Electric Vehicles

What is the total cost of ownership for electric vehicles?

Understanding the Total Cost of Ownership, or TCO, is the only true way to calculate the actual cost of acquiring and managing your fleet. Looking at the purchase price alone doesn’t allow you to consider the savings and other costs which impact your business. TCO takes into consideration all the direct and indirect costs associated with buying and using a vehicle or fleet, over its expected lifetime. It includes more obvious costs, including funding costs, maintenance and insurance, and less visible costs, such as reimbursements, tax rules, and the cost of filling up. As a fleet manager, you need to be aware of these and we explain them in more detail below.

How much does it cost to run low-emission fleets?

You may already be aware of some of the factors which need considering when acquiring and owning a fleet of vehicles, but there may be things you aren’t aware of that indirectly affect costs. We’ve listed these below:

Vehicle cost

The single largest cost in fleet TCO is the purchase of light commercial vehicles (LCVs), especially as EVs are more expensive than their petrol or diesel counterparts. Whether you lease, rent or buy your EV fleet vehicles outright, there’s a single payment or multiple payments to be made. You will spend more upfront if you buy your vehicle or fleet outright, but it’s also worth considering the total cost when spreading your payments, as it could cost you more in the long run with rising interest rates.


Regardless of whether you lease or rent a vehicle, depreciation is another cost you’ll need to factor in. Ensuring you meet the vehicle return conditions and mileage limit means you won’t be hit with fees when handing the vehicle back.

Operating sustainably

The price of charging your electric LCVs will need to be considered, as well as the impact of ESG (Environmental Social Governance). Although the cost of electric charging fluctuates, similarly to petrol and diesel, the ethical impacts of choosing alternative fuels need to be considered. Switching to an EV fleet can boost your sustainability credentials due to the positive impact you’ll be making towards carbon reduction. Valuing sustainability within your fleet strategy can attract employees, customers and suppliers who are looking to work with a responsible business.

Charging infrastructure costs

You’ll need to factor in the cost of charging your electric fleet, whether it’s at the workplace or elsewhere – including the price of installing charging points. Whilst it’s another upfront cost to install your own charging infrastructure, it does mean no detours to charge at fuel stations, and always being able to charge your LCVs when they aren’t in use. If installing charging points isn’t feasible currently, the number of charging points in the UK is also growing and Zap-Map is a handy resource which highlights what facilities are close to you.

Servicing, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs

Similar to petrol or diesel vehicles, EV vehicles will need servicing to ensure they are fit for road use and maintain their expected lifetime. Compared to ICE, EV fleet managers can save on maintenance, as an e-LCV has fewer fluids and moving parts overall. It is important that service, maintenance and repair is maintained throughout your fleets lifetime, especially as newer fleet vehicles can have their warranty voided if you don’t. All our Rivus-owned garages have the latest technology and equipment, with work carried out by qualified technicians, who can keep your EV fleet moving.

Disposal costs

If you are looking to sell your fleet in anticipation of a new set of vehicles, you’ll need to consider the expenses incurred with vehicle disposal. It’s worth preparing in advance for this, so your transition is as smooth as possible. Rivus can support your business by managing the disposal and replacement process for your EV fleets.


Saving on EV costs

Your business can make savings when switching to alternative fuels, and by speaking to a fleet management company, they can provide expertise and advice on what vehicles will suit you best. Fleet management services for your business come at a cost, but your business will usually benefit from tools to optimise your LCVs performance, compliance and safety, and the supply and funding of fleet vehicles. Our fleet management service offers data to make your fleet operations more efficient, while our insights will help identify and solve any underlying fleet problems.


How can Rivus help with the Total Cost of Ownership?

The 2030 deadline is fast approaching, so it’s important to begin preparing for this transition early to have the right infrastructure in place for your business. Our specialist team can help your business move towards an electric fleet. We at Rivus know that transitioning to an alternative fuel fleet is complex and comprehensive, but we aim to make your journey as straightforward as it can be. Rivus can provide data and reporting to capture the true cost of charging. Our insight report on the TCO of EV Fleets breaks down the costs even further, with pence per mile and cost over 15,000 miles.  Using our complete in-house developed, market-leading TCO tool, you’ll be provided with an analysis of the total cost of ownership. Our insight report, which is available for you to download below, includes important considerations and data to help you make an informed decision, covering: 


  • Consultancy costs to support the transition
  • Charging hardware 
  • The charging costs
  • Training costs to ensure a smooth transition for each driver
  • The cost of converting each vehicle
  • Additional costs or charges for data or telematics that provide valuable information 
Download our Total Cost of Ownership Brochure to learn more






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