Electric car: is its cost of ownership really profitable?

Did UFC-Que Choisir want to send a strong message to the Senators who are examining the "Climate-Resilience" bill? In any case, the report of the Federal Consumers' Union on the issue of vehicle ownership costs could not be more revealing. The new comparative study published by the Union shows that the electric car constitutes an economic benefit for the consumer. Therefore, and faced with the environmental and health challenges posed by mobility, it is up to the public authorities to take, without delay, the necessary legislative provisions in order to raise consumer awareness of the issues related to the use of individual vehicles. What is it concretely?

The profitability of the electric car is well established

In any case, this is what the Federal Consumers Union seems to demonstrate in its report. To justify itself, Que Choisir relies on what the costs of vehicle ownership really entail. These are the total costs involved in the management of the latter, in particular their insurance, their maintenance, the energy they consume, but also the difference between their purchase price and their resale price. To do this, the study focused on small vehicles such as Renault Clio, medium vehicles such as Peugeot 308, large vehicles such as Renault Captur. It also took into account the technological particularities (of each model) in terms of propulsion. It thus highlighted battery-powered, hydrogen-powered, gasoline-powered and diesel-powered cars; but also hybrid vehicles, including plug-in hybrids... Precisely concerning medium-sized cars, it is the electric that beats the record in terms of cost of ownership. It is indeed far less expensive than a hybrid car (simple or rechargeable). Compared, for example, to a gasoline-powered car, when new it generates savings of around €1,750 (over four years). Being used, it saves around €960 for a 2nd hand against €1,190 for a 3rd hand. But (when this is the case), an additional saving on the cost of ownership is possible by acquiring a Peugeot 308 carpet or a Renault Captur carpet of quality and at an affordable price. …To come back to the competitiveness of the price of ownership of the electric car, two factors should be noted. First, there is its consumption, which costs, on average, 73% less than that of a mid-size gasoline car. Secondly, the purchaser benefits on purchase (since July 1, 2021) from an ecological bonus of €6,000. But if city dwellers can rub their hands for some savings on the cost of owning electric cars, what about rural and peri-urban users?

Electric car ownership price: a source of savings for rural and suburban dwellers?

The daily road trip is greater in rural and peri-urban areas than in urban areas. As a result, switching from a gasoline or diesel car to an electric car is potentially more economical for small and heavy riders in the above-mentioned environments. By way of illustration, here is a comparison drawn up by the UFC in its study: a heavy rider traveling 20,000 annual kilometers aboard a new electric city car saves respectively €1,275 and €725 compared to its sidekick traveling the same route in a petrol or diesel vehicle.On the other hand, the savings are of the order of €625 (in petrol) and €425 (in diesel) for the small wheeler who travels 10,000 km per year Therefore, the current challenge for the heavy wheeler is to put all the odds aside by opting for a more economical and less polluting car. But the problem here is that the users who should take full advantage of it are not sufficiently informed to switch to electric mobility.

The need to inform about vehicle ownership costs

Even though it is inexorably continuing to make inroads into the French automotive market, the electric car is being cruelly undermined by internal combustion vehicles. These represent 97.7% of cars circulating in France in 2020 – according to a report by the Ministry of Ecological Transition. It cannot be otherwise when the buyer is unaware of the benefits he derives from an electric car: savings on ownership costs, ecological bonus (on purchase), low mileage cost...

The The cost of owning the vehicles is by far less expensive than that of other hybrid and thermal models. However, informing the general public on this subject is a major challenge for the public authorities, all the more so today, more than ever, electric mobility has a triple role to play: economic, environmental and consumerist.


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