EVs are Cheaper than Ever Before in Europe
For the first time ever in Europe, EVs are now not only competitive in the road transportation market but actually cheaper.
In regards to climate change, pandora’s box has been opened. There is no longer a debate in industry, policy, or by everyday people about whether or not climate change is happening. The questions people are asking now are how, when, and how we implement solutions to these issues.
These problems and their solutions are everpresent, especially in the automotive industry. The car industry has been specifically identified as one of the areas where significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions have been put into our atmosphere. As a result, consumer demand has been shifting to clean up their act, with policymakers and industry leaders responding to their demands.
For a long time, it has been unfortunate that electric cars have been largely unaffordable due to a lack of EV (electric vehicle) charging infrastructure, availability of affordable vehicles on the market, and simply the technological challenges that have been in the works of being fixed for the past few years. However, in some places in our world, the tide is changing. In Europe, for the first time, electric vehicles are now competitive in the market compared to conventional ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles.
According to figures published by LeasePlan, a Dutch automotive lease provider, we can see how EVs compare to traditional gas-powered vehicles according to several criteria. These criteria include energy/fuel, tax, insurance, maintenance, and depreciation, and were considered with costs averaged over the first four years of a lease. The report states, “Despite energy price inflation, fuel costs remain significantly lower for electric cars than petrol and diesel cars: fuel costs represent 15% of the total cost of ownership of an EV, while this is 23% and 28% for petrol and diesel drivers.” It added, “EVs in nearly every segment and in nearly every European country are now the same price or cheaper than petrol or diesel cars.”
It is estimated that owning an EV now can save the consumer, on average, $4,780 over the course of a 7-year lease. These figures are incredibly promising as the EV market continues to expand, with 2021 breaking records for the number of EVs being sold, and as there are three times as many EVs on the road in 2021 over 2018.
However, there are significant challenges ahead for EVs as we continue along our path toward road transport becoming 100% green. Lithium is an expensive material to extract and is required to manufacture the battery packs used in EVs. The prices for lithium were seven times that of those in 2021, in mid-2022.
It’s also important to note that while EV charging infrastructure continues to be developed and implemented worldwide, it still isn’t as ubiquitous as ICE infrastructure and has much to be desired as we continue to decarbonize road transport. As of the writing of this article, road transport makes up a staggering 16% of total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
In spite of the issues mentioned above, the electrification of the road transport sector is continuing to gain speed. The primary issue for the longest time in EV technology has been accessibility. With prices lowering, it will become an easy choice for everyday average people to get on board with the benefits.
Ultimately the moral and environmentally aware choice has to be the economic one as well because if people cannot afford to help save the environment, what benefit will come? We are moving towards a cleaner and brighter future for us all, and with the benefits adding up in favour of electric cars, I believe soon it will be a no-brainer for us all to hop on board.