With rising energy costs causing concern across the nation, it seems to have created a lingering doubt for motorists who either own or are looking to buy an electric vehicle (EV). However, research from Volkswagen Financial Services UK (VWFS), suggests that owning an electric vehicle will still offer huge savings.
After the government regulator for the electricity and downstream natural gas markets, Ofgem, raised its energy price cap by 54 percent, it has been estimated that electric vehicle owners may see their home charging costs rise by around £200 per year (depending on their energy tariff).
With the average UK electricity price now sitting at around 17.2p per kWh and under the assumption an electric car will travel 3.5 miles per kWh on average, to travel 100 miles would cost around £5 or 4.91p per mile.
Taking into account comparative petrol and diesel costs per mile, the same length journey would cost approximately £15 and £13 in a petrol or diesel car respectively. With these figures, the running costs of an electric vehicle will be around a third of the cost compared to petrol and diesel equivalents.
While some drivers may have been put off by rising energy costs, there are also various incentives to benefit from, such as government grants or schemes, Vehicle Excise Duty discounts or exemptions, as well as an exclusion from Fuel Duty.
Tax benefits, including lower taxes than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, as well as lower, or possibly even free, charges for Congestion Charge Zones, are also beneficial incentives that drive down the costs drivers would usually pay on petrol or diesel cars.
Recent research from EDF Energy found that electric vehicle owners could save more than £51,000 on fuel over their lifetime, compared to the cost of charging their car.
Meanwhile, fully electric cars worth under £40,000 are also exempt from vehicle excise duty, saving up to £2,245 for new cars in their first year on the road and up to £490 per year after that.
Another concern around the expenses associated with electric vehicles is installing a home charge point. Motorists must be made aware that despite the upfront £1,000 installation cost, it is cheaper to charge your car at home than at public charge points.
There are other tips and tricks to drive down costs with an electric vehicle too. A good place to start is looking at your energy provider and how charging will impact the cost of your home electricity bill. Some providers offer off-peak prices, so when charging your car from home, it may be cheaper to plug it in during off-peak hours.
Electric vehicle owners can also improve their range per charge by making small, conscious adjustments to their driving habits, ultimately bringing costs down further.
Avoiding harsh acceleration, using regenerative braking and maintaining a steadier speed can all improve range per charge. Also ensuring the car is not carrying unnecessary weight, such as heavy items in the boot, will also offer greater efficiency. Plus, with fewer moving parts, maintenance costs throughout an electric vehicle’s life are far cheaper.
While driving is becoming increasingly more expensive, electric vehicles remain a viable and the most cost efficient choice, not only through the lens of sustainability but also when it comes to energy prices in 2022.