Why EVs are cheaper to run

In the latest of our series of myth-busting blogs, we look at the price of EVs and detail why they are cheaper to run and offer an excellent return on investment – both right now, and increasingly so in the very near future.

Pricing up the difference

As of the writing of this article, we concede that the average EV costs more than the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) equivalent in terms of its list price – although we are witnessing rapid change in this area and the latest generation of electric vehicles are coming to market at the same cost as their petrol or diesel counterparts.

Furthermore, if we compare the two best sellers in each category, the ICE Ford Fiesta and the EV Nissan Leaf, we see that the £3,400 ($4,490/€4,000) difference in purchase price can be overcome within just three years for the average driver.

Talking tax

Vehicle tax rates are calculated based on the car’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per kilometre, and tax breaks for zero-emissions vehicles – alongside governmental incentives such as grants – have been a key factor in the growing number of EVs on the road.

A recent study by the International Council for Clean Transport found that EV owners could save as much as 27% each year compared to driving diesel equivalents.

Their analysis, which compared the same make and model of vehicle across EV, petrol and diesel found that driver in Norway would save 27% in running costs by going electric, while the average driver in the study could save between 11-15%. The UK offered the lowest savings in running costs at 5% due to the recent cuts in grants for EVs.

The average ICE in Europe emits 112g/km of CO2, equating to £140 per year in tax.

In addition, the average EV offers around £60 ($78/€70)per year in servicing savings, predominantly as there are fewer moving parts in electric vehicles so they create less friction and therefore less wear. The lower average running temperatures also help to reduce wear and offer greater efficiency.

Charging the change

Finally, the most obvious saving comes from the fuel source that is used to power each vehicle.

Based on current UK electricity prices, a car costs 13p per kWh to charge ($0.17c/€0.15c), meaning that a mid-range EV driving around 9,000 miles per year would cost £250 or 2.7p per mile in running costs. This is vastly cheaper than the petrol equivalent of the same vehicle, which would cost around £825 ($1,084/€965) per year to refuel, costing 9.1p per mile.

In fact, according to the UK Government’s Ultra Low Campaign, the average ICE costs 12p per mile to run. The difference is even more stark when you consider that the most efficient ICEs covert just 17-21% of their fuel into power, while EVs deliver around 59-62%.

Furthermore, as per our article on “How Can EVs Support Energy Independence”, when teamed with localised renewable energy sources, EVs can save you even more money and help you push towards a neutral carbon footprint for energy consumption.

Preparing for the future

While many are choosing not to consider the future of their ICE vehicle, it is clear that their days are numbered, and that they will not continue to hold their value in the years ahead.

Paris has led a number of global cities in legislating a ban on diesel vehicles from 2024 and has taken the next step of banning the sale of all ICEs from 2030 as the French capital aims to become carbon-neutral by 2050.

We expect to this this trend increase in the coming years as lawmakers push to meet climate targets and to cut the number of deaths associated with carbon emissions from traffic – estimated to account for nearly 500,000 early deaths per year in the EU alone.

We want to hear from you

We hope you enjoyed this blog. We want to hear from you – what are your burning questions about EVs, what myths do you want busted and what do you want to know about our I-PACE eTROPHY car?

Give us your feedback and we’ll do our best to respond with a fun and informative blog.

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