14 oct 21

EVs now cost-competitive in most European countries, LeasePlan survey shows

“The plug is now cheaper than the pump”, says LeasePlan, summarising the results of its 2021 Car Cost Index (CCI). This is the case in most European countries – and even in the other ones, the TCO gap between EVs and ICEs is narrowing fast, the survey shows. 

According to LeasePlan’s survey, compact and mid-sized electric vehicles (EVs) are now fully competitive on total cost of ownership (TCO) with comparable cars on petrol or diesel, which use internal combustion engines (ICEs), in most of Europe. In the other countries – Romania, Poland and other Eastern European countries – the gap is expected to close by the mid-2020s. 

30,000 km/year

The CCI looks at vehicle cost in 22 major markets in Europe, taking into account not just the acquisition cost, but also factors in fuel/energy, depreciation, tax, insurance and maintenance. Costs are averaged over the first four years of ownership and assume 30,000 km of driving per year. ‘Cost competitive’ for EVs is defined as no more than 5% more expensive with ICE versions. 

Some key findings from the 2021 report: 

  • The average monthly cost of driving a car varies hugely across Europe, from €743 in Greece to €1,138 in Switzerland.
  • The TCO (relative to GDP) is highest in Switzerland and Portugal, lowest in Denmark and Germany. 
  • Poland is the cheapest country for driving a petrol car, Greece for diesels. 
  • EVs in the D2 segment (premium mid-size) are fully cost-competitive with ICEs in 17 out of 22 countries: the Big Five (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK), the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), eight other western European countries (Austria, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland) and one eastern European one (Slovakia).
  • For EVs in the C1 segment (compact), the score was 14 out of 22: four of the Big Five (minus Spain), the Nordics, plus Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland.
  • The VW ID.3 has a lower TCO than the VW Golf, a popular standard fleet car, in 12 European countries. 

"Tipping point"

“EVs have finally passed the affordability tipping point, but government action remains woefully inadequate,” says Tex Gunning, CEO of LeasePlan, reacting to the report. “Ahead of COP26 (this November in Glasgow, Ed.), we are calling on policymakers to invest in a charging infrastructure worthy of their net-zero ambitions. Until charging points are as ubiquitous as petrol stations, Europe has no hope of reaching net zero.”

Sandra Roling, Head of Transport at the Climate Group, which manages the EV100 initiative for corporate fleet electrification (of which LeasePlan is a part), said this report “shows that the commercial case for switching corporate fleets to EVs has never been stronger (…) Every business can and should start converting their fleet to electric.”

Average TCO per country for mid-size premium segment (D2)
  Diesel Petrol

Plug-in Hybrid

Greece €772 €824 €863 €746
Germany €960 €878 €851 €760
Sweden €929 €987 €946 €769
Austria €1,038 €1,156 €979 €832
Finland €923 €945 €954 €856
Denmark €939 €984 €825 €857
Slovakia €967 €970 €1,003 €865
Portugal €1,445 €1,541 €1,246 €891
France €1,027 €1,039 €1,104 €899
Italy €1,032 €1,106 €1,106 €899
Belgium €1,039 €1,014 €1,093 €905
Norway €1,152 €1,168 €1,040 €908
Spain €1,063 €1,092 €1,047 €936
United Kingdom €1,085 €1,087 €1,116 €945
Netherlands €1,299 €1,172 €1,194 €950
Ireland €964 €1,037 €946 €976
Luxembourg €916 €928 €1,100 €1,018
Hungary €818 €802 €918 €1,052
Switzerland €1,216 €1,258 €1,214 €1,061
Czech Republic €1,008 €994 €1,079 €1,222
20-country average* €1,030 €1,049 €1,031 €917

* No data from Poland or Romania for the D2 segment.

Authored by: Frank Jacobs