Pricing and specs are finally available for the Hyundai Ioniq Electric (2 years after the rest of the world, but better late than never). If you’re wondering how the economics of owning Australia’s cheapest EV works out to owning Australia’s cheapest hybrid over a 5 year/150,000km period, Drive Zero is here to do the boring spreadsheet work for you.
Why the Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid? It’s the cheapest brand new hybrid you can buy and when comparing specs, the two cars line up very similarly in terms of features and size. It’s personally what I would likely get if I didn’t have an irrational desire to own an electric car. The Toyota is also $7,000 cheaper than the Ioniq Hybrid, so most rational buyers would pick the Corolla Hybrid over the Ioniq Hybrid.
Let’s start with the purchase price:
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite – $49,347
- Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid – $29,570
Registration for 3340: (both cars get a $100 annual discount in VIC)
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite – $599.90/yr
- Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid – $599.90/yr
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite – 165Wh/km (GVG claims 280Wh/km, but that’s grossly inaccurate)
- Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid – 5.2L/100km (Toyota says 4.2L/100km, but that’s not realistic)
- $1.45/L on average for unleaded petrol
- 20c/kWh for grid electricity in VIC
Total energy spend over 5 years & 150,000km:
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite – $4,950
- Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid – $11,310
Servicing over 5 years & 150,000km:
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite – $1,600
- Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid – $4,290
This brings the total cost of ownership over 5 years and 150,000km to:
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite – $58,297
- Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid – $48,235
That’s a $10,000 difference in favor of the Hybrid! What if petrol is $1.50/L (where it’s likely to hover around in 2019-2024), the Hybrid uses a more realistic 5.5L/100km and electricity at 18c/kWh, which is what I pay at home.
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite – $57,802
- Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid – $49,300
Okay, so the EV still carries an $8,500 premium over 5 years compared to the Hybrid, even when tilting those figures in its favour. What if you’re one of the 2 million households with solar panels (like me) and you use a nice Zappi charger to put the excess solar energy into your car? Assuming 50% of the electricity comes from solar and 50% from the grid (at 18c/kWh):
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite – $55,574
- Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid – $49,300
I can hear your grumbling that your preconceived notion of an EV being cheaper than a Hybrid is being challenged, so what about resale value then? The EV will be worth more in 5 years time than a hybrid, won’t it? I think that’s debatable, but for the sake of it, let’s assume the EV depreciates 50% and the Hybrid 60%. That leaves our “out of pocket” expenses over 5 years at:
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite – $30,900
- Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid – $37,206
So there you go, whilst the EV has cheaper running costs, the massive up front premium means it costs more over 5 years under virtually all scenarios. However, if we include resale value in that TCO calculation, the EV comes out on top if you assume it will hold its value better than a hybrid in 5 years time.
You might not drive 30,000km though. 15,000km/yr is more in line with the average distance most people drive. When taking that into consideration (along with solar at home and depreciation), the numbers are pretty much head to head, with the Hybrid slightly in front due to Toyota’s super cheap servicing for the first 75,000km:
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite – $28,987
- Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport Hybrid – $27,603
That leads me to believe, when:
- Petrol is $1.50/L
- Electricity is 18c/kWh
- Drive more than 15,000km/year
- You charge from solar at home 50% of the time
- Assume depreciation on an EV of 50% vs 60% on a Hybrid
A EV works out to be more cost effective over a 5 year period than a Hybrid.
Unfortunately that’s a very narrow range of people (gotta drive a lot, own a house with solar panels, have cheap electricity, be wealthy enough to afford the upfront cost of an EV in the first place) who can benefit from EV ownership right now in Australia.
As an EV advocate, this analysis stresses to me that the thing to focus on in 2019 is promoting the “soft” benefits of EVs such as:
- Making better use of your solar excess vs exporting to the grid
- A superior driving experience due to no engine noise and smoother power delivery
- Practicality of charging at home instead of visiting petrol stations
- Lower CO2 emissions in South Australia and Tasmania
- Cleaner air in cities and the health benefits it brings
Whilst also agitating for:
- A cleaner power grid in VIC, QLD & NSW
- Government incentives for early adopters so there’s a solid used fleet in 3-5 years
- Manufacturers to release EVs in Australia in a timely fashion
- Significant increase in charging infrastructure
Doing this will result in Australia being better placed cleaner personal transport when the tipping point for EV/ICE price parity arrives in 2022-2024.