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Research breaks down electric cars against their petrol equivalents.


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The LV Electric Vehicle Cost Index, compiled in partnership with Euan McTurk of Plug Life Consulting, compares the purchase price, taxes, insurance, fuel and maintenance costs of 13 pure electric vehicles with gasoline or diesel equivalents to determine the total cost of ownership. The Nissan Leaf, MG5 Long Range Excite and Mini Electric Level 1 have proven to be the three most cost effective Electric Vehicles for eco-conscious drivers.

It turns out that the same three Electric Vehicles are cheaper to buy, lease or finance through a PCP agreement.

All 13 Electric Vehicles analysed were cheaper than their petrol or diesel equivalents when pre-purchased, saving drivers £3,862 over an average seven-year ownership period. Seven of the 13 were cheaper with the 4-year term, and 4 were cheaper with the 3-year PCP arrangement.

The Research shows that there are savings for electric cars due to lower average annual running costs – which are on average £1,054 cheaper per year than petrol or diesel cars – although their average purchase price is still higher than that of an equivalent petrol or diesel car.

Across the Electric Vehicles analysed – ranging from entry-level models such as the Volkswagen e-UP (£22,585) to high-end cars such as the Tesla Model 3 (£42,990) – the average cost of an Electric Vehicle is almost £7,000 more than the average petrol – or diesel cars.

Drivers buying any of the 13 electric cars analysed will recoup some of the initial cost over seven years, with 10 of the 13 cars saving more than £2,000 due to lower running costs.

The Research also showed that the biggest annual savings come from charging the vehicle rather than paying for petrol or diesel. Electric car drivers can charge their car for as little as £467.40 a year based on driving 8,000 miles. Petrol and diesel drivers paid £1,199.40 for the same mileage – a difference of £732.

Another big saving for Electric Vehicle drivers comes from not having to pay tax on the vehicle, saving £193.68 a year.

For drivers who cannot buy a car outright, research shows a lease is better than a PCP contract. With the exception of the Volkswagen ID3, every Electric Vehicle is significantly cheaper to lease over a four-year period than a three-year contract through PCP.

While only a handful of Electric Vehicles have annual lease costs lower than their petrol or diesel counterparts, the lower running costs enabled 7 out of 13 Electric Vehicles to realize savings over a four-year lease. Only four of the 13 cars were funded through the three-year PCP, with the MG5 Long Range Excite saving the most at £2,270.

In addition to significantly reducing running costs, the average annual maintenance of electric vehicles, including repairs, spare tyres and brakes, saves drivers £200. LV found that this is mainly because Electric Vehicles have few moving parts, so they are less likely to fail with age and are less expensive to maintain.

“Despite the upfront sticker price of an electric car being higher than the equivalent petrol or diesel car, it pays to look at all the costs involved,” said Gill Nowell, head of Electric Vehicle at LV General Insurance. “Even with escalating fuel and energy costs, if people can afford to make the switch to an electric car, either new or second-hand, then charging up with energy at home rather than filling up at a petrol station is far cheaper – and better for the environment and our local air quality.”

LV also refutes the assumption that Electric Vehicles are more expensive to insure. The Electric Vehicle Cost Index shows that the electric cars analysed are on average cheaper to insure, with some cars (the Vauxhall Corsa-e) costing 33% less than their petrol or diesel equivalents.

In April 2019, LV General Insurance launched the UK’s first car insurance product designed specifically for electric vehicles. The product meets the specific needs of Electric Vehicle owners, including home charging cable coverage and access to a nationwide network of professional Electric Vehicle repair centres.

Meanwhile in Plymouth;

Plymouth City Council has released a video showing how Urban Electric’s new pop-up charging stations installed across the city work. So far, 53 charging stations have been installed in the city.

Electric car drivers in cities simply flip a switch. From there, they can easily and conveniently charge the car while parking on the street.

It’s part of a £3million project to test innovative pop-up electric car chargers that are built into the floor and only rise when used, providing electric car drivers with a safe, attractive and cost-effective charging solution. UEOne charging stations are designed for convenient off-street parking for residents, tourists and commuters.

The Chargers do appear in Plymouth now. Locations include Osborne Place, Hobart Street, Citadel Road, Bath Street, Phoenix Street, Leigham Street, Grand Parade, Northumberland Terrace, Prospect Place and Brittany Street.

A Plymouth City Council spokesperson said: “There’s a video designed to give you an idea of how Plymouth’s new Urban Electric pop-up charge points work. We now have 53 charge point sockets installed and operational within the Clean Streets project.

“Users can pull up the charge points via the Urban Electric app and charge their cars simply and conveniently while parked on street. When not in use, the pop-up chargers go back down into the ground, minimising the impact on our streets.”

They added: “By encouraging more people to use electric vehicles, we aim to improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions, helping Plymouth tackle the Climate Emergency. You can see these chargers literally popping up in Osborne Place, Hobart Street, Citadel Road, Bath Street, Phoenix Street, Leigham Street, Grand Parade, Northumberland Terrace, Prospect Place and Brittany Street. A map of the pop-up electric vehicle charge points can be found on the Urban Electric app.”

The charging stations were developed as part of the UK innovation funding research programme Clean Streets and delivered together with Urban Electric and other consortium partners. So far, they have 185 electric vehicle charging stations and expect to install 615 in the next few years.

The charger is a UEOne electric vehicle charging station made by UK company Urban Electric. App-controlled charging points deliver 7kW of power to each outlet and fully retract underground when not in use, minimising the impact on the urban environment.

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Research breaks down electric cars against their petrol equivalents.
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