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Is it worth buying an electric car? How much will it really cost to maintain a car with an electric motor?

Date: September 29, 2023 Time: 10:21:44

A full charge of a car takes 8-10 hours! Photo: Sergei MALGAVKO / TASS

not the last train

Cars with electric motors are becoming more and more popular among Russians. According to the Avtostat agency, 1,106 new electric cars were sold in July, 8 times more than in the same month of 2022. And this despite rather biting prices.

According to the Ministry of Economic Development, as of the end of June, 30.2 thousand electric cars were registered in Russia. And its production from 2022 to 2035 will grow in our country 250 times, up to half a million pieces a year (see “Only numbers”). That is, one in four cars produced in Russia will be electric!

What attracts electric vehicles? Oh, this is a completely different feeling, say insiders.

– In terms of technical characteristics, they are ahead of cars with internal combustion engines (ICE), – Oleg Timashev, General Director of Electric Vehicles +, shares his impressions with KP. – The most impressive thing is acceleration up to a hundred kilometers (100 km / h. – Ed.), As in racing cars, engine power. Then the weight distribution: a heavy battery is located lower and in the center of the car, so the center of gravity of the entire structure is lower and more centered compared to conventional cars. And when making sharp turns, it doesn’t take you out of the way, you walk like on rails. You can take tight turns at higher speeds without fear of tipping over. In my opinion, this feature is especially evident in the Tesla. Even regular models of this brand behave on the road like sports BMWs or Porsches with traditional engines.

Only numbers

Photo: Dmitry POLUKHIN

Refuse gasoline – get a bonus

But most importantly, the lower costs of electric vehicles. First, the fuel: electricity is cheaper than gasoline and diesel. Second, maintenance: the electric motor is almost cost-free. Thirdly, in many regions there is no transport tax, but there is an opportunity to travel for free on paid federal highways, and in some places, for example, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, there is also free parking.

“I have a Nissan Leaf in my family,” Sergey Sotnikov, general director of the Far Eastern company Avtolider-DV (imports used cars from Japan), told KP. – This is the second car, mostly my wife drives. Ideal for short trips around the city: pick up the child from kindergarten, go to the store. One charge is enough for 70 km, and with air conditioning – for 55 – 60. The battery is not new, it has lost about 30% of its capacity. The new indicator shows 12 divisions, mine has 9.

I ask Sergey to calculate the cost of his running car.

– If the new battery has a capacity of 24 kWh, then with a loss of 30% it turns out 16.8 kWh, – our interlocutor continues. – We charge the car in a neighborhood garage cooperative, where a kilowatt-hour costs 5 rubles. It turns out 84 rubles for a full charge. With this load, we cover the city an average of 60 km. If you count 100 km, you get 140 rubles. This is the cost of 2.5 liters of gasoline.

And in the urban cycle, a car of this class would spend 10 liters per 100 km. So it turns out that Sergey’s wife saves 7.5 liters of gasoline, or 420 rubles, for every hundred runs. According to the Drom.ru portal, the owner of a Russian car drives an average of 18.7 thousand km a year. It turns out that he only saves on fuel – 78,540 rubles. A whole salary of 13! And for those who have adapted to refueling from the window of an apartment, in their own house or in the country, the savings are even greater – the night rate in different regions is about 3 rubles per 1 kWh.

Progress does not stop. I wonder what kind of cars the kids will drive when they grow up.

Photo: Shutterstock

Repair is three times cheaper

In terms of maintenance, the benefits are also clear. In my Mercedes, for example, every year there is a reminder about the need to pass the ITV. The softest option is to change the engine oil and all three filters: gasoline, air and cabin. Every year or every 30 thousand km, whichever comes first. For officials it costs more than 30 thousand rubles, in a decent car service – about 20 thousand.

Other planned works are pulling both 40 thousand and 60 thousand And well, Mercedes. Even the modest Nissan Almera, comparable in class to the Leaf, has an average maintenance cost of 36 thousand rubles a year; such data is provided by the Avtoteka portal. The lion’s share of costs falls on the engine and related drives.

An electric car does not need all these procedures. And you need? Maintenance is reduced to replacing the cabin filter 1 – 2 times a year (500 – 1000 rubles), and the oil in the gearbox – once a year or every 30 – 40 thousand km, this is another 3 – 5 thousand. rubles.

– But carefully read the instructions, – warns Oleg Timashev. – On some models, there is no oil change in the gearbox: the factory fill is designed for the entire life of the car.

As for the undercarriage, the “electric train” has everything the same as that of cars with an internal combustion engine.

“More often it is necessary to repair suspension elements – we have such paths,” Alexei Ruzanov, technical director of the Fit Service car service network, explains to KP.

But brake pads and discs last longer in electric vehicles. This is due to the principle of driving “electric trains”. They have such a specific mode: when you take your foot off the gas and make the car slide, it works like a generator – it charges the battery. And if you hit the brake, you won’t get any recharge. Drivers of electric cars are quickly mastering this specificity and are not braking in vain.

“An electric car breaks down much less often than a car with an internal combustion engine,” says Timashev. – No matter how carefully you drive or look at the engine, after 150-200 thousand kilometers the engine will produce less power and fuel consumption will increase. And the electric motor works stably, its power is not lost. But you can’t call it invincible. If you constantly drive in extreme conditions, the electric motors burn out …

According to Fit Service, if the owner of a car with an internal combustion engine spends an average of 14 thousand rubles a year on repairs and maintenance, then the owner of an electric car spends 5,200 rubles. Almost three times cheaper!

best selling used brands

Photo: Dmitry POLUKHIN

the main problem

But the electric car also has problem areas. More precisely, one, but very large. These are batteries. We will not touch on its arrangement, although in a global sense this is an important issue. Drivers are more important. Refueling takes a few minutes. And in an electric car, the so-called fast charge, which lasts… 40 minutes, is considered the maximum efficiency. Also, this method does not fully charge the battery and causes its premature degradation (this is the official term). A full charge takes 8-10 hours. Not everyone has the opportunity to find a free gas station or power source close to home for such a long time.

The second problem: in winter, the battery is quickly discharged, the mileage is reduced by about a third.

By the way, the battery does not have to be zero discharged. According to Sergei Sotnikov, the battery cannot be used when it still has 30 – 40% charge left. So look at the scale.

However, progress cannot be stopped. Once the world trusted Elon Musk, and now China offers innovative ideas.

– The most advanced batteries today are iron phosphate batteries, – said Oleg Timashev. – They are used in Chinese BYD vehicles. Their main difference from traditional lithium-ion ones, which are also at Tesla, is that they work quietly both at minus 50 and plus 50. The battery does not overheat, and its capacity does not decrease in the cold. These batteries charge twice as fast as lithium-ion batteries. This, by the way, makes it possible to recharge a dead battery if there is no outlet nearby, but there is a driver with a full battery ready to help. About like pouring half a can of gasoline. These batteries are even 10-15 percent cheaper than traditional ones.

The best-selling new electric vehicles in Russia

Photo: Dmitry POLUKHIN

Garage craftsmen rush to the rescue.

The battery is the most expensive thing in an electric car. It represents approximately 30 – 50% of the cost of the entire machine. What to do when the battery finally dies and you still don’t have time to sell the car is the worst nightmare for used train owners.

“The battery is degrading with cosmic force,” writes Internet user Roman. – It is worth changing – like the whole car. He traveled 20 thousand km, saved 100 thousand rubles. And now we need to spend at least 400 thousand on a battery.

Batteries are currently not available for purchase.

“Because of the sanctions, it has become more difficult to bring batteries for American or Japanese cars into Russia,” says Timashev. – We are no longer accepting orders: it is not clear what the logistics and price will be.

But there is another way. Companies have appeared in Russia that assemble batteries from individual cell elements. Where they get these cells from is a mystery. Either they order it from China, or they deliver it from the US indirectly, or they pick it from recycled equipment, you can’t verify it.

Such a battery for the Nissan Leaf, for example, costs 400 thousand rubles – about the same as this 10-year-old car.

– Now there is even a trend – to buy imported cars with a completely dead battery; the main thing is that the running gear is normal, – says Sotnikov. – Such cars are cheaper, they are brought to Russia, and then repackaged with batteries assembled by craftsmen. Moreover, they are even more powerful than the native Japanese, the power reserve is greater. The second option is to order the delivery of batteries in China. And the third – to buy native Japanese. But since Japan recently introduced a new sanctions package, batteries, like cars, are shipped first to Korea and from there to Russia. Because of this, they become more expensive.

We count the benefits

Photo: Dmitry POLUKHIN


hybrid with taxes

In some regions, local authorities have exempted owners of electric cars from transport tax (see “Help” KP “). Owners of powerful machines are especially happy: savings – tens of thousands of rubles or more.

It’s good news. And the bad news is that cars with a hybrid power plant are not eligible for the benefit. Hybrids are vehicles that have both a traditional internal combustion engine and an electric motor. This is by far the best design option.

– Very convenient, – says Oleg Timashev. – For short distances in the city, you can drive with an electric motor. And on a long trip, with gasoline.

The second version of the hybrid is the presence of a small gasoline engine, less than a liter in volume, which is used as a generator. I did not reach the exit – I turned on the gasoline engine, slightly reloaded the electric motor, and you can go further.

Therefore, now cars with such engines are not considered electric vehicles and are subject to a full transport tax. In addition, the calculation takes into account the total power of both engines. The Internet is full of complaints about such “horse taxes.”


In our country there are also

In our country there are also


Regions where they do not pay electric car transport tax

Republics of Bashkortostan, Buryatia, Dagestan, Komi, Trans-Baikal and Krasnoyarsk Territories, Astrakhan, Voronezh, Kaluga, Leningrad, Moscow, Rostov, Moscow regions. In these regions, owners of any electric vehicle are completely exempt from vehicle tax. In several others there are partial benefits. In all, more than 40 regions have benefits for EV owners.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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