When it comes to making the switch to an electric car, cost is an important factor. And it’s true; electric vehicles can be more expensive to buy upfront than their petrol or diesel counterparts. But with more EVs entering the used car market and ambitious plans to revamp the UK’s charging infrastructure, going green is becoming a real option for many of us.
Purchase price vs. running costs
With electric cars, it’s not just the purchase price that matters. EV running costs can be considerably cheaper than petrol or diesel thanks to the money saved on fuel. Cheaper new electric cars (those costing less than £35,000) also benefit from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) grant of £2,500.
Considering making the change? Check out our pick of five of the most economical electric cars:
If you’re looking to change up your commute with a smart city car, the Peugeot e-208 could be a great pick. It offers a blissfully quiet drive, sharp acceleration, and can deliver an 80% charge in 30 minutes. In fact, it comes with everything you’d expect in a standard Peugeot 208, just with a greener engine. Make the most of its 217-mile range and driver assist features that include road sign recognition and speed regulation.
The Vauxhall Corsa is enduring popular thanks to its surprisingly generous interior and commuter-friendly specs – and its electric version looks just as good! With a starting price of £26,390 when new, the Vauxhall Corsa-e offers a fully charged range of 209 miles and can be hooked up to a rapid charger for an 80% charge in just half an hour. This electric car has the same power (100kW) and battery size (50kWhn) as the Peugeot e-208, we well as plenty of room for passengers and luggage.
The electric equivalent of the classic Mini Cooper, the Mini Electric will prove most popular with people who are happy to swap space for style: solo drivers, small families, or those regularly driving short distances. This compact electric car offers a range of up to 145 miles – ideal for inner city commuters – and can reach 0-62mph in just 7.3 seconds.
The UK’s first bespoke EV, the Volkswagen 1d.3 boasts an impressive range of up to 263 miles and can reach 80% charge in 35 minutes. It comes equipped with a whole host of tech too; opt for keyless locking and starting and Matrix LED headlights or choose from ten ambient lighting colours to give your interior a distinctive look. There’s plenty of space inside too; all passengers can enjoy ample legroom and the boot is generous.
Need enough space for the whole family? A new MG5 EV starts at just £25,095 and is one of the most affordable electric cars out there. Despite its size (there’s room for five people to travel comfortably), you’ll get an 80% charge in 50 minutes and can drive up to 214 miles on a full charge. This smart SUV also comes with a range of safety features like rear parking sensors and automatic headlights, while inside, drivers can make the most of cruise control and rain sensing windscreen wipers.
The price gap: EVs vs Petrol and Diesel Cars
While electric vehicles are still more expensive to buy upfront, the gap is getting smaller every day. And with the ban on petrol and diesel cars coming into force in 2030, non-electric drivers may face more emissions-based charges in the future.
London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for example, is set to expand in October 2021 and will cover a much larger area of the city. Cars that don’t meet the required standard will have to pay £12.50 a day to drive in the zone.
When it comes to public charging points, London has the most while the North of England and Northern Ireland have the fewest. This should change in coming years as investment in EV charging facilities increases, making it easier than ever before to make the switch, no matter where you live.