Exciting news for electric car fans: a new study shows that EVs already cost less over four years than diesel or gasoline-fueled cars in Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States. Four researchers at the University of Leeds came up with the discovery after scrutinizing the total price tag of ownership including insurance, fuel, maintenance, taxation, purchase price and depreciation. And although the low cost is aided by government support right now, in a few years EVs are expected to be the least expensive option without subsidies.

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EVs are already cheaper to operate and own in the markets the researchers looked at: California, Texas, Japan, and the UK. They said this lower expense is an important factor propelling the surge in EV sales. Electricity is less expensive than diesel or petrol, and maintenance costs are lower, as pure electric cars have simpler engines.

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Study co-author James Tate of the University of Leeds told The Guardian, “We were surprised and encouraged because, as we scale up production, [pure] electric vehicles are going to be becoming cheaper and we expect battery costs are going to fall.”

Hybrid cars tend to be slightly more expensive than gas-fueled cars, as they tend to draw lower subsidies. The researchers said people are basically forking out money for two engines in one car. Japan is one exception, as it provides higher subsidies for plug-in hybrids.

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In Japan and the UK, pure electric cars get a sales subsidy of around $6,729. In the US, the subsidy is around $8,748. Tate told The Guardian an EV like the Nissan Leaf could be as cheap to operate and own as a petrol car sans subsidy by 2025.

The journal Applied Energy published the study online in November.

+ Applied Energy

Via The Guardian

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