Electric Car Costs

We now have partly-electric and all-electric cars, right here in Toronto.

What I would like to see is a mileage cost chart. If the vehicle can go x kilometres on a charge, how much does the electricity cost to recharge the battery? We could compare pennies per kilometre with gasoline vehicles and see how great the electric advantage is.

I would also like to see a projected service cost. And a calculated finance cost; if the vehicle is more expensive to buy, there is either borrowing cost or lost-opportunity cost for the capital. Insurance cost should also be considered.

But for now, my basic dumb question is, how much does it really cost to go a kilometre in an electric car? (or a Prius, running only on its battery, for example). I know approximately what it costs to run my old Altima, about a litre per ten kilometres, or 13 cents a kilometre; the service costs are something under 7 cents a kilometre, over the vehicle’s entire lifetime.

Is an electric car cheaper than 20 cents a kilometre? Do any of you know the answer to this one?

One thought on “Electric Car Costs

  1. Jim, I thought I saw something on TV a week or so back when McGuinty was doing a photo op at a recharging station that the charge was going to be about $7. For this the vehicle (a VOLT) would travel up to 85km. My Honda gets about the same mileage as your Altima (about 10 litres per 100km in the city). This means I’d use 8.5 litres of fuel to drive 85km at a cost of about $11.00 Of course, I don’t take a few hours to “fill my tank” and I can find a gas station everywhere. The VOLT is expensive for what it is and it becomes economically viable only because the rest of us subsidize it through our taxes in the form of rebates. At least the VOLT can run on gas only when the battery goes dead. What I really can’t grasp is why anyone would buy a LEAF. At best it is a second car usable only in the city. I would be filled with constant anxiety about the remaining charge. Furthermore, what is the mileage/range going to be in the winter when a) the battery is less efficient because of the cold b) there’s more rolling resistance as you plow through snow c) you use considerable power to heat the car, defrost your windows, etc. Talk about a niche market…

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