The increased functionality of electric cars has seen their popularity in the UK surge over the past few years. As environmental issues are pushed to the fore by increasing climate change, many conscientious motorists are making the switch to all electric or hybrid cars. Their positive impact on the environment is proven by their non-existent CO2 emissions, but do they actually save their owners money in comparison to conventional petrol or diesel vehicles?
They may seem like a recent innovation but electric cars have been around for centuries. Their modern day popularity is due to their mass market production by major manufacturers such as Nissan, Renault and BMW. Demand for electric cars in the UK continues to grow thanks to the government’s ‘Plug-in Car Grant’, which allows motorists 25% off of an electric car’s ‘On the Road’ (OTR) price.
The main reason for this growth in the electric car market is due to how much money it could save its owner in the long run. In addition to the ‘Plug-in Car Grant’ there are a number of other factors which help make an electric car good value for money.
Car tax: As they produce less than 100 g/km of CO2 (Band A), electric cars and vans are exempt from car tax. This is a substantial difference from a conventional petrol or diesel car that produces 141-150 g/km of CO2 (Band F). Meaning this could result in an annual saving of £145 per year.
Fuel costs: Very low fuel costs are one clear way that electric cars can excel at saving their owner money. Electricity has a zero rating of fuel duty, which means fuel costs can be as little as 3p per mile. On an annual mileage of 10,000 miles, the fuel saving with an electric car could be as big as £800 per year; this is in comparison to their conventional petrol and diesel counterparts. If you’re interested in finding out what your current fuel costs are, compared to an electric model, have a look at nextgreencar.com.
Congestion charge: A big factor for motorists who live in, or close to, London is the congestion charge. This policy was brought into effect in 2003 to reduce congestion in the capital. Because electric cars emit zero tailpipe emissions they are exempt from congestion charging. In order to enjoy this benefit, electric cars registered at a cost of £10 per year. As the congestion charge currently costs £11.50 per day there is a potential saving of around £2,000 annually.
These huge cost savings can’t be ignored by motorists looking to save money on their car, but there are other factors to consider. The biggest, is the cost of a new electric car, which could be around £30,000. Even with the ‘Plug-In Car Grant’ (up to a maximum of £5,000) it is still a hefty price tag.
Other practicality issues could hamper any use, such as access to a charging station and the planned distance of your journeys. At full power most electric cars have enough juice to travel for 100 miles, which means longer distance journeys would need careful charge station pit stop planning. The best method of charging an electric car is overnight, but without a private garage or parking space this could prove difficult. It is possible to ask your local authority for funding to install a charge station in your area, but this is a cost that should be factored into your overall savings.
In the long run an electric car will clearly save you money, but the initial cost could be a bit of a shock to your finances. Are you’re looking to upgrade and go electric? Value your car today and get one step closer to a trading in the pump for the plug.
Want more information? Have a read of our past articles about electric cars: