A new online calculator launched today by the Electric Vehicle Council will assist Australian drivers in assessing how much they can save by buying an electric car – whether it be dollars or greenhouse gas emissions.
While one of the barriers to purchase of electric vehicles is often the higher cost of purchase, many people do not factor in the total cost of ownership, which can be on par or lower than ICE equivalents thanks to lower fuel and maintenance costs.
“EVs have fewer moving parts and run cleaner so they are far more reliable. You also have the convenience of being about to charge at home or at work, instead of queuing up at the petrol station,” EVC chief Behyad Jafari said in a note by email.
“We know from survey data that most Australian drivers want to consider an electric vehicle, but they don’t yet understand how clear the advantages are.
“This calculator will help make their decision easier. Even if an EV costs a little more than a high-emission vehicle, you are likely to claw that back over a few years — and have a great time doing it.”
The calculator, which has been developed by Sydney-based Evenergi with , takes into account details such as postcode, vehicle body type and distance driven per year to work out the comparative cost between owning an EV versus owning an ICE car.
“I think people understand that owning an electric vehicle is cheaper than owning a combustion engine car, but crunching that down into hard numbers can be very hard,” Jafari said.
“The tool that Evenergi has developed is very sophisticated and considers a range of relevant factors.
“For example, say you’re looking to buy a new family sedan. You drive about 15,000 kilometres a year, you live in Sydney’s west, and you have solar panels on your roof. In this case the calculator assesses that you will save $10,800 over five years of ownership if you opt for an electric over an ICE sedan.
“That’s a very salient piece of information to understand when you’re making your next car purchase.”
It makes a good talking point, too.
After entering a postcode, body type and kilometres driven, the calculator spits out some numbers – for example, an SUV driven 20,000 kilometres a year in Sydney will save $74.85 and 2.3 tonnes of CO2 per month.
The calculator is a first of its kind on the Australian market, allowing a driver to add power sources, including solar array and battery system size, and when and where an electric vehicle would be charged.
“It’s one of two in the world that looks at solar and batteries, to demonstrates the benefits of renewably powered vehicles,” Evenergi chief Daniel Hilson tells The Driven.
“Similar tools exist in other countries, but this is the first time a calculator has been tailored to the Australian market,” Hilson says.
To make the calculator accessible for all consumers, the calculator makes some broad assumptions such as predetermining comparison vehicles (and therefore pricing) for each body type.
“The idea was to simplify it for consumers..it [can be] very confusing for people who are non technical to decide what is comparative.”
Other settings such as grid electricity tariffs, percentage of green power, solar feed-in tariffs and weekday vs weekend driving patterns can be adjusted for a more tailored output.
For those wanting to try out the simplified version of the Ev cost calculator, check out the EVC website here.
For those wanting to explore a more detailed version of the calculator, including choosing comparative models, and inclusion of grid carbon intensity by state, visit the Evenergi website here.
Note: Feedback regarding calculations can be directed to Evenergi via this link.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.