Electric versus petrol/diesel – what the numbers say
For new buyers in the market, the electric car is now a serious contender for your hard-earned – and with good reason. They’re cheaper to run, emission free to drive (so better for the planet), and they’re much quieter. And with the government plan to stop petrol and diesel sales in the UK by 2030 – and for all cars on the road to be completely emission-free by 2035 – change is certainly in the air (so to speak).
So is now the right time to make the jump? Let’s take a look at some numbers, shall we?
You can fully charge a typical 60kW EV (with a 200-mile range battery) for under £10 – that’s roughly £4 per 100 miles. And to cover the same distance in the equivalent size/weight internal combustion engine (ICE) car? That’ll set you back around £14 per 100-miles – quite a difference.
And the savings continue when it comes to servicing, too. To service an EV will likely cost between £120 – £150, compared to £200-plus for its traditional equivalent. Even at the high end of that estimate, that’s still a 25% saving. Because there are fewer moving parts in an EV (no clutch or drivetrain required) and less clogging from exhaust residues, there’s much less that can go wrong.
Other road costs
As an EV user, you also benefit from road tax exemption – though you may have to pay tax if your vehicle costs over £40,000. Less good, is that electric car owners do tend to pay more for insurance on average right now. That’s probably down to the expense of replacing specialist electric vehicle components, such as the battery. But again, as EVs become more the norm and insurers gather more data (and competition drives down premiums), that’s likely to improve.
Cost to buy new?
EVs are also slightly more expensive to buy on the dealership forecourt than their combustion engine counterparts. Again, that’s also down to the cost of the battery and other parts, and likely to improve later. Some even predict they’ll be cheaper than ICEs as soon as 2024 (see Bloomberg New Energy Finance).
Until then, the government is offering plug-in grants to car dealerships and manufacturers to reduce the purchase price of some electric vehicles by as much as 35%. And once you’ve taken your new car home, the OZEV/EVHS (Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme) reduces the cost of a home electric car charger by up to 75% – and that’s up to £350 off.
Get a quote for one of our Local Heroes to pop over and fit your very own charge point at home, prices start from £611 with a 3-year guarantee.
As of Jan 2021, there were almost 40,000 public charge points in the UK – and over 2700 of them are rapid charging. And that’s compared to 8385 filling stations – which is a record low. Handily, many public EV charge points can be found at supermarket carparks, hotels, offices and various other places of interest, so you can often charge before and during your stopover.
A fuel cost calculator from Next Greencar lets you compares fuel cost differences for your journey. As an example, we calculated a trip using a small EV family hatchback over 10,000 miles. The petrol car cost £1,390 more per year more in fuel compared to the electric version. And if you factor in a dedicated EV tariff or a renewable energy source, like home solar panels, you could easily save more.
In another example, fuel for 43-litre tank (think Ford Fiesta) with a fuel efficiency of 29 miles-per-gallon costs around £2055 every 10,000 miles. But your typical electric car on the other hand (such as a 40Kw Nissan Leaf), costing £5.60 for a full home charge and 235-mile range, you’re paying just £240 to go 10,000 miles. And that’s a saving of over £1800…
Pros of owning an electric car
- Cheaper to run
- Cheaper to service
- Purchase price can be offset by reduced fuel costs
- Kinder to the environment
- Potential to go even greener via home solar charging
- Government assistance available to reduce purchase costs
And the cons
- Higher insurance premiums
- Currently more petrol stations than public charge points
- It can take over 30 mins to charge at public charge points
- EV ranges are currently lower than their petrol equivalents, with an average Nissan Leaf covering 235 miles on a full charge. However, the next generation of electric vehicles promises a range of up to 350 miles on a single charge