The popularity of electric cars is on the rise! There could be a few contributing factors to this popularity such as the 2030 petrol and diesel ban, sky-high petrol prices, or the alarming rate of global warming. Whatever your reason for thinking about adopting an EV into your lifestyle, you may be wondering if switching to electric could save you money. Many electric car drivers boast about the low running costs they benefit from and the exemption from congestion charges or Ultra Low Emission Zones. The guide below explores whether an electric car could save you money and how to make the most out of owning an EV.
What is an electric car?
Electric cars use an electric motor to power the vehicle instead of a traditional combustion engine. Petrol and diesel engines produce CO2 and greenhouse gases which contribute to the rate of global warming. Electric cars however don’t produce any harmful emissions as they don’t have a tailpipe involved. The electric motor is powered by batteries which can be recharged by plugging them into a designated charging port or at an installation point in your home. The range of an electric car depends on the size of its battery and can vary by make and model.
For many people, the purchase price of an electric vehicle can be way out of their budget. Electric vehicles tend to be more expensive to buy as there are more sophisticated forms of technology used. In the UK, brand new electric cars can set you back around £44,000 on average. Some EV car drivers argue that the low running costs can outweigh the high purchase price in the long run though. Alternatively, electric cars have been on the market for a number of years now and used cars on finance could be a great way to get a second hand electric vehicle and have the option to spread the cost.
Your EV charging costs can depend on the size of the battery and also where you plug it in. However, in general, charging an electric car can be considerably cheaper than fuelling your car with petrol or diesel. Charging your EV at home will require you to calculate the amount of kilowatt hours used for a charge and then times it by your household electricity tariff. This will give you an accurate idea of how much charging your EV will cost. Brand such as Tesla financing have created their ‘supercharger’ which promises rapid charging at one of their designated Tesla charging points and can save you money when on the road.
The congestion charge had originally been implemented in London but has since been introduced in 11 new low emissions zones in 2022 (also known as ULEZ). A congestion charge is when drivers are required to pay a fee to enter certain parts of cities. The congestion charge was brought in to get drivers to think twice about using their vehicles and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Any zero emissions, electric cars and cars that emit less than 75g/km of CO2 are exempt from these congestion charges.
Insurance costs for electric cars can vary. It can be more expensive to insure some electric cars when compared to their diesel or petrol counterpart. Electric cars use more sophisticated technology such as larger batteries so for many makes and models, it can be more expensive to replace or repair. However, with more electric cars on the market, some EV drivers have seen lower premiums offered. This could be due to more data on the cost of repairs, so more insurance companies are offering EV insurance. It is expected that you could be able to save money on your electric car finance too once they become more popular.