Electric scooter v car: which is cheaper? | LOCO Scooters

In our previous article we highlighted the environmental impact of using an electric scooter rather than a car and our findings were shocking to say the least. In this article we set out to examine the impact of choosing an e-scooter over a car on your own pocket, which for a lot of people is the most important consideration. 

I put the proverbial pen to paper today as a 31 year old living in Dublin city. In a city where disposable income is such a precious commodity, especially given the price of rent and other living costs, we would all love to be able to save a bit of extra cash. There are no holidays, restaurants, bars or music festivals currently, and all will return in time. When they do, wouldn’t it be great if I could show you how you could be saving €4,010 minimum every year?

I’m going to do a very basic cost benefit analysis and compare the cost of commuting to work by car against using an electric scooter and show you just the sort of savings you could expect by ditching four wheels in favour of two. This is an especially exciting prospect in light of the new legislation which makes electric scooters legal for use in public in Ireland. In order to do this, I need to make some simple assumptions which I will explain.

 The conditions under which I am making this comparison are that; you are a 30 year old male, you drive a 2016 Volkswagen Polo with a 1.2 litre engine, you travel 7km to work and 7km home and you have free parking at work. Aside from this you have a 5 year no claims bonus and you’ve had your full license for 10 years. You drive to work 5 days a week, 47 weeks of the year (upsetting, I know). That’s 3,290 km every year in and out of work in your car.

Now that I have told you about yourself let me tell you a little bit about your car. It’s a standard 1.2 litre petrol Volkswagen Polo and it’s got a 45 litre fuel tank, costing on average €60 to fill from empty given fuel prices in February 2021 and will do about 700km of city driving to a full tank. I can now say with some confidence that your insurance quote is €800 annually (quote obtained from www.chill.ie), tax is costing you €390, you have to NCT your car every second year for €55 and an annual main dealer service is €250. You’ll also need to change your tyres every about 15 months for €480 and it would be wise to have a contingency for €500 per year for miscellaneous repairs and anything unforeseen. 

Aside from these basic costs of running a car there is of course the cost of the car itself. A 2016 VW Polo is selling from a dealer at about €13,000 and will depreciate by 50% over the next 3 years, setting you back €2,166 in depreciation alone each year. To learn more about how the value of a car depreciates check out https://motorway.co.uk/guides/car-depreciation-guide

OK so let’s compile these numbers and see how much it’s costing you on an annual basis to run your car, bearing in mind that we are only considering the cost of fuel in relation to your commute and nothing else. We will then take a look at the cost of an e-scooter in comparison.

Cost

Amount

Frequency

Annual cost

Fuel

€300.00

Annually

€300.00

Insurance

€800.00

Annually

€800.00

NCT

€55.00

Every 2 years

€27.50

Servicing

€250.00

Annually

€250.00

Tyres

€480.00

Every 15 months

€384.00

Depreciation

€2,150.00

Annually

€2,150.00

Repairs*

€500.00

Annually

€500.00

TOTAL

€4,411.50


As we can see from the above analysis, owning and running a car is quite the expensive luxury, despite the convenience of having a car at your disposal. I’m going to show you the magic now and reveal to you exactly how owning an electric scooter instead of a car can save you a minimum of €4,010 per year. Do you feel rich yet? 

For the purposes of this comparison let me introduce you to the Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter, one of the most popular e-scooters in Dublin and in Ireland. It’s a beauty, the best selling electric scooter in the world with a top speed of 25km/h and a claimed maximum range of 45km. As with all ‘claimed’ max ranges, it’s really just a matter of the manufacturer testing the battery under optimum conditions, not achievable under real-world conditions. At LOCO Scooters we recommend that when Xiaomi claims the max range of an electric scooter is 45km, it’s really more like 35km. It has a 12.8Ah (Ampere hour) battery which has a charging time of 7 hours and this e-scooter can be charged overnight while you sleep, or during the day while you work. Now for the nitty gritty, if you weren’t already bored you’re about to be, right before you’re ecstatic from the reality of the potential savings / money to spend haphazardly on yourself. 

Xiaomi m365 electric scooter standing freely at the Docklands in Dublin.

As I’ve mentioned, the Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter will do 35km on a full battery, and has a 12.8 Ah battery which equals 460.8 Wh (Watt hours) and divided by 1000 thats 0.46 Kilowatt hours. The average household in Ireland paid €0.24 cent per KWh in the 6 months up to July 2020 and at that price we can say definitively that a Xiaomi M365 pro e-scooter costs €0.11 cent to charge fully from flat. Taking into consideration the 3290km you will travel annually to work this means that the cost of charging your e-scooter annually will be €10.34. 

Under the new regulations the law will not require electric scooter users in Ireland to have a license, tax or insurance so there are no additional costs involved there in relation to e-scooter ownership. Owning an electric scooter is not without its costs however and you should allow for maybe 4 punctures annually at a cost of €45 each per repair and then 2 new tyres per year at €25 per tyre. If you are buying your Xiaomi electric scooter from LOCO Scooters then it comes with a two-year warranty so aside from tyres you should have no extra costs or repair budget needed, as if something goes wrong we will fix it free of charge in our e-scooter repair centre. 

So that all things are equal, you should allow for a depreciation cost of €160 annually, based on a purchase price for the Xiaomi M365 Pro of €660.

Let’s take a quick look then to see how much it will cost you annually to commute using an e-scooter and then we can compare that with your car.


Cost

Amount

Frequency

Annual cost

Charging

€10.34

Annually

€10.34

Tyres

€50.00

Annually

€50.00

Punctures

€180.00

Annually

€180.00

Depreciation

€160.00

Annually

€160.00

TOTAL

€400.34


As we can see from the above figures, commuting to work using an electric scooter such as the Xiaomi M365 Pro instead of your car can save you over €4000 per year, and that’s just a comparison on your commute alone. If you use your electric scooter to get about in other aspects of your daily life you will save more and more as you use it.

So there you have it, you’ve saved €4,000 per year on your commute just by choosing an electric scooter instead of a car. Wasn’t it George Orwell that said “two wheels good, four wheels bad”? That’s 8,000 Freddo bars, 1,000 chicken fillet rolls or 800 spice bags you could be treating yourself to and why not? Give us a call today on 01 5242062 and let us tell you more about the magic.

Electric scooter know how

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