Calculating costs of mobility saves money, really!

An online tool to calculate the costs you could save with a switch to electric driving. Its one of the most appreciated results of I-CVUE, a three year European project about the introduction of emobility. Although the free (!) online tool is available to everyone, it has to be further developed to be accessible for consumers.


Rob Kroon, consultant

 Mobility is emotion. This relation is not only promoted by the marketeer of car manufacturers. People also turn mobility into emotion. As an outspoken car lover, I always liked to drive a fast patrol car. But since I changed to a 100 percent electric Nissan LEAF, I have changed my opinion about mobility. Besides emotion, mobility is and should be as efficient as possible.


The European project I-CVUE (Incentives for Cleaner Vehicles in Urban Europe), of which FIER Automotive was one of the initiators and contributors, researched over the last three years the motives of people to change to electric driving. One of the most important conclusions of the research project was, that people are not only sensitive to the financial gains of electric driving. They prefer an electric above a conventional car, when they enjoy practical privileges. Norway, the largest market of electric cars in Europe, managed to convince people to switch to electric by offering them free parking spaces in the city centre or short cuts getting there only available for electric cars.


In The Netherlands financial incentives to buy an electric car have focused on the lease market. To influence the fleet-managers of leasing companies, I-CVUE developed a free web-based tool to calculate how much money can be saved by electrifying the car fleet, completely or partly. To make such a calculations, many issues have to be taken into account. For example, taxes, subsidies, the composition of the existing fleet - diesel or gasoline cars - and of course the yearly number of kilometres needed.


Using the web-based I-CVUE tool, The fleet-manager only has to provide basic information, such as the size of his fleet and number of kilometres driven. Using these parameters, the tool calculates the possible cost reduction a switch to electric cars could bring him or her.


From emotion to TCO

Consumers buy their car mostly with emotional arguments. And, yes of course, the price when they buy it. However, their choices would be much more sustainable when they would become more cost conscious. Not about the price itself, but the price you pay for using it; the ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ or TCO.


The web-based tool of I-CVUE could help consumers to make the step towards thinking in TCO. But, as it is now the interface of the web-based tool is too complex for consumers to use. They need a more user friendly version of the tool, which is not there yet and should be developed


I case you still have second thoughts, from experience I know driving a very efficient Nissan LEAF offers much more comfort than a gasoline or diesel car in the same market segment. And although it offers a different type of comfort, I can secretly enjoy it when I outrun all other cars the moment the traffic light turns green.