The cost to “fuel” an electric car for 8,000 miles a year is 61 percent cheaper compared to petrol and diesel, with fuel drivers forking out £732 a year to do the same distance. Lower maintenance and insurance costs also drive down annual running costs for electric car owners, which are on average 47 percent cheaper than petrol and diesel cars.
Drivers who buy an electric car outright will save on average £3,862 over a seven year ownership period.
Gill Nowell, Head of EV at LV= General Insurance, commented on the data and how it could benefit those interested in electric vehicles.
She said: “Despite the upfront sticker price of an electric car being higher than the equivalent petrol or diesel car, it pays to look at all the costs involved.
“Even with escalating fuel and energy costs, if people can afford to make the switch to an electric car, either new or second hand, then charging up with energy at home rather than filling up at a petrol station is far cheaper – and better for the environment and our local air quality.”
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On average, EV drivers will pay just £467.40 to charge their car each year, based on driving 8,000 miles, while petrol and diesel drivers pay £1,199.40 to do the same mileage – a difference of £732.
If drivers have an electricity tariff with a reduced off-peak overnight rate, then the annual cost of charging an EV is reduced to just £180.59.
The savings on electric cars are heavily driven by lower average annual running costs – £1,147.21 compared to £2,201.58 for a petrol or diesel car.
Average annual maintenance for an EV, which includes a service and replacement tyres and brakes, is almost £200 cheaper (£304 vs £498).
This is mainly because they have very few moving components, making them considerably less likely to break down as they age and much cheaper to maintain.
Dr Euan McTurk, a consultant battery electrochemist at Plug Life Consulting, highlighted the benefits of investing in electric.
He added: ”With petrol and diesel prices going through the roof, this is a timely reminder that electric cars can save money as well as emissions.
“Higher mileage drivers will save even more money by going electric, so if you do more than 8,000 miles per year, you’ll recoup your outlay much faster, and your savings will be even higher.
“Plus, because electric vehicles are so mechanically reliable, as they get older, they’ll spend much more time on the road and much less time in the garage than a petrol or diesel car of the same age, saving you considerable time and money.
“This bodes well for people looking to buy a second hand EV.”
The other significant saving for electric car drivers comes from not having to pay tax on the vehicle, which for petrol and drivers is on average £193.68 annually.
Over a seven-year ownership, this equates to £1,355.76.
Of the cars analysed, the average cost of an EV was £32,683, just under £7,000 more than the average petrol or diesel car at £25,685.
However in some cases the gap is closing – the Vauxhall Corsa-e is only £2,175 more expensive than its petrol equivalent, and the difference between the Mini Electric Level1 and Mini Hatch Cooper S Classic is now less than £5,000.