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Electric vehicles are coming down in price, but running costs are more affordable than you'd think.
Zero and low emissions vehicles (ZLEV) have been a slow burn in Australia, but greater consumer awareness and a growing number of models has prompted a boost in eco-car sales.
Hybrids are so popular that manufacturers like Toyota are reporting extended wait times for their petrol-electric variants. Already this year, more than 25,000 hybrids have found homes in Australia.
Sales of electric vehicles (EV) have increased by 200 per cent so far in 2021 compared to January to July 2020, albeit off a very low base. In the first seven months of 2021, Australians bought almost as many EVs as they did in the entire 2020 calendar year.
Plug-in hybrids are increasing in numbers too, up 99 per cent year on year, thanks to more new models.
According to RACV’s 2021 Vehicle Operating Costs survey, the average price of EV/PHEVs is $1280.83, per month, which is only $80 more than the average cost of medium SUVs.
There is no doubt that the cost of entry is still high, particularly for EVs, but the prices are coming down, and more accessible models are on the horizon. Chinese brands MG Motor and BYD have signalled their intention to bring in cheaper electric hatchbacks in the coming years priced from around $35,000-$40,000.
Despite the relatively high initial purchase price, servicing costs for EVs are generally lower than cars with internal combustion engines as they have far fewer moving parts. This is recognised in this year’s survey, with the average cost of servicing for EV/PHEVs cheaper than all other categories, even undercutting light cars by about $10 a month.