Is it cheaper to drive an EV or a petrol car?
The cost of living is shooting up, and we’re all feeling the pinch when it comes to our ever-increasing monthly bills.
Electricity prices are at an all-time high right now and are set to rise again this Spring when the price cap is increased. At the moment, the cost of petrol has fallen slightly from £1.91 per litre in July to an average of £1.51 in January.
You won’t be alone in thinking that very high electricity costs will be pushing up the price of driving an EV; but has it overtaken petrol?
How do EVs and petrol cars compare?
We’ve worked out whether the cost of driving an EV that is charged at home (at 34p/KWh) is more or less expensive than driving a petrol car (at £1.51/litre). We’ve compared the Nissan Leaf with the popular Ford Fiesta (2008-2017) using online calculators from Fleetnews and Zap-Map. In this article, we’ve focused just on the costs of fuelling the car, and not on other costs that come with car ownership such as servicing, tax and initial cost.
Here’s what we found out:
It currently costs around £20.60 to drive 150 miles at 50MPG in a petrol-powered Ford Fiesta.
And it costs £14 to drive the same distance in a Nissan Leaf that has been charged up at home.
What difference does using public EV chargers make?
Not all of us have the luxury of being able to install our own electric vehicle charging point at home and even those who do still use public networks to charge on the go — Zap-Map’s survey of over 4,300 EV drivers showed 90% do. So how much does it cost to charge an EV using public electric vehicle charging points?
This cost can really vary from being free of charge at some supermarkets, car parks and workplaces; to an average of 39p/KWh for slow/fast charging on street and in car parks; to 65p/KWh for ‘rapid charge’ points at motorway services. If you are regularly charging on the go, there are various subscriptions available to give you preferential rates.
Find up to date charge point locations and costs on Zap-Map; as well as how much public charging costs increased in 2022. You can also support the FairCharge campaign which aims to reduce the level of VAT on public charging.
What impact will buying an EV have on my home energy bills?
It’s conclusive, the cost of charging an EV at home is significantly cheaper than filling up a car with petrol. The difference is that we are used to spending £60+ to fill up at the pump, and we’re not used to seeing it on our energy bills. If you are driving 12,000 miles a year in your Nissan Leaf, you can expect to add an additional £1120 to your annual electricity bill, or an extra £93 per month (if you do all your charging at home).
But remember that same mileage would cost you more than £1650 a year in the (relatively efficient) petrol-powered Ford Fiesta (based on petrol prices remaining static).
Find out more about getting an EV
There are lots of other good things about electric cars too. If you’re thinking that this might be the year you buy an EV, why not read some of our other articles:
- Advantages of electric vehicles
- More public chargers signal the end of range anxiety
- Questions to ask before getting an EV home charger
- Why are EVs better for the environment than petrol and diesel cars?
And sign up to our EV newsletter, Plugged In