How expensive are electric cars

Comparison of costs for electric, petrol or diesel: is it worth switching?

Thanks to the purchase bonus for electric cars, many electric cars are significantly cheaper than combustion engines. This was the result of the current ADAC cost comparison of pure battery vehicles, plug-in hybrids and combustion engines. The cost per kilometer is decisive.

  • Many electric vehicles are already cheaper to drive than combustion engines

  • Current purchase premiums make e-cars affordable

  • Real energy costs are the basis of the calculation

Diesel or gasoline? For years this ideological question divided the round tables into two camps. But now everything is a bit more complicated, because now the fans of the are also talking Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids with: Locally emission-free, quiet, great fume cupboard - but do they also pay off?

E-cars are often surprisingly cheap

More and more often. In addition to falling base prices, the purchase premium for electric cars will increase until the end of 2025. Depending on the model, up to 9,000 euros are given partly by the state and partly by the manufacturer. E-cars also have significantly lower maintenance and energy costs. The ADAC specialists have checked whether it is current - in addition to the ecological aspect - as well economically It's worth switching to an electric car or a plug-in hybrid.

If you add up all the costs of a car, from the purchase price to all operating and maintenance costs to the loss of value, cut Electric cars are increasingly doing better than combustion engines. This is the result of a current full cost calculation of almost all electric cars currently available on the German market as well as plug-in hybrids with gasoline or diesel engines with comparable engine performance and similar equipment. The current Environmental bonusof up to 9,000 euros for purely electric vehicles and up to 6750 euros for externally chargeable Plug-in hybrids is taken into account in all calculations.

Cost comparison: electric vehicles versus gasoline and diesel April 2021
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But you also pay for a combustion engine rarely the list priceon which the above calculations are based. Those who are good at negotiating can often get discounts. So we have calculated again: Does the tide turn in favor of the combustion engine if you estimate a discount of 15 percent?

This is indeed the case with some models, but not with all, as the second list below shows. The Hyundai Kona with a combustion engine, for example, with an assumed 15 percent discount, drives cheaper than the electric Kona. Without a combustion engine discount taken into account, it was the other way around.

It is different with the Mini. The electric mini (SE) beats its combustion counterpart in terms of cost in any case - even if it is sold with a 15 percent discount. Therefore, one should take a very close look at the desired model with its various drive variants and, above all, take into account the annual mileage. The ADAC list helps:

Cost comparison: electric vehicles versus petrol and diesel April 2021 with a discount
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All cost factors are important

Flow into the cost calculation of the ADAC all expenses that arise when driving a car. This includes insurance, vehicle tax, expenses for maintenance and repairs, tire wear, fuel / electricity costs and a flat rate for car washing / car care. But he does the lion's share Depreciation off, i.e. the sum that was spent on the purchase minus an average residual value of the vehicle.

Basis of all calculations is a average holding period of 5 years with a Annual mileage of 15,000 kilometers.

Selected electric cars in a cost comparison

BMW: i3 and 225xe Active Tourer with cost advantage

model

fuel

Base price €

Cents per km

i3 (125 kW)

electricity

39.000

48,6

118i (103 kW)

Super Plus

36.200

59,0 / 51,3*

118d (110 kW)

diesel

40.500

64,3 / 55,7*

225xe (162 kW)

SuperP./Current

42.200

57,4

225i (170 kW)

Super Plus

44.000

71,9 / 62,4*

220d (140 kW)

diesel

43.800

70,2 / 60,7*

Current list prices including 19% VAT. The "Cent per km" cost calculation takes into account the current subsidy amounts for plug-in hybrids and electric cars; * Cost per kilometer calculated with a 15% discount from the purchase price

Hyundai: Ioniq plug-in hybrid cheaper than Ioniq electric

model

fuel

Base price €

Cents per km

Ioniq electric (100 kW)

electricity

35.350

43,4

Ioniq plug-in hybrid

Super / electricity

32.000

42,4

i30 1.0 T-GDI (88 kW)

Super

26.390

52,8 / 46,8*

i30 1.6 CRDi (100 kW)

diesel

30.040

55,2 / 48,5*

Current list prices including 19% VAT. The "Cent per km" cost calculation takes into account the current subsidy amounts for plug-in hybrids and electric cars; * Cost per kilometer calculated with a 15% discount from the purchase price

Jaguar: i-Pace is not always worthwhile compared to F-Pace

model

fuel

Base price €

Cents per km

i-Pace EV 400 S (294 kW)

electricity

77.900

95,4

F-Pace P 400 S (294 kW)

Super

74.826

110,2 / 94,2*

F-Pace D 300 S (221 kW)

diesel

69.984

105,8 / 90,9*

Current list prices including 19% VAT. The "Cent per km" cost calculation takes into account the current subsidy amounts for plug-in hybrids and electric cars; * Cost per kilometer calculated with a 15% discount from the purchase price

Kia: e-Niro more expensive than (plug-in) hybrid

model

fuel

Base price €

Cents per km

e-Niro (39.2 kWh / 100 kW)

electricity

35.290

46,5

Niro 1.6 plug-in hybrid (104 kW)

Super / electricity

33.990

44,3

Niro 1.6 Hybrid (104 kW)

Super

26.990

45,4 / 39,8*

Current list prices including 19% VAT. The "Cent per km" cost calculation takes into account the current subsidy amounts for plug-in hybrids and electric cars; * Cost per kilometer calculated with a 15% discount from the purchase price

Mercedes: B 250e and EQC - electric drives are usually better

model

fuel

Base price €

Cents per km

B 250 e (160 kW)

Super / electricity

39.347

59,0

B 250 (165 kW)

Super

40.496

70,8 / 61,7*

B 220 d (140 kW)

diesel

40.829

70,2 / 61,0*

EQC 400 (300 kW)

electricity

66.069

85,9

GLC 43 AMG (287 kW)

Super Plus

69.966

110,90 / 95,2*

GLC 400 d (243 kW)

diesel

61.940

96,0 / 82,0*

Current list prices including 19% VAT. The "Cent per km" cost calculation takes into account the current subsidy amounts for plug-in hybrids and electric cars; * Cost per kilometer calculated with a 15% discount from the purchase price

Nissan: Leaf only beats Qashqai without a combustion engine discount

model

fuel

Base price €

Cents per km

Leaf (40 kWh / 110 kW)

electricity

37.050

49,9

Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T (103 kW)

Super

32.470

55,1 / 48,5*

Current list prices including 19% VAT. The "Cent per km" cost calculation takes into account the current subsidy amounts for plug-in hybrids and electric cars; * Cost per kilometer calculated with a 15% discount from the purchase price

Opel: Mokka Diesel with a discount cheaper than electric

model

fuel

Base price €

Cents per km

Mocha Edition (100 kW)

electricity

34.110

44,7

Mokka 1.2 DI Turbo Edition automatic (96 kW)

Super

24.765

46,4 / 41,2*

Mokka 1.5 Diesel Edition (81 kW)

diesel

23.595

44,8 / 39,8*

Current list prices including 19% VAT. The "Cent per km" cost calculation takes into account the current subsidy amounts for plug-in hybrids and electric cars; * Cost per kilometer calculated with a 15% discount from the purchase price

Renault: Clio with discount cheaper than Zoe

model

fuel

Base price €

Cents per km

Zoe R110 Z.E. 40 (80 kW) including battery

electricity

29.990

39,4

Zoe R110 Z.E. 50 (80 kW) including battery

electricity

32.990

44,5

Clio TCe 90 (67 kW)

Super

18.950

41,3 / 37,2*

Clio Blu dCi 85 (63 kW)

diesel

19.850

41,5 / 37,3*

Current list prices including 19% VAT. The "Cent per km" cost calculation takes into account the current subsidy amounts for plug-in hybrids and electric cars; * Cost per kilometer calculated with a 15% discount from the purchase price

VW: ID.3 beats golf

model

fuel

Base price in €

Cent per km

ID.3 Pro (58 kWh) Life (107 kW)

electricity

37.265

43,7

Golf 1.5 eTSI Life DSG (110 kW)

Super

30.910

51,7 / 45,0*

Golf 2.0 TDI Life DSG (110 kW)

diesel

33.535

55,6 / 48,3*

Current list prices including 19% VAT. The "Cent per km" cost calculation takes into account the current subsidy amounts for plug-in hybrids and electric cars; * Cost per kilometer calculated with a 15% discount from the purchase price
Database of ADAC calculations

The basis is ADAC car costs database. In a cost comparison over five years and one annual mileage of 15,000 km are taken into account: Depreciation (without interest), expenditure for oil changes, inspections as well as usual wear parts and costs for tire replacement. Fuel and oil refill costs (Manufacturer's information on consumption according to WLTP or NEDC as well as the average fuel prices per liter, which may differ from region to region, valid at the time of the update), diesel € 1.30, normal / super € 1.48, super plus € 1.56, electricity 0.36 € / kWh (depending on the provider!), Hydrogen € 9.50 (kg), Liability and comprehensive insurance with 50% each (standard ADAC car insurance rate, without additional discounts), current vehicle tax (may differ due to the WLTP changeover). Both the Tax exemption as well as that current purchase awards for electric vehicles (up to € 40,000 net: € 9,000, up to € 65,000: € 7500) and plug-in hybrids (up to € 40,000 net: € 6750, up to € 65,000: € 5625) are taken into account in the calculations. Vehicle selection, technical data and costs are correct as of April 2021. All prices and costs including statutory taxes.

How to read the table of costs

Example VW ID.3 / Golf. The selected ID.3 for a good 37,000 euros cannot be compared with the cheapest basic model of the VW Golf (66 kW) with manual transmission for 20,700 euros. Because in relation, the ID.3 with its high-torque electric 107 kW drive offers significantly better engine performance and a continuously variable "automatic". For comparison, the ADAC therefore used the 110 kW 1.5 eTSI Golf with DSG (30,910 euros). If you now subtract the current electrical environmental bonus from the purchase price of the electric car, then this is it ID.3 round 3000 euros cheaper to buy - with consequences for the loss of value, which is then correspondingly lower.

This calculation is particularly exciting because the comparatively low maintenance and operating costs for electric cars noticeable in the overall balance - analogous to the fuel cost advantages of diesel compared to petrol. Result in the case of the VW ID.3 / Golf: The total bill for the e-version is 43.7 cents per kilometer, the comparable petrol engine at 51.7 cents. Even if you include a price reduction of 15 percent on the Golf with gasoline, the electric ID.3 ends up being cheaper.

Important to know

Since the ADAC was unable to test all models in the realistic ADAC EcoTest, the NEDC data (New European Driving Cycle) or even the new WLTP standard (Worldwide harmonized light-duty test Parocedure) used by the manufacturer. But above all the (old) NEDC procedure is particularly important for the Plug-in hybrids due to the measurement method, it is extremely low, which is usually the case in practice information that cannot be reached for the Fuel or electricity consumption. Whether a plug-in hybrid is really beneficial and what consumption results in practice depends to a large extent on the Usage profile from - far more than with the classic drive concepts.

Conclusion

Vehicles with electrified drives are becoming more cost-effective. Falling purchase prices, higher quantities and the extended environmental bonus until the end of 2025 all contribute to this. In addition, there is an ever wider range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Thanks to improved battery technology, real ranges of well over 300 kilometers are already possible.

However, so that the cost balance for purely electrically powered vehicles is even better without subsidies, purchase prices must continue to fall and may only be slightly higher than those of a comparable conventional model.

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