EVs TCO Cheaper than ICE Vehicles by 2020 German Study Claims


All-electric vehicle cost of ownership to fall below that of traditional petrol vehicles by 2020 – new study

A study by the German organization DEKRA concluded that by 2020 the total cost of ownership of BEVs will be 3.2% lower than comparable ICE vehicles without government subsidies. This takes into consideration purchase price, electricity, maintenance, and repairs.

The authors of the study expect that due to an increased selection of models, lower purchase prices, increasing range and the expansion of the charging infrastructure EVs will become the standard transportation solution in metropolitan areas and PHEVs for long-distance travel.

Chevrolet Bolt

Increasing battery densities and lower costs are making EVs (like the Bolt shown above) more and more affordable

According to the study the current high cost of EVs is due mainly to the cost of the battery, which shows a clear trend downwards. In 2010 the cost of a 25-kWh battery stood at 22,500 Euro (~$26,500 USD), while the same battery is expected to cost only 3,750 Euro in 2020 (~$4,500 USD). At the same time the energy density is increasing from 100 to 150 and eventually 200 Wh/Kg at the same size and volume, making a range of 400 Km (250 miles) possible.

The number of charging stations is also rapidly increasing. By 2020 it is expected that 77,100 charging stations will be available (in Germany), 10% of which will be fast chargers. The authors expect that the availability of inductive charging could further increase the acceptance of EVs.

While this study is based on numbers from Germany, where the cost of fuel is significantly higher than in the US, the same trends hold true here as well. Other studies have come to the same conclusion with varying timeframes. The good news is EVs are getting continuously better and cheaper and it is only a matter of time before buying one becomes a no-brainer, even for the average Joe.

Source: Dekra

Categories: General


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26 Comments on "EVs TCO Cheaper than ICE Vehicles by 2020 German Study Claims"

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I think mass adoption is still going to be problematic until two major shortcomings are addressed. Range needs to be over 300 miles, regardless of temperature. And charge times need to drop on fast chargers, to 15 minutes or less.

Barring those two items being addressed, I think average Joe American has a hard time stomaching an EV, even if they are cheaper to own overall.

However, right now between my rooftop solar and BEV, I’m already saving thousands every year.

I simply rent a gas vehicle for those trips that I think would be inconvenient to do with a BEV.

This is with electricity at about $0.30/kWh and gas at about $3.20/gallon. So it’s amazing Mr Euro below doesn’t see any economic benefit.

That’s how is done! PV and EV combo is a money saving machine.

Overall I’ve saved more time by recharging in my garage and entirely avoiding gas stations than I have lost by using CCS chargers.

Of course, YMMV.

Another Euro point of view

It better be cheaper indeed. Many (including me) have nothing specific going in favor of EVs and are simply waiting for those to provide cheaper transportation (lower energy bills and, due to their technical simplicity, cheaper maintenance).

I completely agree with theBrantler’s comment above. Being mainly satisfied with ICE, Joe (American) and Jose,Jacques,Matthias (European) just want an EV with same practicality as an ICE (long range/fast recharge time).

So far the EV offer is not at all aimed to Jo, Matthias, Jacques. Either ridiculously low range or too expensive, all of them having too long recharge time and, depending on location, not enough charging stations (the later seemingly the easiest to solve).

I think the DCFC charger requirement is a non-starter.

This is a new paradigm. My 16.5kWh battery takes 10 minutes of-my-time to charge. Yeah, it’s sitting there charging for 4 hours, but, I’m also not using it because I’m asleep!

A 95kWh battery would be about the same because I only drive 50mi a day.

Same thing with this 300mi range requirement. My ’70 ‘Vette had only 150mi of range and that was plenty.

People need to look at their actual drive cycle and their actual needs. They generally DON’T need a car that can travel from LA to NY. That’s what jets are for.

For those of us who live in apartments, I would agree that DC fast charging can be limited to highways, etc. only as long as there are sufficient level 2 chargers in apartment parking lots so we can charge overnight like the people who live in houses. Without that, DC fast charging needs to be more widespread for people who cannot charge at home or work.

In Germany, gas is $5.57 / gallon.

Thus, not using it saves a lot of money.

I welcome the day of TCO parity (without subsidies), but I have zero confidence that day will lie in 2020 for North Americans.

But electricity is also about 25-30 cent per kWh. So savings actually aren’t that big because of fuel.


But with flexible electricity cost (including flexible taxes), the price may at times be very low.

At least in Denmark where up to 50 hours a year we have negative electricity prices due to overproduction of wind turbines.

If this price was applied to the consumers we would be able to charge our cars for free or even get money for it (2 days per year), or extremely cheap up to 30% of the year.

Hopefully this will be possible soon 🙂

You have negative electricity prices due to the subsidies that wind receives that makes it profitable to sell at a negative price as long as the negative price is no more than the subsidies.

Otherwise the excess electricity would be curtailed it the price got down to zero.

Sure, but still better to use the excess electricity than curtail it.

That excess is not free. There is still wear and tear on the turbines and grid to produce and distribute it.

You can’t honestly think something is free. You’re being fooled by the subsidies.

Actually, it is possible that a small negative fee (ie paying users) for off peak power is financially beneficial to the electric utility. If it lures enough users away from peak usage it may save the utility from building additional peak power plants which can be a huge expense. It may also save them from power outages or brown outs which can incur penalties in some places.

It’s probably completely impractical to shut down a wind turbine for a short period of time where rates are negative. It simply wouldn’t be worth the hassle, and the “wear and tear” incurred during these periods would be pretty close to negligible over the course of the turbine’s life. Frankly there might be more wear having the turbine locked with the wind still blowing against it.

Yep, electricity prices can fluctuate significantly and become very negative in Germany at the exchange (average price at exchange has been dropping for years, thanks to Wind and Solar). But the government slaps high taxes on top, so unfortunately the consumer does not really benefit, as rates for small consumers are fixed. Some providers offer discount rates for EV owners who charge at home.
Industry rates are lower in general, but often also fixed, unless consumption is really high.
At least, 2018 will be the last year of subsidized coal mining in underground mines in Germany, when they finally close down the last one. Talk about a powerful industry, because coal mining in Germany was no longer economically viable over imports already back in 1961 (!) and has been subsidized for 57 years “to protect the jobs”. Subsidy was over 180k€ per single job and year, and the last miners that actually had worked in 1961 retired like 15 years ago.

There should not be over-production. A wind turbine can be feathered to zero and save a ton on maintenance.

Why let equipment sit idle when you have guaranteed prices, and priority of use for “green electricity” by law?
In Europe, a lot of electricity is traded (exported and imported), so unless there is 100% renewables, there is always someone who could shut down a fossile plant. Chemical industry often has combined cycle natural gas plants to focus on steam production for process and electricity is a secondary product for internal use only. If the price becomes negative, they can lower the turbine speed and fire up boilers to make the steam, does not cost them any more natural gas than they were using anyway. But now they get money for taking the excess electricity of the grid, until the price turns into positive again.

20 kWh versus a gallon of gasoline, the electricity will take you 60+ miles the gasoline 30- miles. Both will cost $5-$6.

Math is not for everyone…

20kw=75 mi, 1 gal gas 25 average miles *3 @2.25$= 7.75$ vs &2.20 @ .11 a kw

People buy based on monthly payments, not TCO.

EVs need to be better. Faster, prettier, roomier, quieter, cleaner, safer, more reliable, more convenient and “cooler”. Tesla gets this, though they don’t deliver on the roomier and more reliable parts. BMW is starting to get it a little. The others don’t. Or don’t want to. Hard to blame them – it’s painful and scary to make your best products obsolete. Especially when the market for the new products isn’t fully developed.

The price of fuel is slowly creeping up. I’ve just fueled up today in the UK and it was £5.55 / $7.42 gallon for petrol (UK gallon).

Euro troll POV is a “Concern” troll plain and simple.

He is not only anti-Tesla, he is anti-EV and almost all his repetitive, whiney comments here at InsideEvs and other EV sites is of the “Concern” troll variety.

He probably works for an industry that Tesla/EVs are disrupting and is therefore feels personally threatened by the coming positive changes.

with new emission standards coming to EU in 2020 cars will need better particulate filters which will probably cost double the current ones e.g. 1000 euro extra. I recall VW boss saying that there will be no diesel VW Up model because the filter would cost a fourth of such a small car. So all these developments plus cheaper batteries, plus zero emission zones planned for several European cities… Another thing we need is qoutas for EVs on the proportion of sold ICE cars like in China. EU refused to introduce them but maybe some countries/regions will do it on their own and set an example for their neighbours starting a chain reaction. Looking at you Scotland.

Probably at least half the people that think EVs arent for them because of range and charge time considerations simply haven’t looked at their actual mileage, and also haven’t considered the “charging when sleeping” point made above. However as they see friends and colleagues saving money by moving to EV they will change. I’m seeing it right now with people who suddenly get interested when i mention I’m paying about 1/4 the price in gas-equivalent per mile on electricity.

Of the other half, half of them will be satisfied by newer cars available over the next 2-3 years. Sure there will always be the sales rep or engineer who do ridiculous mileage on some days, for them PHEVs with decent electric miles are needed like the Volt, not the pathetic 20 mile range ones that are mostly available now.

The big issue for me is where apartment dwellers or people without private drives to park their cars, can get a reasonable priced charge. That aspect needs to be fixed to meet a lot of city dwellers needs.