Comparing costs: EV vs ICE

Total cost of ownership comparison

What are the cost elements?

The cost difference between cars with an electric motor and those with an internal combustion engine (ICE) has been reducing every year, meaning that in some cases EVs are cheaper to run. When comparing costs, it is important to look at the total cost of ownership (TCO). Some cost elements are more expensive for EVs, such as tyres, while others are much cheaper, such as energy. However, cost is affected by many factors. The total cost of ownership consists of the following cost elements:

  1. Depreciation

    EVs appear to depreciate slightly faster than ICE vehicles due to rapid technological developments. When you lease an electric vehicle, the amount you pay is based on the expected depreciation rate. In the case of EVs, in addition to the major tax benefits you can enjoy, leasing an electric vehicle is also a safe way to reduce your risk and enjoy the benefits of new technology stress and worry free. It’s almost certain that EVs will be more technologically advanced at the end of a three- or four-year lease.

  2. Energy & fuel costs

    Charging your car at home will result in an increase in your electricity bill, but the amount of the increase depends on factors such as when you charge and where you live. The electricity rates may differ per area. Keep in mind that charging your car during night hours can save you money. Public charging stations tend to be more expensive than home ones. The EV charging cost at a public charging point depends on the electricity provider, the location of the charger and its power rating.

  3. Maintenance

    Electric vehicles have lower maintenance and repair costs than ICE vehicles, irrespective of their size. EVs have far fewer moving parts than ICEs, meaning that the cost of maintaining them is much lower. Despite that, they still require some regular maintenance which entails costs such as: tyres and brakes, windshields, windscreen wipers and washing fluid, battery repair or replacement -which happens rarely- and general wear and tear.

  4. Tyres

    Due to their extra weight, EVs need to have more durable tyres. When fitted, tyres must have a stronger sidewall and a durable mix (e.g. nylon) to enable them to withstand the weight of the battery and car parts

  5. Damage repair

    All vehicles, including those with an internal combustion engine, are getting more complex due to the use of high tech and very advanced electronic systems. Car workshops need to invest in new equipment and train their employees to be able to work on EVs. While ICE vehicles have increasingly more advanced driver assistance systems, electric vehicles are truly packed with cutting-edge systems. Batteries make EVs heavier than similar-sized ICEs. This means that EVs use more expensive, lighter and more durable materials to offset the weight of the battery. Replacing these materials is expensive.

  6. Insurance and costs

    In general, EVs cost around 12% more to insure than ICE vehicles. Because electric vehicles are pricier both in terms of purchase and in terms of repair, insurers charge more for providing insurance coverage. However, fuel savings and tax incentives offset –and perhaps more than make up for– the extra cost.

  7. Taxes

    A series of tax benefits have been introduced in Greece to support the transition to electric driving. The Kinoume Ilektrika 2 (I Move Electrically 2) subsidy program is also running. You can learn more here.


Are EVs cheaper to drive than ICE vehicles?

When it comes to EVs, charging the battery and maintenance costs are the primary factors which reduce the TCO. According to a LeasePlan survey, the total EV cost in most European countries is cheaper than that of ICE vehicles.

FAQs on costs

What is TCO? TCO is an acronym that stands for "total cost of ownership". The total cost of ownership examines the total costs (direct and indirect) of running a vehicle and not just the cost of purchase or initial investment.What are the costs (EV vs. ICE)? The cost categories for electric vehicles and vehicles with internal combustion engines are the same. Both vehicles have depreciation, insurance, maintenance, energy costs and others. Differences in cost are due to differences in each of these categories. Are there differences in maintenance (EV vs ICE)? Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than those with an internal combustion engine, so they need less maintenance. However, less maintenance does not mean no maintenance at all! Ensure that your electric vehicle is regularly maintained.