California Utility Launches New Program To Help EV Buyers Compare Total Cost Of Ownership

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LEGO vehicles charging. Image credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica

Southern California Edison is ramping up its efforts to support electric vehicle buyers with the introduction of a new tool called SCE Cars that helps estimate the total cost of ownership in its jurisdiction.

The new tool aspires to give potential buyers visibility into the total cost of ownership (TCO) of electric vehicles that looks beyond the initial purchase price. Today, electric vehicles can have higher upfront costs compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, but they have a lower fuel cost per mile and lower maintenance expenses that offset this over the life of the vehicle. The new tool will present the full picture of this cost to prospective buyers (as well as possible) alongside relevant federal, state, utility, air district, and any other rebates that help defray the upfront purchase price.

“There’s never been a better time to consider the benefits of driving an EV. They are becoming more economical and there are more models and options to choose from, and more models are coming,” said Katie Sloan, SCE’s director of eMobility. “On top of that, Southern California has the worst air quality in the nation. Transportation accounts for nearly half of California’s greenhouse gas emissions and more than 80% of its smog-forming emissions. Everyone benefits when someone makes the switch to an EV.”

Image courtesy Audi

The SCE Cars tool currently lets shoppers compare the TCO for all makes and models of 2018 and 2019 battery electric, hybrid, and combustion vehicles side by side. To simplify matters, the tool gives each car a rating from 0–100 based on its overall fuel cost and emissions. The higher the score, the better for the driver’s pocketbook and for everyone’s health.

Drivers can even enter their specific driving habits and the cost of fuel to help them compare the cost of fueling up on petrol compared to the integrated cost of electricity based on their specific SCE rate plan.

The lower maintenance expenses that come as part of the electric vehicle ownership experience are often overlooked on even the financial side, but the benefits extend far beyond that. Not having to change the oil is four fewer appointments on the calendar. It’s four fewer times the driver has to sit around waiting for the oil to be changed, four fewer times you have to be hassled about additional fees or services that you may or may not actually need.

SCE Cars is just one piece of a much broader push by this Southern California utility to help its customers switch to driving electric, and it’s helpful. Customers trust SCE and hearing helpful information that is relevant to their very real search for a new type of vehicle can help them to trust the good information they are reading about an electric vehicle. SCE also offers a unique $1,000 rebate to not only the original buyer, but also the second and third buyer of the same electric vehicle to encourage more people to go electric.

Image courtesy Enel X / eMotorWerks

Related Stories:

Tesla Model 3 vs. BMW 330i — Tesla 30–55% Cheaper Over 5 Years

Tesla Model 3 Cheaper Than Honda Accord — 15 Cost Comparisons

Tesla Model 3 vs. Toyota Camry — 15 Cost Scenarios

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

Kyle Field has 1638 posts and counting. See all posts by Kyle Field