Electric vehicles now cheaper to own than petrol, diesel cars in Europe

Stacking up the pennies against a car The total cost of ownership of electric vehicles in Europe is now cheaper than owning its petrol or diesel equivalent model, a new report says.

Looking at a complete range of cost factors in five European countries in owning a VW Golf, researchers found that over four years the battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions of Europe’s most popular passenger vehicle is cheaper to own.

In France, Germany, Norway, Netherlands and the UK, the battery electric VW e-Golf costs less to own when taking into account the base price of the vehicle as well as on-road and tax costs (not charging off solar and including a 3-year company car benefit).

The International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT) that issued the report says that based on the figures, taxation incentives are the way to go to encourage zero emissions vehicle uptake, and that financial bonus schemes to reward drivers for choosing zero or low emissions vehicles also play a role.

The report is extremely salient for Australia, which as has been noted repeatedly is the world’s laggard in EV uptake.

There are neither tax savings for investing in zero emissions transport nor financial incentives in Australia, and the major parties rejected such proposals even though the recent Senate report from Senator Tim Storer recommend such.

Also unlike Europe, Australia does not even have any transport emissions standards, as was noted in the Climate Council’s report ‘Waiting for the Green Light: Transport Solutions to Climate Change’ released in 2018.

For France, Germany and the UK, the cost of ownership for EVs is significantly less thanks to bonus payment schemes – €6,000 ($A9,573) in France, €4,380 ($A6,988) in Germany and €5,100 ($A8,137) in the UK.

Germany and the UK also have financial incentives for buying PHEV – €3,285 ($A5,241) in Germany and €2,800 ($A4,467) in the UK.

On the face of it, this suggests that a bonus incentive scheme is key to ensuring EV uptake – but in the Netherlands and Norway there are no bonus payment schemes – instead, a higher rate of taxation for high emissions vehicles is in play.

For example, the report finds that the tax savings on owning a BEV for Norwegians over 4 years is in the vicinity of €40,000 ($A63,821) – compare that with the UK’s relatively lax penalties for owning high emissions vehicles, where the savings on owning a BEV are only €9,300 ($A14,838), or in Germany where the savings only amount to €6,000 ($A9,573).

While in France the savings on owning a BEV are in the vicinity of €19,000 ($A30,315), the same cannot be said for PHEV – and in the absence of financial incentives for plug-in hybrids, the VW Golf GTE PHEV was actually the most expensive.

Source: The Driven

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