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Here are my thoughts about saving money via electric vehicle (EV)

Many years ago, a secondary school classmate who’s a very successful senior manager in an electronics company bought a Toyota Prius. Image shows that car. Image source is He bought it for something like RM150,000 and when asked about his main reason to buy the car, he said, did you know that every km, I spend less than 10 sen? Maybe even lower? My answer, ‘Oh….’

Let’s do some calculations

I assume my fuel consumption is 25 sen per litre, ok? (it’s lower by the way). This means that for every km, I will be spending extra 15 sen versus my classmate. I think on average we drive 20,000km per year? 10 years = 200,000 km seems about right. So, I will spend an extra 200,000 x 15 sen = RM30,000 EXTRA. This is AFTER 10 years. I repeat, the price of his car is RM150,000.

There are by far more cars where the interior can be bigger and the outlook can be better and the price can be cheaper by more than RM30,000 and this saving is RIGHT at the beginning, not at the end of 10 years.

Yes, Toyota Prius is NOT an Electric Vehicle (EV)

Electricity is 21.8 sen for the first 200 kWh in Malaysia. Typical battery for a Tesla S60 is 60kWH and it could then travel for around 400km. Thus, total cost to charge the car to full capacity is 60kWH x 21.8 sen = RM13.08 It can then travel 400km, thus cost per km is 1308 sen / 400km = 3.27 sen per km WOW… so cheap!

Again, assuming my cost per km remains at 25 sen per km, a Tesla driver will save 22 sen per km. WOW. Again, 200,000 km after 10 years (if the battery does not degrade at all) and that’s 22 sen x 200,000 km = total of RM44,000. From the price of a Tesla S is RM550,000. Even in the US, Tesla S starts from US$85,000 (RM352,000). In other words, even assuming we are able to buy it at RM352,000 it is still NOT talking about saving money when it comes to EV.

We could have bought a Volvo S60 (0-100 in 4.4 seconds…) instead and still save more money instead. Take a look at Volvo S60 then… It’s starting from RM296,000. The price savings is immediate and NOT at the end of 10 years.

What’s wrong with saying, I love the brand?

Dear all, if you love the brand, just say you love the brand. No one would argue with you because it’s a preference. if you love the design, just say you love the design. Again, looks are very subjective so everyone can have their opinion. If you just want to save the world by not using fossil fuel, then say I want to save the world by not using the fossil fuel. (It’s not true by the way but at least it has nothing to do with saving money)

If you said any of these three reasons, you have won the right to buy that hybrid or that EV and I would respect you for being so real. However… if you say you want to save money as the cost per km is much lower… please read this article. Happy buying whatever car you like.

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2 Responses

  1. Charles, the comparison method that you used is not complete. You should not compare only the purchase price but also the price of ownership i.e. including possible resale value, maintenance costs, etc. The Prius can be compared with an Altis, which is cheaper incidentally & has superior retained value. However, if you compare with a Volvo or a korean (eg Kia), then the Prius wins.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.


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