Study shows that electric cars are cheaper to own and run
Electric car popularity is slowly on the rise. This is partly down to cities, such as London introducing a new 'Ultra-Low Emission Zone' in an attempt to help reduce pollution. But are we ready to switch just yet?
Electric cars are already cheaper to own and run than their petrol and diesel counterparts in five European countries according to new research by the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT).
The study digs into many details, such as fuel and tax costs of the best selling car in Europe, the Volkswagen Golf. This study delves into the four different forms that the Golf comes in, the electric, hybrid, petrol and diesel. Over a four year period, the ICCT found that the fully-electric Golf was the most cost-effective to run in the UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and Norway. These results are partly down to Government incentives, such as lower taxes, money off the vehicle price and low charging costs.
Research suggests that one of the main reasons drivers are switching to electric cars could be the tax breaks. For example, in the UK a 'plug-in grant' of £3,500 is automatically applied at the dealership when purchasing a new electric car.
The Norwegian Government offer a 27% saving on battery-powered cars by making them exempt from heavy registration taxes. Germany, France and the Netherlands get savings anywhere from 11% - 15%, whilst the UK saves around 5%.
Surprisingly, the study shows that plug-in hybrid vehicles are more expensive to run than petrol and diesel vehicles. This is partly down to them effectively having two engines, resulting in a higher purchase price and tricky maintenance costs.
UK electric car sales rose by 21% last year, whilst diesel cars dropped by a whopping 30%. Manufacturers such as Tesla are currently struggling to meet high delivery demands and other brands are also starting to feel the squeeze, as more of us switch over to electric cars.
Other benefits of owning an electric car:
They're cheaper to maintain. Fewer working parts means that there's less to go wrong. Most electric car batteries are on warranty for eight years, making them very cost-effective.
They're generally safer. Most electric cars have their batteries stored under the floor in the middle of the car which results in a lower centre of gravity, thus reducing the risk of the car rolling over.
Less pollution for our cities. If you take a walk on Oxford Street, London at rush hour, you can literally taste the pollution from all the taxis, buses and cars. If some of these were swapped out for electric vehicles, less harmful pollution would reach pedestrian's lungs.
Reduced or free parking in cities. Many car charging points offer a free or subsidised space for electric cars to park whilst they're topping up the batteries. In cities such as London, electric cars are exempt from the Congestion Charge, saving the driver around £2,500 a year.