ECI launches Passenger Car Total Cost of Ownership Calculation Tool

A new online Passenger Car Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator Tool, commissioned by the European Copper Institute, is now available for use.

Developed by the Mobility, Logistics and Automotive Technology Research Centre (MOBI) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the goal of this unique tool is to help policy makers and consumer organisations make a fair comparison between combustion and electric vehicles, to enable the design of incentive schemes for market uptake. The tool will be updated regularly to take into account new information in this fast-moving market.

‘Comparing the Total Cost of Ownership of passenger vehicles prior to purchase has never been easy, and compared to a couple of decades or so ago, it’s now even more challenging,’ says Diego García Carvajal of ECI. ‘In addition to diesel, petrol or compressed natural gas, the choice now includes hybrid electric, battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric. Some manufacturers offer hydrogen fuel cell cars, too.’

Faced with this overwhelming choice, and the difficulty in working out the TCO of various possibilities, ECI commissioned the Passenger Car TCO Calculator Tool ( This easy-to-use tool allows a quick estimation of the total cost of owning a vehicle during a specified period of time, including the purchase and usage costs. The tool gives a first indication of the relative economics of various powertrains, providing guidance to users, consumer organisations and policy makers.

It requires just four simple steps:

  1. Select vehicle class: City, medium or premium.
  2. Choose one car in at least two of the six categories: diesel, petrol, compressed natural gas, hybrid electric, battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric.
  3. Indicate the anticipated annual mileage.
  4. Indicate the total years of ownership..

The results are immediately displayed in a clear and colourful graph, such as this example:

It shows the TCO of each selected vehicle, broken down where relevant into registration tax, road tax, insurance, maintenance, fuel, depreciation, battery leasing and subsidy. The graph also displays cost per km for each vehicle selected.

The effect of different fuel prices on the TCO is easily seen by moving the fuel price sliders. It is also possible to select the policy measure to be applied: the fuel-taxation based policy of Scandinavia, the incentive-based policy of Western Europe, or the moderate policy of Southern Europe.

Also on the website are three case studies – one per vehicle segment – with brief and helpful explanations.

Try out the Passenger Car TCO Calculator Tool from the ECI.

About the European Copper Institute

The European Copper Institute (ECI)—founded in 1996 and based in Brussels—coordinates a team of 38 professionals based in 10 offices across Europe, and works closely with its copper industry members on regulatory matters and market development programs. ECI is part of the Copper Alliance, which brings together the global copper industry to develop and defend markets for copper, and to make a positive contribution to society’s sustainable development goals.

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Diego García Carvajal
+34 91 544 8451
Twitter: @dgdarvajal