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New York City says electric cars are now the cheapest option for its fleet

New York City says electric cars are now the cheapest option for its fleet (Quartz)

·         While average car buyers look at the sticker price, fleet owners focus on lifetime costs (maintenance, fuel, and ancillaries). They want to know every penny they’ll be spending over the course of a decade or so they might keep the vehicle.

·         Given how recently EVs became more easily available, there has not yet been much work done on real world EV lifetime costs compared with petrol (gas) peers in a fleet environment.

·         In what it calls the first analysis of its kind (pdf), the city analyzed fuel and maintenance costs for 1,893 of its 9,196 light-passenger vehicles in 2018.

·         This showed that servicing costs with all-electric vehicle models were less than for gas, hybrid, and hybrid plug-in models.

Analysis and Comments

·         The argument around cost equivalence has become central to the EV success debate, with a recent European study indicating an EV VW Golf is cheaper to own than a petrol version, although this includes (material) subsidies and tax reductions.

·         Fleets are a very important potential market for EVs, making up around half of all new vehicles sold in large European markets like the UK, Germany & France.

·         What the original study did not cover was the comparison including vehicle acquisition costs, when you add this in, the Toyota Pirus and the Nissan Leaf still came out cheaper than a Ford Fusion.

·         Subsidies and other support are still required to make the whole life EV maths work. Over time these should become less important, although for real market share gains to occur, a much more developed out of home charging network is needed.

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