Cost of operating and maintaining EV

Investment in electromobility is still rising and everyone knows that this is an inevitable future. Many countries in the European Union have already set a year when cars with internal combustion engines will cease to be sold. In Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia and the Netherlands, this should happen by 2030. However, driving an electric car pays off already today. So what are the costs of operating an electric car and how much does the maintenance cost? If we compare these costs with a car with an internal combustion engine, which car will do better? 

Service and maintenance

You will never need to change the oil, oil filter, air or fuel filter, check the cooling system or change the spark plugs. Other parts that will not cause problems ever again include sliding contacts in the engine, manual transmission, clutch and exhaust system. Components that are not included in the engine cannot be damaged.

Another significant advantage of the electric car is its higher efficiency and use of energy during braking. Most of the braking power is converted back into electrical energy and is used again. This elegant regeneration system not only increases the range, but also significantly increases the service life of the brakes and brake fluid.

The electric motor is generally more efficient than the internal combustion engine, as it is not exposed to high pressures, friction and temperatures. The service life of the electric motor is between 15 - 20 years and engines working for more than 40 years are no exceptions. In contrast, the average service life of an internal combustion engine is between 8 and 10 years. Even batteries, which are a controversial topic, have a lifespan of 10 years today and even after 200,000 kilometers they do not show a significant reduction in their capacity.

Excluding engine life, Volkswagen has calculated up to 35% savings on service costs of its electric cars. In addition to financial savings, there are also time savings, as there is no need to undergo either emission measurements or frequent service visits. 

In principle, the only cost of operating an electric car from a service point of view are revision of steering, air conditioning, wheels and tires. By far the most common service task is adding water to the windscreen washers.

Pressure revision in tires
Pressure revision in tires. Author: Ivan Radic (Licence CC BY 2.0)

Price of kilometers traveled

You can "refuel" the electric car at home from your charging station, with electric current that you pay according to your own tariff. If you can use the so-called night current for charging, the prices can get even much lower than the average 0,2EUR.

A comparison with solid fuels is in the table below:






15 kWh (el.energie)

8 l (natural 95)


0,2 EUR / kWh

1,3 EUR / l

PRICE / 100 KM


9,3 EUR

These are average numbers for the EU, which of course include many other variables and vary somewhat based on the member state. Moreover, not every internal combustion engine is the same, just as not every electric motor is the same.

At the same time, the cost of operating an electric car can be even lower than the one indicated here thanks to reduced electricity rates at night. Moreover some charging stations allow free charging and if you own a house, it is possible to combine an electric car with solar panels and with an energy storage system.

Charging an electric vehicle. Author: EVEXPERT

Moreover, there are many administrative and tax benefits and purchase incentives in the EU. Since they are different in each member state, we prepared a separate article on this topic here.


Although the purchase prices of electric cars are still significantly higher than the prices of cars with internal combustion engines, the normal operation of an electric car is not only more environmentally friendly, but also cheaper. They achieve great savings on fuel. Often they can drive basically for free and in the worst case scenario they still cost only a third of the price of internal combustion cars.

They achieve further significant savings in its maintenance, mainly due to greater efficiency, fewer components and longer engine life. The battery, although controversial, does not bring any increased costs in 10 years or 200,000 kilometers.

Equally significant are the annual savings on compulsory liability insurance and other benefits, which also represent a significant reduction in administrative obligations. Since there are wide differences on tax exemptions or reductions across the member states, there is a separate article on the benefits of purchasing or owning an electric car in the EU.

The investment in electric cars is still high and its return or at least a decent comparison to the cars with internal combustion engine is still quite individual and for some people it does not solve the problem of daily long-distance commuting, but in any case, this is a new technology that will introduce you to the fantastic world of electromobility, which, with a slight adaptation to your daily routine, offers great added value without noise and exhaust fumes.


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