RACQ Vehicle Operating Costs 2023

With cost-of-living pressures and record high fuel prices continuing to put a strain on motorists - RACQ’s latest research shows consumers can potentially save thousands of dollars by switching to an electric vehicle. 
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The Club’s 2023 Vehicle Operating Costs report found increased competition and government incentives have significantly driven down the cost of owning Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Queensland, making them cheaper than some of their petrol counterparts.

RACQ’s Motoring Editor Ged Bulmer said in the popular medium SUV category, an EV was cheaper than nearly all the internal combustion powered counterparts in its class.

“The BYD Atto 3 was the third cheapest out of a group of 13 medium SUVs on the Australian market, costing $1,154 per month to own and operate over a five-year loan,” Mr Bulmer said.

“We’ve come from only having expensive European EVs on the market, to now having much more competitively priced models, with even more heading our way in the months ahead.

“EVs tend to have lower servicing costs and with record-high fuel prices, the overall ownership costs of some EVs have come down over the past 12 months.”

June sales figures show battery electric vehicles accounted for 8.8% of monthly sales and 7.4% of all new vehicle sales in the first half of 2023.

Some of the most affordable EVs available right now are from China, which is the world’s biggest manufacturer of EVs, including new models from MG and BYD launching with sub-$40,000 recommended retail prices.

Of the cars that were available during RACQ’s survey period, the BYD Atto 3 came in at just $31 more per month more than the cheapest petrol medium SUV (the Honda CRV Wagon) but had better features as standard.

“Safer and cleaner cars should be available to everyone, not just the wealthy, and now

Queenslanders can now choose electric over petrol without being penalised on price,” Mr Bulmer said.

“With increased competition due to a recent influx of EVs onto the Australian market and boosted financial incentives from governments, we expect the ownership costs for certain electric cars to continue trending down.

“We do however need to see different EV models coming into Australia, particularly in the small vehicle, Ute, and 4WD segments, which is why the RACQ supports the Federal Government’s new vehicle Fuel Efficiency Standard.”

Mr Bulmer said if EV owners have a home solar system installed, or were purchasing their vehicle on a novated lease, their ownership costs had the potential to be even more affordable.

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