When a new car is needed, consumers today are faced with the question: electric or combustion engine? Especially in the current expensive times, this can also be a question of costs. The ADAC reveals what you need to look out for when comparing the costs of petrol and diesel or e-cars.
E-car or combustion engine, which is worth it? ADAC will help with the answer
Is an electric car more worthwhile than a combustion engine? Unfortunately, the ADAC left this question unanswered, after all it always depends on what buyers consider worthwhile. But who trust the numbers gets help from the automobile club. In a video, the car experts explain what the Cost comparison between combustion engine and electric car really matters:
According to the ADAC, it is decisive for this total cost to consider and not just to compare purchase prices and fuel or electricity costs. For this you use the so-called in the video Total cost of ownership (TCO, roughly translated: complete maintenance costs). This is the total cost of a car, which is made up of:
- depreciation From the purchase price minus (possible) resale value: On the one hand, the purchase price is important here, but you should also not forget discounts, interest on financing or subsidy programs. In comparable models, the combustion engines are currently in the lead.
- fixed costs from vehicle tax and insurance: Here you can get a good overview before you buy. Tax and insurance costs are easy to find out in advance. For the insurance rate, for example, you should also be able to specify a realistic annual mileage. According to the ADAC, there is no significant difference in fixed costs between combustion engines and electric vehicles.
- Operating costs for fuel and electricity: The most obvious difference between electric vehicles and combustion engines is where the cars get the energy to drive them. At the gas station, combustion engines draw petrol or diesel at varying prices. Based on the price development, you can make relatively reliable statements here or rely on average prices that are regularly surveyed by various agencies. Things are more complicated with e-cars: Depending on whether you can charge electricity at home (possibly even with your own photovoltaic system) or charge at expensive fast charging stations, the price per kilowatt hour varies considerably. The ADAC says: With rising electricity prices, it is no longer possible to give a general answer as to whether fuel or electricity will be cheaper in the long term. If you can produce your own electricity at home, you will definitely drive the cheapest.
- workshop costs: This sums up what you spend on new tires, maintenance, wearing parts and repairs during the holding period. Because e-cars are technically simpler and many typical wearing parts from the combustion engine era are obsolete, the electric cars usually fare much better here.
In order to get a complete and reliable picture of what a particular car will cost you, you should also know: How long will you (probably) drive the car? How high will it be annual mileage be? Ideally, you also have an idea of what to expect at the gas pump and charging station during this period. However, this variable in particular is difficult to predict, as the price development in 2022 has shown.
The conclusion of the ADAC is: E-cars are economically the better choice if the purchase price is similar to that of a combustion engine. However, if electric cars are already significantly more expensive to buy – as is usually the case at present – it will be difficult to regain this lead over time. In addition, e-car drivers should ensure the cheapest possible electricity in order to be able to control costs better in the long term.
If you prefer to save yourself the computing effort, you will find at the ADAC detailed lists with the Total cost of many different models.
Electric vs. petrol vs. diesel: There is no such thing as a cost winner
With all of these variables, there can always be reasons why some parts of the overall cost analysis carry less or more weight than others. For example, you can only include income from the expected resale value if you intend to resell your new car after a certain period of time. Instead, if you drive it yourself until nothing works anymore, you won’t get any money back in this way. You will only get the most accurate result if you do at least part of the calculation yourself.