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LeasePlan reveals wide range of EV running costs across Europe

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Electric vehicles (EVs) are closing the running costs gap with petrol and diesel models but remain more expensive to operate compared to petrol or diesel in nearly every country in Europe, LeasePlan research has revealed.

The Car Cost Index takes into account all costs that motorists incur such as fuel, depreciation, taxes, insurance, and maintenance in each of the 18 countries studied, and offers a comprehensive analysis of the cost of driving a small to medium-sized vehicle, based on corporate lease contracts over three years and 60,000kms.

Its annual Car Cost Index found the cheapest place to run an EV is Greece, with a total monthly ownership cost of €656, compared to €410 for a diesel and €445 for diesel.

The UK is the second most cost-effective country in Europe to own an EV, with an average monthly total cost of ownership of €676, compared to €596 for petrol and €567 for diesel.

The most expensive EV country is Poland, at €995 a month, which is double the cost of operating a petrol or diesel (€477 and €562 respectively).

For internal combustion engined cars, depreciation is responsible for the largest proportion of total costs (36%), followed by taxes (20%), fuel (18%), insurance (13%), maintenance (9%) and interest (5%).

For electric drivers, depreciation makes up a larger share of costs (52%), although EVs benefit from lower fuel and maintenance costs and consistently lower taxes.

The research shows that Norway is the only country where running an EV is cheaper than an internal combustion engine, with zero-emission drivers spending €833 a month, compared to €851 for petrol vehicle operators. Diesel is close to parity at €821.

Norway is currently one of Europe’s biggest markets for EVs as a result of substantial government tax incentives, which means zero-emission vehicles have 45% market share.

The 18 countries included in the Car Cost Index are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Alfonso Martinez, managing director of LeasePlan UK, said: “This year’s Car Cost Index has shown that electric vehicles are increasingly becoming a rival option to traditionally fuelled vehicles, as costs are continuing to fall and legislation is now actively encouraging drivers to look for electric alternatives.

“The issue around supply, however, isn’t going anywhere. We need reassurance from manufacturers that these products will be available in the UK in shorter timeframes than what is predicted currently.”

LeasePlan manages a global fleet of more than 1.8 million vehicles and has committed itself to achieving net zero emissions from the total fleet by 2030.

LeasePlan, together with The We Mean Business coalition and Arcadis, recently called on European Commission policymakers to implement 1 million charging stations by 2025, in order to support growing demand for electric driving in Europe. The leasing company’s research shows there are currently 240,000 public charging stations available.

In the coming years, running costs for EVs are expected to decline substantially amid growing demand for new mass market models, including the ID.3 from Volkswagen, the first stage in its multi-billion Euro investment in zero-emission vehicles.

LeasePlan Car Cost Index running costs comparison

  Electric  Petrol Diesel
Greece € 656 € 445 € 410
UK € 676 € 596 € 567
Germany € 804 € 587 € 576
France € 806  € 520  € 643 
Romania € 825  € 449  € 407
Portugal € 833  € 527  € 595
Norway € 833  € 851  € 821 
Slovakia € 834  € 446  € 486 
Sweden € 846  € 644  € 598
Czech Republic € 847  € 461  € 515 
Austria € 854  € 567  € 549 
Switzerland € 858  € 613  € 632 
Netherlands € 872  € 783  € 937 
Denmark  € 900  € 760 € 762 
Belgium € 959  € 632  € 691 
Italy € 974  € 794  € 683 
Spain € 991  € 538  € 591 
Poland € 995  € 477  € 562 
Average € 854  € 594   € 613 

Small to medium vehicle. Three years/60,000kms. Business contract including maintenance