years.”

E4TPs Take

The topic of electric vehicles will always be a seesaw-like conversation given the level of care and attention the industry is receiving from governments and people alike.

While it is interesting to see CTM’s findings, we should also remind you not to get too worked up on the numbers.

CTM even admit themselves that things could change within the next few years as battery tech gets better, thus causing the price of these vehicles to dip. Which they should if certain countries are to transition to electric vehicles only within the next couple of years.

What do you make of this report? Does the lack of emissions trump the upfront costs, in your opinion? Leave us a comment down below. We want your take.

  • Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *