EV myths

EV myths


Consumer and affordability

Will EVs make cars unaffordable for the masses?

Already today, electric cars are cheaper to own and use than petrol and diesel cars thanks to much lower use costs.

In most cases, electric cars are still more expensive to purchase than petrol cars, but this is rapidly changing. Battery electric cars will be cheaper to buy in Europe than fossil-fuel vehicles by 2028 at the latest, according to recent research by BloombergNEF. Large electric sedans (D segments) and SUVs will be as cheap to produce as petrol vehicles from 2025, while compact cars (B and C segment) will follow in 2026, BNEF projects. Small electric cars are the last to reach upfront price parity with petrol in 2028. The price gap is reduced and closed thanks to falling battery costs, new vehicle architectures, and dedicated production lines for electric vehicles.

Even with higher upfront price, the total cost of ownership - the total cost of buying, using and maintaining the car over its lifetime - for small and medium electric cars is already lower than that of combustion cars. According to the European Consumers Association BEUC, it will also be the case for large cars in 2026.

The price of second hand electric cars is a crucial aspect of car mobility affordability given that today, almost eight out of ten EU citizens buy their car second-hand. Around 90% of low and middle income groups buy their cars on the used car market and this goes down to 62% for higher income groups. BEUC shows that electric cars will benefit second and third owners even more. A medium EV bought new today will save almost a total of €9,000 for its second and third owners combined over a petrol car and achieve reductions to CO2 emissions.

At current rates of electrification, 33 million households in the EU will have access to second hand electric cars from today until 2035. But if the leasing sector accelerates its uptake of EVs, this would go up by 56% – up to 51 million.

Are EVs prone to catching fire?

It is not correct that EVs are more prone to catching fire than traditional petrol cars. In fact, numerous studies from across the globe show that electric vehicles are far less likely to catch fire than cars powered by petrol or diesel.

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), shows that, as a proportion of all EVs on the roads versus all ICE cars on the roads, petrol and diesel vehicles were almost 20 times more likely to catch fire than EVs. EV FireSafe, an Australian company, studied global data on the reports of EV fires from 2010 to 2022, concluded the risk was 80 times greater for ICEs than EVs.

The reasons why EVs are less prone to catching fire compared to ICEs are mostly linked to their design features: