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Student car - EV or ICE - Cost comparison

  • 04-03-2023 2:47pm
    Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭

    Hi, I'm comparing costs of running a 7 to 10yo electric and ice cars - my daughter in college with a 30km daily round trip.

    I'm sure there's something I'm missing from below considerations, but would welcome views/comments. Cost & reliability being the main factors.

    Plus I plan on changing mine or the OH's car to electric at some point over the coming months, so a home charger will be needed and preferred before the EV grants change..

    Night rate electricy is my current charge 29c/kWh (BGE rate incl VAT), diesel roughtly €1.60/l.

    There's not much in the difference for low mileage consumption, not considering yet the depreciation and servicing costs.

    Am I missing anything obvious?



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,430 ✭✭✭Redfox25

    If its 30km a day, you might be ok to get by with granny charging for a while.

    Charger install is closer to 1200 or more so 600 after the grant. Not sure if there are tolls on route?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,230 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    A lot of people with EVs get night meters so they can charge overnight at cheaper rates. Cheapest night rate is 13.5c/kWh at the moment but it does come with a higher day rate

    I think your range is a bit on the pessimistic side, I find it's better to go by consumption in kWh/100km

    IIRC the Leaf is probably around 17.5kWh/100km year round average, or 0.175kWh/km which gives a cost per km of ~€0.05

    Insurance will probably be about the same although your daughter might get a discount since the car is automatic and easier to drive

    Maintenance costs should be minimal, it's basically just the service cost per year so best to ring around a few garages and just ask the price

    Depreciation is a bit of a dice role, but second hand EVs are generally keeping their value pretty well at the moment

    Tyres kinda depends on driving style but if you have a reasonably defensive style then a set of tyres should last longer. There's special tyres for EVs which give lower consumption, but tbh last time round I just put the cheap tyres on the Leaf and the difference was pretty minimal

    A few secondary considerations to think about. EVs are generally a lot easier to drive than manual ICE, for someone relatively new to driving then it might make the whole experience a lot easier and less stressful. There's no gears or clutch to think about and hill starts are a matter of just selection D and going

    They do have a lot of acceleration at low speeds, so depending on her driving style you might want to tell her to go easy on the accelerator pedal 😁

    There's also a few limitations to consider, mainly that the car is limited on range, so she won't be taking her friends on road trips up and down the west coast. Depending on your opinion of her friends, this might also be an advantage

    The other thing to be aware is that people who go electric tend to enjoy the driving experience and not want to go back. So be prepared for a lot of complaining if she's ever forced to drive one of the ICE cars in the household 😂

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost (Escapist magazine)

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 36,441 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    You have the leaf battery size in the lower row. Power is 110bhp.

    Will you get 40 mpg in the focus for the drive that’s done?

    Im not following the comparison table great tbh

    Post up links to the actual cars your looking at.

    Wheres your cost to fill the focus?

    Wall Charger cost is €600 will be after the grant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭akasudonim

    Appreciate the replies lads!

    Forgot about the benefit of the tolls for EV too! Have an electrician in the family so was hoping the install would be closer to the 600, but I expect needs a registered installer, so yeah more than budgeted.

    @the_amazing_raisin - jeez my night rate is x2 that you quoted - who is that for 13.5c/kWh? Was erring on the side of caution considering the range, but they're older models with degraded batteries, so perhaps somewhere between the 5c and 9.6c /km might be more reasonable.

    All of your other points really good - she's a good driver, good awareness, and no problem with clutch/manual etc., but also now used to a 2.0 diesel Audi, so am already saying easy on the right foot😲

    And when suggested the EV, the limited range was the first concern, but offset by the costs of plugging in at home for free versus paying for diesel herself - so for further thought! Beggers and choosers come to mind if reverting to an ICE from an EV! 😁 though I'll likely have one of the other cars an EV before the summer's out - not sure about the user of a new M3 or MY though, if I go down that route!

    Will toss it around for a while more - thanks for the feedback!

  • Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭akasudonim

    Yeah the 40mpg on the Focus might be ambitious considering it's all short trips, barely warms up.

    I picked two lower cost examples for comparison, not necessarily chosing these specifically.

    Cost to fill the diesel tank is not relevant I think (actually some of the table is probably irrelevant but just info from brain dump) - diesl cost per km is based on 40mpg = 7.06l/100km, x €1.60/l = €11.30/100km or 11c/km. At maybe a more realistic 35mpg or 8.07l/100km that becomes 13c/km - versus maybe 7c/km in the Leaf (between my calculated 9c and @the_amazing_raisin ~5c), so nearly half the cost of diesel!

    The consumption calcs might actually (for the lower milage used) be less of an issue - depreciation and maintenance migh tbe the bigger factors, and electricity costs decreasing where diesel will likely increase... but who knows!

    Is it more likely to get a nasty reapir bill with a focus on 220km than a Leaf on same mileage?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,661 ✭✭✭waterwelly

    We need to assume a divergence of electricity and diesel / petrol prices from here. It's pretty much nailed on at this point with duty increasing and the government telling the state owned electricity companies to get on with cutting prices.

    My guess would be electricity to go below €0.3 (day) and €0.15 (night) over the next 12 months and diesel / petrol to average €1.80-€2.00 a litre.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,741 ✭✭✭kanuseeme

    Don't get a leaf, a young woman needs a dependable car, not some rejection of the entire EV world,

    Get a hybrid or a phev , I sold my 2015 Prius phev for 13k last year. It would do 20km on battery. 50 mpg after that. Your 30km trip would would only use 5liters a week.

    Outlander are around 13.5 k, and would probably do the 30 in nice weather. 40mpg on petrol.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19,155 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    Well at 30k per day, you should be looking at petrol, rather than high pollution diesel.

    Remembering from my student days where it was my own money that funded my car and petrol, the capital cost of the car was far more important than marginal issues of running costs. Sure there were cars that higher MPG than what I had, but I wouldn't able to afford them for almost another decade.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,430 ✭✭✭Redfox25

    From what i read, Leafs are pretty reliable, the main snag is when you try long distance driving in a car that won't fast charge.

    The 30km round trip should be well doable and cheap to run too.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 36,441 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    Why buy the less efficient outlander though?

    The lead is very reliable and excellent spec.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,430 ✭✭✭Redfox25

    The leaf even comes with a free home charger, if your buddy is a spark then you might get away with a cheap install (not sure you will get the grant though as its a second hand charger).

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 36,441 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    Yes you’ll get the grant alright. But he will need the 2 Certs and an invoice from his buddy over the value of €600.

    I’ve done it a few times now ;)

    If you do it right you can have an install for free (nett if grant).

  • Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭akasudonim

    I thought the Leafs were relatively reliable? And the service costs I'd expect to be less than the diesel - or petrol too perhaps.

    For this use case I'm leaning to electric, especially if the electircity per unit price decreases are likely - though I definately need to look at my current night rate! But also good point re petrol vs the diesel - though at that age profile / price bracket I think there's a lot more diesel choice. The phev's @kanuseeme good suggestions, but more than I want to spend now - and on low mileage it would not pay back in savings.

    Longer trips (seldom needed) then I'll add her to my insurance, perhaps full time, and I'd be on hers - so that might work out fine actually.

    90% of the trips made by 4 drivers in the house are <50km /day. Yet evryone has range anxiety. Electric perhaps makes most sense - recommendations other than a Leaf?

    Also much appreciate the comments and views!

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 36,441 Mod ✭✭✭✭Gumbo

    They are in mY experience.

    Service is every 2 years and usually costs about €150 from Nissan but there’s not alot in it if out of warranty.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,230 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Well I got a 2016 Leaf24 second hand in 2018. My wife still has it after I traded up for the ID.4

    Nothing has ever gone wrong with it except for a little plastic cover falling off the rear wiper. Not exactly a catastrophic design flaw I'd say

    I agree it's main issue is long journeys, it has short range and the charging isn't great and it uses a connector which isn't well supported anymore

    As a car it's exactly what it says on the tin, a local runabout that's easy to drive and cheap to run. Just don't try to do Dublin to Cork in it

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost (Escapist magazine)

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭zg3409

    Electric makes more sense, on terms of total cost of ownership. A granny cable to a household socket will be plenty to top up car each night.

    As said they are easier to drive and nippy at low speeds. Just make sure you don't overpay for the car and get one with relatively low mileage.

    Fuel savings are probably 50% compared to petrol as a rough guess. The actual cost to refuel both cars would be relatively little.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,733 ✭✭✭Casati

    What type of drive is commute - big difference if motorway or main road or Dublin City centre at rush hour?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,230 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Does it make much difference if it's 30km? Unless you're doing 160km/h on the motorway then the consumption isn't likely to be enough to cause any problems

    If it was Dublin City traffic then a car would be the last option I'd consider, bike or bus would be much quicker

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost (Escapist magazine)

  • Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭akasudonim

    An almost equal amount of back roads ~60/70 kph, main road 100kph and city at 50kph. No motorway speeds.

    Tolls too which the EV will help. The more i look at it the more suitable the EV is!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,741 ✭✭✭kanuseeme

    I misread the price, I would recommend a Toyota Prius or similar, for some reason I thought you had 12000 euro as the purchase price, If you get the leaf it's going to require planning and foresight, a ton of it, I know I would not have any of mine driving it other than for the stated 30km, youngins being youngins I could not trust them nor do I blame them for wanting to go somewhere beyond its range, and if they do then fast charger prices are more expensive than petrol.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,741 ✭✭✭kanuseeme

    You know well enough what I mean. no need to be a kcid.

  • Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭akasudonim

    Ah yeah shouldn't need planning.. a habit to plug it in every evening wouldn't be too hard, with a granny cable on a timer using the night rate ... but @kanuseeme i can also see the midnight call arriving from 50km away and no juice left! Will happen with kids but she's a sensible one do not too worried

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,741 ✭✭✭kanuseeme

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,733 ✭✭✭Casati

    Focus should be returning about 5.0l per 100km with that commute but I wouldn't recommend a diesel for it as you could run into DPF issues. EV tolls are gone in June so ignore that but a used Leaf sounds like a reasonable option either way

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,198 ✭✭✭loopymum

    As it happens, i have a a 2015 high mieage leaf

    180kms. It's going great. My 17 year old is hoping I will hang on to it so he can use it for school next year & to go to study afterschool once he passes his test. He is thrilled at the thought of it as I would cover most of the cost of charging.

    I've had it almost 3.5yrs

    It's a great yoke for short trips. I havent spent much on it. New set of tyres. No need to get it serviced as nothing needs doing. It's out of warranty long go. It's getting a few rattles so will get those checked out

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,230 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Forgot to mention, the Energia EV plan is the one with the 13.5c night rate. The day rate is something like 44c, so do your sums carefully to see if it's worth it

    If she has the option to use one of the other cars for longer journeys then I'd say the Leaf is a no brainer

    In fact she might find the Leaf getting "borrowed" at weekends to do the weekly shopping and general runabouts because it's cheap to run 😁

    And as difficult as it can be to see someone drive off in your expensive Audi (or Telsa) they do generally have much better safety systems for long trips.

    For example with my ID.4 I did a couple of long motorway drives in the UK a few months ago. I just switched the Travel Assist (adaptive cruise control and lane following) on and the car drove itself for around 90% of the journey.

    After 10 hours or so of driving and charging stops I was pretty wrecked, but without the Travel Assist I'd probably have managed only half of that.

    For someone relatively new to driving who might be getting distracted by her friends singing loudly in the back then it could be a literal lifesaver

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost (Escapist magazine)

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,119 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    The Leaf is extremely reliable, you also need to factor that the Leaf will become the default car of choice 24/7 for all local journeys in the evenings, weekends and non-college days and provide further savings

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,230 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    One of the other things about the Leaf is that it's one of the few EVs that actually tells you the battery health

    The thin ribbon of bars to the right of the range bars is the battery health. The max is 12 bars, the top bar is worth something like 13% of battery health and each one after is worth ~8% I think

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost (Escapist magazine)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,230 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Here's a funny thought, my eldest will be old enough to drive in around 12 years or so.

    What will the equivalent EV banger be by then? A second generation ID.3 or Model 3, or maybe an Ariya or BZ4X?

    It's pretty weird to think that cars with a touchscreen, heated seats and steering wheel, android auto and 200+bhp will be considered bangers

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost (Escapist magazine)