Electric Vehicle - TCO Analysis Pt. 2
From my previous post on the TCO of an electric vehicle, this is the second part in which I will detail a few more of the aspects that are to be considered when doing a TCO analysis.
Fixing things comes with a price - Link
If you want to keep something in good condition, you have to maintain it. This is true for a house, your body and also your car. The costs to maintain a vehicle are usually summed up as 'repairs'; changing the oil, a new windscreen wiper, etc. For an electric vehicle however, there are a lot less moving parts available, hence some experts argue there will be a lot less maintenance costs when comparing an electric vehicle with a conventional one. Others argue that the costs per component in an electric vehicle is higher, so that total maintenance costs can actually be higher. As there currently is not enough accurate data to make a proper estimate for the maintenance costs to expect, this is a hard guess in the TCO analysis. One could even opt to take the same costs for an electric vehicle as a comparable conventional car you are comparing with so that it evens out. Personally I'm inclined to believe that the actual maintenance costs for an electric vehicle will be lower, but for the example calculation at the bottom I'll use the same costs as for a conventional vehicle.
Road tax can be an interesting element to the TCO analysis; in some countries electric vehicles can get considerable benefits with regards to road tax and even have to pay no road tax at all. All in order to promote the electric vehicle of course. It is safe to say that such a situation is nice to have at the present, but will change in due time eventually. Especially when considerably large numbers of electric vehicles are on the road, the government is going to miss some income and will change their current plans. For the TCO analysis example, I'll use the figures that are currently used here in the Netherlands.
Subsidies are currently also part of the discussions in electric vehicles. Some countries provide subsidies when you purchase an electric vehicle, while others have other arrangements in place. Here in the Netherlands the local government of Amsterdam for example offers people a parking spot and a charging point if you take an electric vehicle and such a parking spot can be quite an expensive undertaking otherwise. Under here add all the benefits and returns you can/expect to get when you get your electric vehicle and these are put into the TCO analysis. Most of this is neither applicable for conventional vehicles, nor are there similar things available for them.
It takes money to make money, but it also costs money to loan money - Link
If you purchase a vehicle and use a loan to do so, this section covers any costs you have to make in order to get the finance. This can be a monthly payment, or the payment for the lease. Very basic, but not to be forgotten.
Whereas all cars need some sort of insurance, some cars are more expensive to insure than others. There is also the dependency on the driver (young, old, healthy, etc.), but in this case you want to most importantly list the differences between vehicle types. Some insurance companies have a lower premium of you drive a hybrid and an even lower premium again if it is a fully electric. These so called ‘green insurers’ are well worth looking for. This section in the TCO analysis covers these costs and you can use it to compare the differences among the various vehicles.
A lengthy post once more, the wrap up will be in the next with an actual example with some crude estimations from my end on what I would put in there, though there will be plenty of people to disagree and put different numbers in. The point is not at the exact numbers, more over to understand the method and help you discover what you feel the values should be in your case.