Battery-powered family cars are cheaper to own and run than petrol and diesel equivalents, according to a study.
It found that common mid-size electric cars could be £131 a month cheaper to maintain than those with a combustion engine.
Small battery-powered cars remained more expensive than their fossil fuel equivalents, but the gap in ownership costs disappeared
Electric Cars Financial Benefits
The financial benefit of owning an electric car increased the “further and longer” they were driven because of the lack of fuel costs and cheaper maintenance and tax. Electric vehicles also hold their value for longer.
The conclusions were made in a Europe-wide study by Leaseplan, the vehicle fleet management company. Boris Johnson is set to confirm soon that the government will accelerate a ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK from 2040 to 2030 as part of a drive to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of the century.
Industry figures show that 44,708 pure electric cars have been sold in the UK since the start of the year, almost three times the total for the same period in 2019, but they still make up less than 5 per cent of total sales.
Price is often cited as a big barrier to buying electric cars, with zero-emission models costing as much as £10,000 more than traditional vehicles.
Real World Ownership Pricing
The Times has reported how a paper commissioned by the Department for Transport called for a compulsory price labelling standard that emphasises the real-world ownership cost of an electric car rather than simply the headline sticker price.
The Leaseplan study compared the ownership cost of electric, petrol and diesel models in the small, mid-size and executive sectors. Costs included fuel, taxes, maintenance, insurance and depreciation value.
It found that mid-size electric cars cost £832 a month to buy and run, compared with £911 for diesel and £963 for petrol. Mid-sized models included the Tesla Model 3, Britain’s best-selling electric car, along with the BMW 3 and Audi A4.
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Among small cars, battery-powered models were marginally more expensive, costing £657 a month compared with £645 (diesel) and £642 (petrol), it was claimed.
In that category, the study said those driving electric vehicles achieved a “lower total cost of ownership” than a petrol or diesel equivalent “from 48 months onwards”. Compact cars in the study included the Nissan Leaf, the Peugeot 308 and Vauxhall Astra.
Among top-of-the-range executive cars, battery-powered models such as the Tesla Model S still cost far more than a combustion engine counterpart.
Alfonso Martinez, managing director of Leaseplan UK, said electric vehicles were “no longer a luxury for the few, and are quickly becoming a viable option for all drivers”.
“The industry is working tirelessly to make electric driving a reality, but to truly succeed the government must uphold its end of the bargain.” he said.
“We need surety of supply post-Brexit and significant investment in a universal, affordable and sustainable charging infrastructure.
Only then will we be able to make a full switch to [electric vehicles] and support the UK’s wider effort to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”