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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Thanks To Our High Fuel Prices, Going Electrified Now Makes Monetary Sense


Thanks to today’s record fuel prices, readers have asked us to explore once more if going for an electrified vehicle—hybrid or battery electric—makes sense. For those who want a bit of a history, we’ve already done this exercise a couple of times in the past. The first was when Nissan brought in the all-electric Leaf for the first time in Southeast Asia. The second was when Toyota Motor Philippines brought in the Corolla Altis Hybrid. And the third was when Nissan Philippines officially launched the Leaf locally.

In the course of the last four years (our first comparative article came out in 2018), a lot of things have changed. Chief among them, of course, is the price of fuel. In our earliest article, the price of diesel was pegged at P 41 per liter, while the price of gasoline was at P 52.50 per liter. Today, they’ve jumped to P 86 per liter for gas and P 85 per liter for diesel (DOE average in Metro Manila as of June 9).

Given such a big difference, it’s a great time to find out if going electrified will save you a couple of pesos in the long run.

Okay, some assumptions. First, we’re capping this ownership experience to five years and 100,000 kilometers. We chose this because most carmakers now cover that as part of their standard warranty package. It also limits possible out-of-pocket expenses aside from fuel and routine service parts like filters so this becomes an apples-to-apples comparison. Second, we’re pegging that the price of electricity and fuel will remain constant throughout the next five years. That means capping the price of electricity at P 10 per kWh, diesel at P 85, and gas at P 86. Lastly, when it comes to ownership cost, we’re not including the cost of insurance and registration. Given the recently passed EV Law, EVs will soon enjoy the perk of lower registration fees and road tax.

With those assumptions in mind, let’s geek out over the numbers.

Representing Team EV are mass market BEVs that are available or would soon be available in the market—the BYD Dolphin, the Weltmeister W5, and the Nissan Leaf. Since WM Motor Philippines has yet to finalize the price of the W5, we’re pegging it at P 2,598,000 for this exercise. On the other hand, representing team combustion engine is a hypothetical hybrid, a hypothetical diesel, and a hypothetical gas compact car. Though unnamed, we’ve kept the fuel mileage and running costs at realistic numbers.

Right off the bat, EVs win big when it comes to the cost of “filling” them up. Based on manufacturer data, over the course of five years, they stand to consume as little as P 113,000 (BYD Dolphin) compared to P 860,000 for the hypothetical gas car. If you’re still eyeing a combustion engine car, hybrids save you the most cash, burning through P 430,000 worth of fuel in 60 months.

When it comes to periodic maintenance service, EVs are surprisingly, a mixed bag. The BYD Dolphin loses out with its P 128,995 PMS cost over five years (P 1.29 per kilometer). This is higher than a conventional gas- or even diesel-fed car. This is down to the distributor’s requirement of having it serviced every three months. Meanwhile, the Nissan Leaf has the lowest five-year maintenance cost among the group at P 55,312 (P 0.55 per kilometer), while the Weltmeister W5 isn’t too far behind at P 58,000 (P 0.58 per kilometer).

Once both the fuel cost and PMS costs are added, the Weltmeister W5 comes out ahead with a running cost per kilometer of just P 1.88 or almost 500 times cheaper than the conventional gas car’s P 9.35 per kilometer. But even when comparing to the Nissan Leaf (P 2.26) and the BYD Dolphin (P 2.42), you stand to save a lot of moolah by going electric.

Factoring in the price of the vehicle itself, the BYD Dolphin comes out as the most affordable vehicle to own over a five-year period. Its ownership cost per kilometer is at P 20.40 beating not just the gas-, but diesel- and hybrid-powered cars as well. Even going for a hybrid saves you over a five-year period now becoming more affordable to own than a diesel, but only just (P 21.05 versus P 21.92).

It’s worth noting that the BYD wins out primarily because of its affordable list price. Because their pricing is closer to the P 3-million mark, both the Weltmeister W5 and Nissan Leaf still don’t breakeven in during a five-year ownership period versus a gas-powered car. However, we did the math, and if gas prices reach P 141.10 (for the W5) or P 164.93 (for the Leaf), they’ll also start making economic sense as well.

Check out our computations below.

13 comments:

  1. Any discussion on an EVs mainstream viability should only be limited to it's frugality and practicality. Leave out the saving the earth crap untill we sort out a clean energy source to charge these vehicles. Let's not put the cart ahead of the horse. Until such, EVs will always just be an alternative vehicle .

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    1. Yes sure should include milage for every charge of EV car as against fulltank of gas feed car.

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  2. Any Discussion for awareness purposes is good

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    1. Buying an EV right now is the equivalent of using a diesel generator to charge your EV. Let's not pretend that coal power plants do not exist which is how most countries in the world produce energy. This is what you call awareness.

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  3. It's hard to read this artice if you're not good in Math (like me hehe).
    I agree w Uly (based on a prev article) and Max Cyclo that a clean/sustainable electricity source should be focused on first.
    Btw, wc harms the environment more: gasoline or diesel?

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    1. Really? I thought I made as simple as possible.

      As for energy generation, I totally agree with that too. EVs have to be looked at from a well-to-wheel perspective. Some though don't see it that way. They look at things purely in the economic sense, and that's why we ran the numbers to see if they make sense.

      For one, my house is powered partly by solar, and I've applied for Meralco net metering...you could say that I'm EV ready for as long as I charge during the day time.

      As for your question: normally, diesel is more harmful to the ennvironment.

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  4. Nothing beats the renewable energy, no matter what people say.

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    1. Nuclear energy is still the cleanest and most efficient. Renewable energy cant operate all year round, its a good source of clean energy but sadly it cant match the output of coal/natural gas. Its not viable as an alternative, nuclear is the way.

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  5. You're just shifting the siurce of pollution from the tailpipe to the power plant, majority of which are coal & natural gas-powered. Even in the US, according to the EIA, only 18% of their energy comes from renewables. The virtue-signalling radicals are just being scammed by Melon Husk. 💁

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    1. Was about to say this, using evs is like using paper straws, they make you think you are helping but not really

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  6. Uly, will you have another article for a list of all locally available hybrids and full EV cars, from most affordable to most expensive (luxury models) in the future?

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    1. Also, if possible Uly, with a corresponding table depicting which of those hybrid, mild-hybrid and full EVs are the most fuel-efficient.

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