Does the electric car reduce the car budget? | Purchase

While internal combustion cars considered the most polluting based on Crit’Air’s vignettes are increasingly being driven out of city centers as part of city development policies and European regulations require car manufacturers to limit the rate on average of CO2 emitted by all vehicles sold at 95 g per km, some claim that it would be financially profitable to switch to the electric car.

Is it profitable to switch to an electric car? The answer is simple: no, it is not economically profitable to switch to an electric car..

Switching to the electric car was financially profitable, the electric car market would not be subsidized by an ecological bonus for more than 10 years (currently, in the first half of 2022, the value of the ecological bonus for the purchase of an electric car is 6,000 euros).

However, claims regarding the alleged cost-effectiveness of the electric vehicle are numerous.

A car budget is made up of five elements: purchase, resale, maintenance, insurance and fuel.

What about the cost of the electric vehicle in these five components of using an electric vehicle.


The electric vehicle is more expensive by around 11,000 euros than the petrol vehicle in the city category. Just look at the prices of the Renault Clio / Renault Zoé, Peugeot 208 / Peugeot e-208, Opel Corsa / Opel Corsa-e to see an average price difference of 11,000 euros.

This price difference corresponds to the Specific cost of high voltage battery for electric vehicles.


With the exception of Tesla electric vehicles today, used electric vehicle resale values ​​are low relative to the purchase price compared to gas powered vehicles.

Just look at the second-hand ratings of the Renault Clio and Renault Zoé over a period of 10 years.

Given away rapid technological progress in high voltage batteries (capacity, autonomy, reload speed, durability), the pronounced discounting phenomenon of electric vehicles is expected to last until electromobility technologies become mature.

On the other hand, Solid state batteries could lead to a major technological breakthrough in the coming years.


The cost of maintaining electric vehicles in manufacturers’ after-sales networks is approximately 30% lower than that of a gasoline-powered vehicle..

This difference is explained by the absence of filters, engine oil and spark plugs to be replaced during periodic maintenance.

There is also no gearbox, clutch, timing belt in the electric vehicle.

We can estimate an annual maintenance cost for a city car of 160 euros for the electric vehicle (instead of 240 euros for a gasoline city car).


As insurance premiums are based on the purchase price of vehicles, “mechanically” electric vehicles cost more in insurance than gasoline-powered vehicles.


Electricity is currently less taxed than fossil fuel, the fuel cost of electric vehicles is lower than that of gasoline vehicles.

Based on observed fuel prices in 2021 (average kWh of 0.18 euros and a liter of gasoline of 1.45 euros), we can estimate a average cost of electricity to travel 100 km in an electric city car of 3.30 euros (60% home charging, 30% workplace charging and 10% public charging) and a average fuel cost for 100 km in a petrol city car of 7.25 euros (Source: LeasePlan EV 2021 study).

Based on 10,000 kilometers driven per year, the cost of electric fuel is €330 (instead of €725 for a petrol vehicle).

In summary, the electric vehicle in the city car category costs about 11,000 euros more to buy than the petrol vehicle and he is more expensive to insure.

Economically, the electric vehicle is more profitable in terms of maintenance at around 80 euros per year and in fuel at around 395 euros per year due to the lower taxation of electricity compared to gasoline.

In addition, the essential component of the electric vehicle is the high voltage battery, which is covered by an 8-year, 160,000-kilometer limited warranty from most manufacturers.

above 8 years, remaining battery capacity may be (or would be) less than 70% and insufficient for automotive use.

The high voltage battery price alone represents almost a third of the price of an electric city car.

The replacement price for a city electric car battery is over 10,000 euros from most manufacturers.

The “Forced” switch to electromobility in 2022 in a context of encouraging the abandonment of thermal vehicles and the creation of Low Emission Zones (ZFE) allowing the circulation only of vehicles considered less polluting based on their Crit’Air stickers will increase the car budget of many French drivers.

Image by Mikes Photography from Pixabay

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