The cost of running an electric car has become an important consideration for many people as the transition to electric motoring accelerates.
With the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars set to take place over the next decade, understanding the differences in running costs between electric vehicles and traditional internal combustion engine vehicles is crucial.
The main concern people have is the rising cost of electricity, and whether rising prices are fizzling out any savings over petrol and diesel.
The answer is simple – electricity is cheaper per mile in 2023 because the price of fuel has increased alongside electricity prices. However, it is only cheaper if you can charge at the right price, and this often requires a home charger.
Charging costs in 2023
When it comes to the cost of charging an EV, it depends on two main factors: the size of the battery and the cost of electricity.
Charging an EV in public can vary in price, but on average, it can cost around 65 pence per kWh. Therefore, charging a 100kWh EV from empty to full would cost £65, while charging a 50kWh EV would cost £32.50.
The efficiency of the EV also plays a role, with an efficient EV averaging 5 miles per kWh, resulting in a cost of 15 pence per mile, and an inefficient EV managing 2.5 miles per kWh, resulting in a cost of 30 pence per mile.
However, charging an EV at home is generally cheaper than using public chargers. Smart home energy tariffs allow EV owners to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates, which can be as low as 7.5 pence per kWh.
Charging a 100kWh battery at this rate would cost £7.50, resulting in a cost of 2.5 pence per mile for electricity alone.
Charging during peak domestic electricity hours, which could cost around 45 pence per kWh, would result in a cost of 15 pence per mile for a full 100 kWh charge.
It’s important to note that getting a home ‘wallbox’ fast charger installed is necessary for efficient charging at home, and installation costs can vary but are typically around £800.
If you have a single-phase power supply like most homes, you can charge at speeds up to 7.4kW, depending on your electrical installation.
Our EV charger reviews have you covered if you want a home charger.
Tax and maintenance
In terms of taxes and maintenance costs, electric cars have their advantages. Currently, EVs are exempt from road tax, but from 2025, they will be charged the same £165 per year as ICE vehicles. However, company car tax for EVs is more favourable.
In terms of maintenance, EVs require less maintenance than ICE vehicles since they have no cambelts, exhausts, or oil changes. This results in lower servicing costs for EV owners. EVs also have better MOT pass rates compared to their ICE counterparts.
The fear of expensive battery replacement has proven largely unfounded, as many EVs have reached high mileages on their original battery packs.
Furthermore, EVs come with warranties that cover the battery and motor for longer periods compared to warranties for petrol and diesel cars.
While most of the car may be covered for 60,000 miles and three years, the motor and battery could come with an eight-year, 100,000-mile guarantee.
Insurance and depreciation
Insurance costs for EVs can be higher than for petrol and diesel cars due to factors such as higher purchase costs. However, cheaper and less powerful EVs like the Nissan Leaf can offer more affordable insurance rates.
When it comes to depreciation, predictions show that electric cars depreciate less than petrol and diesel vehicles.
In the early days of EVs, it was harder to gauge depreciation since there were fewer options available, but as the market has expanded, it has become clear that EVs hold their value well.
In summary, the cost of running an electric car involves various factors, including charging costs, taxes, maintenance, insurance, and depreciation.
While there are some expenses associated with owning an EV, such as higher insurance costs and the installation of a home charging station, the overall running costs of an EV tend to be lower due to lower fuel costs, fewer maintenance requirements, and favourable tax rates.
As the transition to electric motoring continues, understanding these costs is essential for those considering making the switch.