Electric cars are no longer just bought by people looking to save the environment, they’re now being bought because they are more affordable and can save a significant amount of money.
The UK Government are still offering their Plug-In Car Grant, which will give consumers up to 35% or £3,500 off a new electric vehicle.
At the time of publishing this article, a brand-new Renault Zoe can be bought for £15,147 – that’s already including the Plug-In-Car Grant.
New cars aside, a used fully electric car with low mileage can be purchased for as low as £7,495.
So, once you’ve bought an electric car, how much cheaper is it to actually run when compared to a petrol/diesel equivalent?
Cost of electricity
If you have a charge point installed at home you can expect to pay somewhere between £2-£4 for a 100-mile journey, according to the Energy Savings Trust. A diesel that gets 60mpg would cost around £10-12 to do a 100-mile journey.
That is a significant saving.
If you were to charge your car away from home, you can expect to pay more for a 100-mile charge – probably somewhere in the range of £6-8. However, there are many free charge points around the country.
A little-known fact about electric cars is that they don’t have gearboxes, nor do they have oil – as there’s no engine! Electric cars have electric motors which receive power from the battery packs and use that power to drive the wheels.
The brings servicing costs way down.
According to Green Car Guide, an electric VW Golf costs £424 in servicing over 3 years. Whereas the petrol equivalent is £1,245.
Insuring an electric car used to be rather expensive, and you can understand why. There is very little data available to insurers about how much it can cost to repair an electric vehicle – making it difficult for them to estimate the right amount of cover. However, as more electric cars are being maintained and repaired – insurers are beginning to get the data they need, and insurance prices are dropping.
It will be some time until insurance is far cheaper than petrol/diesel equivalents, however the combined savings are most likely going to cover the difference.
It is possible to plug a car into a standard 3-pin plug socket; however, the charging time will be significantly longer.
The Electric Vehicle Homecharge scheme provides consumers with up to 75% (capped at £500, inc. VAT) off the total costs of charge points and associated installation cost.
Depending on which charger you go for, you can see total costs to you being around £300-500.
Should you buy an electric car?
If you can afford the upfront cost of the car and a charger, then you will never look back.
The cost to buy an electric vehicle is dropping. If you can’t afford the upfront cost yet, then don’t be disheartened – affordable EV cars will be available to everyone in the years to come.