It’s estimated that there are now nearly 500,000 electric cars on UK roads and sales are booming.
More EVs were sold in 2021 than over the previous five years combined, and the latest industry figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that more than a fifth of registrations in the first half of 2022 were electric vehicles.
Apart from the fact that EVs are kinder to the planet. because there are no tailpipe emissions of harmful gases released into the atmosphere, they are also cheaper to run.
Here’s how running an electric vehicle can save you money:
It’s cheaper to run
An electric car can cost as little as a third to run per mile as a petrol or diesel vehicle, depending on whether you recharge from home (cheapest) or use a public charger.
Using the Journey Cost Calculator on the Zap-Map website, we compared the new Fiat 500 Electric with the conventional 1.0-litre mild hybrid petrol version. Over a year, you could save nearly £2,000 on a daily journey, by driving the electric version (£2,864 vs £4,639) – that’s 7.8p per mile compared to 12.7p per mile. The calculation was based on a daily journey distance of 100 miles with electric priced at 34kWh and a litre of petrol at 149p.
There’s less to go wrong
There are far fewer moving parts in an EV compared to a petrol or diesel car. You’ll still need to pay for servicing, replacement tyres and brakes, and any repairs, but in general, electric vehicles can be much more affordable to maintain than petrol or diesel cars. It’s estimated a switch to electric could save you an estimated 20-30% on servicing and maintenance costs compared to an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle.
EVs are zero-rated for VED
Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), or Car Tax, is paid by all car owners. However, as it’s based on CO2 emissions, electric car drivers pay nothing because there are no tailpipe emissions from EVs.
It’ll be worth more for longer
Depreciation (the difference between a car’s value when you buy it and when you come to sell it) is the biggest, largely hidden cost, of owning a car. A new car will lose value the second you drive it off the forecourt. The rate of depreciation depends on a car’s value, popularity, reliability, efficiency and maintenance costs. With demand for electric vehicles rising, they are proving to hold their value extremely well. According to WhatCar?, the slowest depreciating new EVs include the Vauxhall Mokka-e, Volvo C40 Recharge, MINI Electric, Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 and the Tesla Model Y.
There are good Government incentives for switching
Business users can make savings running into four figures by switching to an electric car. If you use your company EV for business and personal use, this creates a ‘benefit in kind’ (BiK) and you are required to pay tax on the benefit received. The government incentivises the use of electric vehicles, so an employee using an electric vehicle will pay far less tax than a colleague driving a petrol or diesel model. From 6 March 2020, the ‘benefit in kind’ was 0% of the car’s list price (P11d), this rose to 1% from 6 March 2021, and again to 2% from 6 March 2022, which is significantly less than the 37% due for the top gas-guzzlers.
Loads of charges won’t apply
There are many perks to owning an EV and one of them is the financial benefit you get from a number of exemptions. For instance, as well as being exempt from the London Congestion Charge (a saving of £15 per day if you drive into the congestion charge zone), you won’t be charged for entry into London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone or other clean air zones being set up across the UK. Additionally, EV drivers can benefit from free parking and free parking permits, depending on where you live.
The MOT pass rate is higher
When a car (EVs included) reaches its third birthday it must pass an annual MOT roadworthiness test. Data from the Department of Transport (2020) shows that the average MOT pass rate for an EV was 86.7%, compared to 84.5% for petrol and diesel cars. This gap could widen because electric vehicles are zero emissions and it’s estimated that around one million ICE cars fail their MOT tests because of faults relating to exhaust emissions.