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Tuesday 14 November 2023

Unmasking the real cost of EVs

 A recent paper OVERCHARGED EXPECTATIONS: UNMASKING THE TRUE COSTS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES by The Texas Public Policy Foundation provides a sobering assessment. 

The executive summary highlights the economic aspects of electric vehicle (EV) ownership and the challenges associated with the transition from internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) to EVs. 

While the report relates specifically to the US, it does illustrate the misleading headline figures that are driving EV sales. I would expect similar issues in all countries pursuing the move to EVs.

Key points include

  • A comprehensive analysis of the costs associated with electric vehicle (EV) ownership is crucial for a holistic understanding of the economic landscape surrounding the attempted mass transition from internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) to EVs.
  • Major selling points promoted by EV advocates are lower maintenance and fueling costs over the life of the vehicle and the common claim that reductions in battery prices will eventually make EVs less expensive to own than ICEVs.
  • A study conducted by a group at the Argonne National Laboratory estimated that while an average EV is about $22,000 more expensive to purchase than a comparable ICEV, they cost about $14,000 less to fuel, insure and maintain over a 15-year period, making their lifetime cost only $8,047 more than an ICEV.
  • No one has attempted to calculate the full financial benefit of the wide array of direct subsidies, regulatory credits, and subsidized infrastructure that contribute to the economic viability of EVs.
  • The average model year (MY) 2021 EV would cost $48,698 more to own over a 10-year period without $22 billion in government favours given to EV manufacturers and owners.
  • EV advocates claim that the cost of electricity for EV owners is equal to $1.21 per gallon of gasoline, but the cost of charging equipment and charging losses averaged out over 10 years and 120,000 miles, is $1.38 per gallon equivalent on top of that.
  • Adding the costs of the subsidies to the true cost of fueling an EV would equate to an EV owner paying $17.33 per gallon of gasoline. 
  • And these estimates do not include the hundreds of billions more in subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act (2022) for various aspects of the EV supply chain.

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