Drivers who offer ride-hailing services are ideal candidates for electric vehicles, according to a new study.
A Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) analysis found that full-time drivers for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft who work 50 hours a week could save an average of $5,200 (£3,700) per year in total vehicle expenses with an electric vehicle as compared to a typical petrol model — while also improving local air quality within the city.
Although they have a higher initial price, electric vehicles (EVs) are significantly cheaper to operate because of savings in fuel and maintenance, which scale by how much the vehicle is driven. Highly active TNC drivers are ideal candidates for EVs because they put more miles on their car each year than the average driver, RMI explained.
According to the analysis, the savings from switching to an EV would add up to $2,500 (£1,800) per year in fuel costs and over $2,700 (£1,900) per year in maintenance and repair costs.
So why do EVs cost less to maintain? The short answer is that they have fewer moving parts. For example, EVs don’t require oil changes, air filters, timing belts or spark plug replacements, and their regenerative braking systems extend the life of the brakes and rotors. The only significant EV component that will require replacement is the battery, which is covered by all EV manufacturers’ warranties for at least eight years or 100,000 miles.
Over five years, the maintenance and repair savings total as much as $21,000 (£15,000), as petrol vehicles become increasingly expensive to maintain at higher mileages.
Over the lifetime of an electric vehicle, savings in fuel and maintenance more than offset the cost premium of purchasing an EV, RMI concluded.