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Electric Vehicles : How much do they cost to run?

16 April 2015

In 2014 Counties Power became the proud new owner of three fully electric vehicles.  With a reliable range of around 120 km they are a smart commuter vehicle and a great second car but not a marathon runner.  For best economy they should be charged on night rate electricity - available to those with an active smart meter from some electricity retailers.

The Electric Cars you’ll see sporting Counties Power Colours are Nissan Leafs.  The question on everyone’s mind is “do they really go about 100km for only $5 of night-rate electricity?”  Yes they do. Commuters with a moderate foot may save more. The 2011 model Nissan Leaf used by Counties Power goes about 100 km on 21.25 kWh of electricity.  That much electricity costs between $3.85 and $4.01 at the household night-rates offered by the 3 most popular electricity retailers in this area.  The $5 claim includes a generous allowance for the car’s share of your daily fixed electricity charges.

If you don’t have night-rate electricity or need to charge during the day, you won’t be in for a huge price shock. The highest 24 hour power price among these 3 retailers is $0.33 cents per kWh - making a daytime charge $6.98 - let’s call it $8 with the same fixed charge allowance.  Here’s how it compares to similar sized petrol models of the same year:


Energy Use

Fuel Source


Nissan Leaf  

21.25 kWh/100km

night rate electricity

< $5.00

Nissan Leaf

21.25 kWh/100km

Anytime power 

< $8.00

Suzuki Swift

5.0  l/100km

petrol @ $2.20 

= $11.00

Toyota Corolla

5.6  l/100km

petrol @ $2.20

= $12.32

*Power prices quoted in this article were sourced from retailer websites on 23 March 2014 and relate specifically to the Counties Power area.  All rates include GST but exclude any prompt payment discounts.  Fuel efficiency ratings are as published by the manufacturer for the most efficient 2011 model of each vehicle.

Component Headline How much do they cost to run?

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