Proposing a more comprehensive future total cost of ownership estimation framework for electric vehicles

Arjan van Velzen, Jan Anne Annema*, Geerten van de Kaa, Bert van Wee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
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Different scholars have tried to forecast the total cost of ownership (TCO) of electric vehicles (EVs). These studies use different implicit assumptions. This research aims to develop a more comprehensive EV TCO forecasting framework based on a combination of literature review and interviews. The main finding is a framework of 34 factors that influence the future TCO of EVs. By using scenarios, we noticed that the ‘profit margin’ factor seems to be underestimated in current TCO literature. Assuming that in the years to come EV producers want to recoup their investments, we showed that even in a future with much learning and scale effects this does not imply that the TCO of a specific EV will become much lower compared to the TCO of a comparable internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV). For policymakers this implies that if they want to stimulate the use of EVs they might also need to put policies (e.g. tax policies) in place to increase the TCO of ICEVs. Another policy implication of our analysis is that EV stimulating policies seem to require a long-term effort. EV manufacturers and dealers might be tempted (or even ‘forced’ by shareholders) to increase EV prices rather quickly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1046
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Electric vehicles
  • Technology selection
  • Total cost of ownership


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