Study reveals electric cars are getting more affordable

The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) has found electric vehicles are among the top three most affordable vehicles to own within the small car and medium SUV segments.

In its 2023 Vehicle Operating Costs survey, the RACQ included electric cars among combustion-powered models to allow for direct comparisons.

The survey calculates the cost to own and run vehicles, taking into account their estimated drive-away price, novated lease repayments, registration and insurance costs, fuel or electricity usage, servicing, and tyres over a five-year period.

Of the cars included in the survey, the most expensive to run on average is the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series ($2396.04 per month) while the most affordable car to run is the MG 3 Core ($727.84).

The most expensive electric vehicle to run is the LDV eT60 dual cab which costs an average of $2243.64 per month to run.

The Hyundai i30 ($963.22 per month) is the most affordable small car to run. The Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport ($976.41) is only $1.05 cheaper to run than the electric GWM Ora Standard Range ($977.46).

The Honda CR-V Vi ($1123) takes out the top spot for the medium SUV segment. The Toyota RAV4 GX ($1149) came in second closely followed by the electric BYD Atto 3 ($1154).

Below is a list of the most affordable vehicle to run in each segment:

SegmentCheapest vehicleMonthly running cost
Light carsMG 3 Core$727.84
SUV smallHyundai Venue (base)$917.32
Small carsHyundai i30 (base)$963.22
ElectricGWM Ora Standard Range$977.46
Medium carsToyota Camry Ascent$1095.41
SUV mediumHonda CR-V Vi$1123.93
Light commercial 4×2Isuzu D-Max SX dual cab 1.9L$1313.99
SUV largeSubaru Outback (base)$1378.47
Light commercial 4×4GWM Ute Cannon-L$1388.98
All TerrainMitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX$1524.99
People moversKia Carnival S$1558.01

According to the RACQ, the three most affordable electric vehicles to run are all from China. They comprise the GWM Ora Standard Range, MG ZS Excite Standard Range ($1030.26) and the BYD Atto 3 Standard Range ($1154.01).

“With increased competition due to a recent influx of EVs onto the Australian market and boosted financial incentives from governments, we expect the ownership costs for certain electric cars to continue trending down,” said RACQ motoring editor Ged Bulmer.

Based on the vehicles included in the survey, the Nissan Patrol Ti is the most expensive vehicle to fuel, with an average cost of $363.30 per month, while the Honda Civic e:HEV costs an average of $98.54.

In electric vehicles, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 Dynamiq costs on average of $54.04 to recharge per month while the LDV eT60 costs $102.03 per month.

You can view the full report here.

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