The green revolution is electrifying but will soaring energy prices put people off switching to pure battery-powered cars?
Ask the experts and the answer is a clear no.
Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show electric car registrations rose 71% in the first five month of this year, to 92,512, compared to the same period of 2021 which also saw huge gains.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says average UK electricity prices were 18.9p/kWh in 2021 but will be closer to 28p/kWh based on the new price caps. That’s nearly 50% more.
So electricity has gone up, and will again, but a year ago the UK average for a litre of diesel was £1.33, now it is £1.88 – up more than 40% – and shows no sign of going down.
It now costs more than £100 to fill the 55-litre tank of an average family car with fossil fuel.
EVs are now a very attractive alternative, and will become the norm for new cars from 2030, particularly for businesses which are playing a big part in driving electric vehicle sales.
Ian Robertson, editor and publisher of Diesel and Eco Car, said: “Relatively speaking, running an electric car, the energy cost is about half the price of running a petrol or diesel car.”
And Ian says an electric car is even more attractive if you can charge it from a home or work wall-charger and take advantage of cheaper off-peak electricity overnight.
As an example he chose the Peugeot 208, a supermini offered in petrol, diesel and pure electric guise, and used manufacturer’s official range and MPG figures.
The 136PS electric e-208 has a 50kW battery, takes around 7.5 hours to charge on a 7kW domestic wall-charger and has a range of up to 225 miles.
The 100PS 1.2 turbo petrol 208 has official combined MPG of up to 56.7 and the 100PS 1.5-litre turbo diesel up to 73.6.
Electricity prices vary by provider and tariff but an EV-focused tariff of 36p per kWh peak rate domestic charging and 4.5p off-peak is a good example. So you are looking at around £18 to fully charge the e-208 at peak times. If you can charge off-peak at 4.5p an hour for five hours that cuts the cost to around £7.
Working on petrol at £1.82 a litre and diesel at £1.88 (the average figure as of June 9), the petrol car would use nearly four gallons to cover 225 miles and cost around £33. The diesel would need just over three gallons so around £25.50.
Official figures are rarely achievable but this is a guide on how an electric car can save you money on fuel costs. The more miles you do the more you save.
Those savings offset the extra cost of the electric model, whether you buy outright or finance with leasing or a personal contract purchase (PCP).
With so many electric car tariffs to choose from, it is important to do your homework to find the best one for you.
Public fast chargers are more expensive, but so is fuel on the motorway, so you might just boost the battery a little to get you to cheaper charging.
Ian said: “Provided you can charge at home, or office, and charge overnight, that is the most efficient way to charge your car.”
You might opt to have solar panels and produce your own electricity to charge your vehicle. A wall-charger is also said to increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to a would-be buyer.
So, if you are delaying switching to electric due to soaring energy prices, hopefully this has given you more reason to consider switching sooner.
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