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How much fuel cost can electric vehicle (EV) save compared with petrol car?

How much fuel cost can electric vehicle (EV) save compared with petrol car?

Electric vehicle (EV) has been steadily trending in the automotive talk-about nowadays.

The key selling points of EV cars being:

  • Environmental friendly
  • Fuel cost saving
  • No need to periodically change engine oil

While the "environmental friendly" argument is widely debatable, as the generation of electricity at power plant, and the production as well as the disposal of rechargeable batteries, might not be as "clean" as you think, the statements of cost-saving in fuel and engine oil are no doubt for EV cars.

Let's do some calculations on how much driving an EV car can save compared with driving a petrol car.

City driving of a typical 1.5cc~1.6cc petrol car consumes 1 litre of petrol for a journey distance around 12km. That will be 8.33 litres per 100km.

With this assumption, we can come out with the petrol car's fuel expenses on both RON 95 and RON 97 respectively.

A typical EV car will use up 16~17 kWh of battery power per 100km. During charging, there will be around 10% of energy lost. Let's take 18 kWh/100km for our calculation.

The electricity cost in the calculation above is based on the current residential rate. If you charge your EV car with charging station or using commercial/industrial electricity, you will need to work out your own calculation.

As the TNB tariff is accumulative based on electricity consumption bands, and charging of EV car is considered as additional electricity consumption to the household, we take the TNB rate at the highest consumption band. For example, if your household electricity consumption including charging of EV car falls under the band of 301~600 kWh, your EV car charging cost will be 51.6 sen/kWh.

From the 2 tables above, we can further calculate the amount of fuel savings of EV car compared with car using RON 95 petrol and RON 97 petrol respectively:

From here, we can observe that the fuel cost savings of EV car to RON 95 is not much. You can probably save around RM10~20 for each 1000km.

If you compare with those cars that pump RON 97 petrol, the savings is a little bit more, at RM80~90 for each 1000km.

Anyhow, there are still additional savings from fewer maintenance needed, and no cost for engine oil replacement.

However, there are also additional considerations on:

  • Depreciation and lost of second-hand value
  • Battery replacement cost when the time has come
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