can electric cars really save you money?

Can electric cars really save you money?

Can electric cars really save you money?

Can electric cars really save you money?

Electric vehicles have been a trending topic over the past couple of years. In fact, with every passing year, more people decide to switch from a conventional petrol car to an electric one. Sooner or later, many people might be required to make the change. In 2020, the UK government announced that from 2030 on, all new petrol and diesel cars will be banned and only second-hand ones will be available.

There are 3 types of electric cars that you can choose from: battery electric vehicles (BEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The way they work is different.

  • The battery-powered electric vehicle runs fully on electricity. 
  • The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle runs on both electricity and petrol or diesel. The car can run on electricity until it has enough storage; after that, it switches to petrol or diesel. 
  • Lastly, the hybrid electric vehicle cannot be plugged in, but instead, it’s battery is charged by regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine.

Should I buy an electric car or a normal car?

Buying an electric car, and especially a new one, is known to be quite expensive. The average price is £44,000; however, prices can vary from £17,350 up to £138,826, depending on the features of the car. At the same time, the average price of buying a new conventional car in the UK is around £38,585.

This figure, of course, can become lower depending on the features and the model of the car, but it is clear that the purchase price of petrol and diesel cars is lower compared to the electric ones. To promote the switch to electric vehicles, the UK government offers the Plug-in Car Grant. It offers up to £35,000 off the purchase price if the vehicle is zero-emission.

It might be the high upfront cost of electric cars that keeps buyers away, but the real money savings come from the long-term use of the car. More specifically, the cost of running the car is where the big difference comes into play. 

If you drive an electric car in the UK: Can electric cars really save you money?

You will not be paying road taxes, which saves you £155 a year. Also, you will save on fuel bills. The average English driver makes 7,600 miles and spends around £1,200 on gas, which you will be able to keep in your pocket. If you charge your car at home, this can cost you £342 annually.

This statement has now changed! In the chancellors statement on November 17, 2022, electric cars will have to pay the same road tax as any other vehicle. Also, electric prices have shot through the roof. Making it more expensive to charge your electric car (if you can find a charging point)

Electric car Conventional car 
Annual fuel/electricity cost £342£1,200
Annual road tax cost £0£155

Charging your electric car

The main reason people don’t buy electric cars is the fear of not being able to charge them whenever they need them and ending up in the middle of nowhere with their car. However, that should not be an issue, because there are plenty of charging points available now all around the UK. 

EV charging station on the street

There are around 42,000 charge points across England in over 15,500 locations. The average electricity rate in the UK is around 17p per kWh. As a result, charging a 60-kWh electric car for 200 miles will cost between £9.00 and £9.90.

Depending on the charging station and the car, you can fully charge your car in a few hours or less. For example, for a typical electric car with 60kWh battery, it takes around 7-8 hours to charge with a 7kW charging point. If you use a rapid charger with 50kW, you can add up to 100 miles in just 35 minutes.

It is possible to find free stations around supermarkets, shopping centres, hotels, and parking lots. However, there may be a time limit for charging, or you may need to be a customer in the supermarket, for example.

EV charging station at home

Charging your EV at home can be a convenient solution. There are green energy suppliers that offer good tariffs for customers who own electric cars. First, you need to install a charging station at your home. If you are planning to do so, you can benefit from the government’s Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme, which offers a 75% contribution to the price of installation and up to £350.

Best EV Energy tariffs: Can electric cars really save you money?

If you plan to charge your car at home, it is best to choose a specific EV energy tariff. There are energy suppliers in the UK that offer energy tariff plans designed specifically for households with electric vehicles. Before choosing your energy supplier, you should consider how many times a month you charge your car, not how long it takes for your car to be fully charged. Also, check out which energy suppliers offer a night tariff. If you tend to charge your car at night to have it ready for the next day, this could save you additional costs.

Is it possible to do long-distance journeys with an electric vehicle?

With the current number of over 40.000 charging stations, ranging from normal to fast charging, drivers can undoubtedly rely on their EV for long distances. To further promote the change to EVs in the coming years, the government is increasing the number of charging stations every year.

Average car range

Most EVs can run up to 150–200 miles before needing to be charged. However, depending on the model, this can go beyond 300 miles. Even if your car has a lower range, by using the distributed charging stations on the highways, you should not have any problems.

Charging stations on highways: Can electric cars really save you money?

You can find charging stations on highways, and the good thing about them is that most of them should be either fast or super fast charging points that will fill up your car in no time. For instance, the green energy provider Ecotricity, installed rapid charging in 96% of motorway service stations

So is getting an EV a good deal?

Switching to a new car, no matter the type, is always an expensive move. However, going for an electric car can have benefits not only for the environment but also for your pocketbook. Can electric cars really save you money?. If you plan to use your car for a few years, you could definitely see the cost-effectiveness of investing in an EV. Cars are a matter of personal preference, but in a few years, Brits will have to embrace the zero-emission life.

eric roberts
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